BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
The rape and revenge subgenre of the b-movie market is sometimes a mixed bag. Dipping their hands deep into those murky waters, Scream Factory has pulled out and released on sparkling blu-ray 1980’s Demented. And, yes, it is exactly what its title suggests. It is also truly a bad, bad, very bad drive-in flick that probably wouldn’t have been missed if it had remained submerged in those black waters.
Which, as exploitation fans know, is a total misreading of director Arthur Jeffreys slow burn of a flick. You’ve seen I Spit on Your Grave, Act of Vengeance, and Ms. 45, but we get something a bit different with Demented. It’s full of problems, yes, but it also has a bit more of an emotional kick to the face than the others.
Demented does some really interesting things in its structure as a rape and revenge flick. It’s cheaply made, but somewhere in all that is a film that severs any ties it has to carrying out the revenge aspect of the subgenre and brings instead a largely psychological tale on the repercussions of rape. There’s not a lot of blood through the first 40-minutes, but there is an excellent payoff when the woman at the center of the tale finally does pick up that meat cleaver and goes to work reducing the number of dumbass men in her life.
I’m certain some Horror Hounds and Gore-Gore Girls will dig Demented, especially if this the first time watching it. This one does have its moments of shock. Linda Rogers (played by Sallee Young) is out visiting her horses one afternoon when three stocking-faced goons attack her. They take turns beating her and then take turns raping her. She is then left for dead.
It’s an unsettling opening. And we want her to have her revenge, but that’s not what happens in this one. Oh, she’s going to kill someone and, yes, it’ll be brutal, but it’s not the expected path of the genre, making this one a unique diversion from the expected. When Linda is released from the mental hospital, she learns that her attackers have been imprisoned. So what’s a girl to do? I mean, she's already gone crazy...
What follows is a dark tale about a woman who is haunted by the events of that fateful afternoon, cared for by a husband, Matt (Harry Reems), who is cheating on her with a younger big-breasted version of who she used to be, and teased by a trio of joker-masked misfits in the afternoon. She’s already an emotional wreck, but what follows in Demented is the unwinding of her own mental cable car.
She snaps. And it isn’t pretty. Her voice gets higher, softer, and her mind simply breaks apart. She might be objectified, but she's also an object of destruction. If she’s to be raped and mistreated again, then blood will be spilt. Dicks are cut, men are drugged, and necks cut open. All by a woman who is sick and tired of being seen as helpless by the dumbasses around her.
While the final twenty minutes are stronger than the pudgy middle of this one, Demented is pretty unforgettable. And that free frame ending? Classic shit.
MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime: 87 mins
Director: Arthur Jeffreys
Writer: Alex Rebar
Cast: Sallee Young, Harry Reems, Deborah Alter
Tagline: Revenge is sweet... and deadly.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Lady, you are definitely weird."
Theatrical Distributor: Intercontinental Releasing Corporation
Official Site: https://www.shoutfactory.com/film/film-horror/demented
Release Date: June 1, 1980
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: April 11, 2017
Synopsis: After surviving a brutal and devastating assault, Linda Rodgers is institutionalized in order to deal with her intense trauma. By the time she is finally released, her attackers have been brought to justice and imprisoned...but the psychological scars remain.
Tormented by visions of her attackers, and mistreated by her philandering husband, Linda is pushed over the edge when she encounters four young men whom she confuses with the men who assaulted her. Consumed with madness, Linda attempts to enact a bloody retribution for the disgusting crimes committed upon her... and no one is safe in this shocking 1980 exploitation film in the tradition of I Spit On Your Grave.
Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray - April 11, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Region A
Scream Factory presents Demented on 1080p for the very first time. The film has been culled from the original 35mm interpositive. It looks absolutely solid with deep blacks and clean lines. Shadows are thick and varied. Colors don’t really pop, but they are brighter than previously seen. It is presented with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and supports a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track.
- None. Scream Factory doesn’t give genre fans much to be happy about with this release.