Starring Ana Isabelle, Christian Ryan, Channing Pickett
Directed by Richard LeMay
Richard LeMay was tapped as the man who would revamp Francis Ford Coppola’s 1963 creeper Dementia 13 – would it stand up to the tall task of equally mirroring (or bettering) the original film from 54 years ago? Let’s settle into a chair and attempt to pluck the bones of this one – everybody have their gloves and aprons on?
The idea for the original way back in the day was fairly simple: try to toss together a film on the cheap that would not only scare the crap of its audiences, but make them forget about the steamroller at the time simply known as Hitchcock – tall task indeed, but Coppola pulled it off and injected his own style into the film. Here we are over a half-century later, and the film’s getting a reconstructed look, feel and hopefully some positive recognition.
Louise (Isabelle) is a very lucky lady from the get-go in this film, as she’s just come into a boatload of cash, considering she’s married the love of her life, John (Ryan), and joined into a very wealthy family. Now with every fairytale romance comes a little bit of a black cloud (at least that’s been my thinking), and the specific point of sadness here is that John kicks the bucket relatively quickly, and the impending visit from his family raises a few questions her way – do I tell them that he’s dead, and more importantly, what’s going to happen with all that dough? Cover-ups seem to be a bit of a staple in this family’s history, and now that Louise has “disposed” of her hubby’s corpse, what’s left for a single gal to do?
If these issues aren’t enough to put a kink into a happy family reunion, now there’s a mysterious kook with an axe running around the compound, offing everyone the blade comes in contact with. Make no mistake – the theories are plentiful, the bodies are stacking up… and of course, there’s still all that friggin’ money just going to waste – sorry if I seem obsessed with the greenbacks. Now, while the remake is stylized and flashy at times, there just seemed to be a bit too much left to chance when this film was constructed, with uninteresting characters and more than a few deviations from the original (to spill them all would wreck it for the potential viewers).
Overall, this version of a film that back in the day tried very hard to stand alone unfortunately doesn’t do enough to raise itself up from a seated position. If you’re in the mood to compare and contrast the old with the new, then by all means give this one a watch, but I saw it as a singular view and not much more.