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Deranged
     

Deranged

Director: Jeff Gillen, Alan Ormsby

Cast: Jack Mather

 

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Unlike its contemporary The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and predecessor Psycho -- both of which were very loosely based on the gruesome antics of notorious Wisconsin killer/graverobber Ed Gein, who killed, skinned, devoured or made furniture out of his many victims in the late '50s -- this gritty, disturbing and underrated production purports to be a

Overview

Unlike its contemporary The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and predecessor Psycho -- both of which were very loosely based on the gruesome antics of notorious Wisconsin killer/graverobber Ed Gein, who killed, skinned, devoured or made furniture out of his many victims in the late '50s -- this gritty, disturbing and underrated production purports to be a semi-accurate account of Gein's crimes. Roberts Blossom turns in a frighteningly effective performance as Ezra Cobb, the crusty old farmer with unique decorating ideas, an intense interest in the occult, and a decidedly unhealthy attachment to his domineering mother, whose body he preserves after her death. When evenings with his stuffed mom prove less than comforting, Cobb goes into town to seek young female victims whose corpses he uses for a variety of grisly household projects. Exiled in distribution limbo for 20 years, Deranged was available only in severely-cut prints, missing much of the film's goriest footage (which featured the early work of makeup maestro Tom Savini), although a pristine uncut print briefly surfaced in the mid-'90s.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Despite being tagged as a horror film, Deranged is interesting because it as witty as it is scary. The film suffers from rough edges, the main problems being inconsistent pacing and a stilted framing device involving an investigative reporter, but remains compelling because it adds some perceptive social satire into the mix. The staging of the story's events lets the viewer know that Ezra Cobb's madness is fueled by the indifference and occasional callousness of his fellow man as much as it is by his own personal demons. It also weaves black humor into scenes that would otherwise play as straight scares, the best example being a scene where an old maid's attempt to seduce Ezra starts as pure comedy and then goes horribly wrong. The film's blend of horror and humor is further enhanced by a skilled performance from Roberts Blossom, who uses skillful comic timing to offset his character's capacity for violence and in a way that makes Ezra Cobb childlike and terrifying all at once. Horror fans might also want to take note that the team who created the film's convincingly gruesome special makeup included Tom Savini, who later went on to create similarly stomach-churning effects for Friday the 13th and Dawn of the Dead. All in all, Deranged's singular blend of gore and sick humor isn't for all tastes, but its inspired oddness makes it worth a look for horror buffs.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/07/2015
UPC:
0738329163822
Original Release:
1974
Rating:
NR
Source:
Kl Studio Classics
Region Code:
A
Time:
1:22:00
Sales rank:
14,358

Special Features

Audio commentary by writer and co-director Alan Ormsby; Audio commentary by film historian Richard Harland Smith; Interview with producer Tom Karr; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Mather Drunk
Les Carlson Narrator
Roberts Blossom Ezra Cobb
Cosette Lee Ma Cobb
Robert Warner Harlan Kootz
Pat Orr Sally Peterson
Marcia Diamond Jenny Kootz
Brian Sneagle Brad kootz
Robert McHeady Sheriff
Marion Waldman Maureen Selby
Micki Moore Mary Ransom

Technical Credits
Jeff Gillen Director
Alan Ormsby Director,Makeup,Screenwriter
Albert Fisher Art Director
Gary Goch Sound/Sound Designer
Tom Karr Producer
Jack McGowan Cinematographer
Tom Savini Makeup Special Effects
Carl Zittrer Score Composer

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