(Review originally written at 30 October 2008)

Even though all of the character names within this movie are changed, most likely for legal reasons, this movie tells the story of one of the most infamous killers of all time; Ed Gein.

Of course some changes are made within the movie and the movie doesn't tell the whole story of Ed Gein but overall in its main lines it can be considered a fairly accurate movie. Ed Gein is of course a real interesting killer because of the very odd things he did, not as much to his victims but more because of the fact he was also a grave-robber who dug up his own deceased mother and took her into his home again. He dug up several more recently deceased middle aged woman, who resembled his mother in order to use their skin to patch up his mother's body with. He became real fascinated with anatomy and that of the female body in particular. He became so fascinated he wanted to become a woman himself and he made 'suits' out of the skin of deceased women, which he could wear. He also made various other objects from parts of death bodies. A real amazing story, which inspired many film-makers over the years. This makes it all the more odd that there never really have been a good decent Ed Gein movie around. This one is probably the best one to watch out there, even though it changed all of the character names and it doesn't focus entirely on the life story of Ed Gein.

There of course was a lot wrong in Ed Gein's life and inside his head in particular but this movie does not choose to waste much time on showing how he became the man he was and what drove him to his actions. It simply concentrates on the relationship he had with his mother and how she influenced his life entirely even long time after her death. This movie doesn't try to be overly complicated and a real thoroughly character study of a serial killer. This is what makes "Deranged" an easy to grasp and watch movie. It also makes it a 'pleasant' one, since it's also definitely a movie with a certain quirky kind of sense over it. You know, come to think of it, I think the Coen brothers would be the perfect candidates to make a story about Ed Gein's life.

Also a real strong point of this movie is its atmosphere. This movie obviously was an ultra-low budget one, which works out actually quite well for the movie its atmosphere and overall realism. I honestly doubt this movie would had been better, had it had a multi-million dollar budget.

One thing a multi-million dollar could had given the movie though would be some better actors to play the movie its roles. With all respect but none of the actors within the movie are among the most talented ones. It's true that it adds to the certain quirkiness and 'fun' of the movie, also since the movie obviously doesn't attempt to conceal it isn't the most professional movie ever made with the most talented actors involved.

The movie also doesn't really show any of the killings or how Gein (or in this movie Ezra Cobb) skinned any of his dug up bodies and how he made items out of them. So if you're expecting a bloody and gory '70's horror flick this is not the movie for you. It's not an exploitation flick and in that regard this movie is also really quite original for '70's standards.

A really recommendable, atmospheric, little low-budget retelling of the Ed Gein story, that you give a go.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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