Dementia (1955)

One of the strangest of all American films tells the story of a tormented “gamine” who murders her father and an aggressive man, then begins to wonder if it was only a dream. Think early Corman / AIP meets Maya Deren, this bizarre murder beat noir is told entirely without dialogue. The stark Expressionism-influenced cinematography was by Ed Wood’s cameraman William Thompson (and to be honest, the camerawork on Plan 9 is remarkably technically competent, at least in comparison to the rest of the flick). The super spooky exotica score features wordless vocals by Marni Nixon, best known for doing the actual dubbed female singing in many classic musicals including My Fair Lady. It’s one of my favorite of all film scores. The direction is often credited (nowhere in the film mind you) to a Mr. John Parker, who never made another film. Rumors abound that the direction was done by AIP character actor favorite Bruno Ve Sota. I’d like to believe that this was Ve Sota’s doing. I’ve always loved the dude as an actor and director, so I like to think he had one serious statement of artistic expression in him. Make sure to watch the original cut, not the Daughter of Horror reissue with narration by Ed McMahon!

IMDB entry

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