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John Parker's 50s horror noir Dementia on Dual Format & Digital in October

18 September 2020

A woman’s nightmare of murder, maiming and mistrust proves to be more than a mere dream, in John Parker’s influential 1953 horror film Dementia.

Foreshadowing the likes of Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965), the film comes to Blu-ray and DVD for the first time in the UK, released in a Dual Format Edition by the BFI late October just ahead of Halloween. An extensive package of extras includes a newly recorded commentary, and an alternative cut of the film, retitled Daughter of Horror (1957) which has added narration by actor Ed McMahon.

Stripped of dialogue and using only sound effects and an unnerving score by George Anthiel (Ballet Mécanique), in Dementia John Parker combines horror, film noir and expressionist methods to depict a mind descending into madness. Shocking audiences upon its original release, the film was initially banned by the New York State Film Board, who deemed it ‘inhuman, indecent, and the quintessence of gruesomeness’.

Dementia Dual Format cover art

Dementia will be released as a Dual Format edition (Blu-ray & DVD) on 19 October 2020 by the BFI at the RRP of £19.99, with simultaneous release on iTunes and Amazon Prime.


  • Newly recorded audio commentary on Dementia by film critic and editor-in-chief of Diabolique magazine, Kat Ellinger
  • Daughter of Horror (1957, 55 mins): after being picked up by producer Jack H Harris, Dementia was re-released as Daughter of Horror. Whilst also featuring music without dialogue, Harris made a number of edits and added narration by actor Ed McMahon
  • Alone with the Monsters (1958, 16 mins): a study of people’s unconscious cruelty to others, this bold experimental film was directed by Nazli Nour with cinematography by the great Walter Lassally
  • Trailers From Hell: Joe Dante on Daughter of Horror (1957/2013, 2 mins)
  • Before & After: Restoring Dementia (2020, 3 mins): a series of short clips from Dementia that illustrate the work done by the Cohen Film Collection for their 2015 restoration
  • Dementia trailer (2015)
  • Daughter of Horror trailer (1957)
  •  Stills and publicity gallery
  • ***FIRST PRESSING ONLY*** illustrated booklet with new essays by Ian Schultz, William Fowler and Vic Pratt

Here's the Cohen Media Group trailer to whet your appetite: