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Review: ‘Deranged’ is Absolutely the Best Ed Gein Depiction of the Time

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Review: 'Deranged' is Absolutely the Best Ed Gein Depiction of the Time

In 1957, authorities discovered a true house of horrors in Plainfield, Wisconsin. Ed Gein was responsible for two murders and of robbing over 40 graves of recently deceased women. He would make things out of the bodies and his ultimate goal was to make a “suit” to emulate his dead mother. Ed Gein went on to inspire media of all forms. The most notable inspirations in film such as Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The same year we got Texas Chainsaw, we also got Deranged: The Confessions of a Necrophile.

Deranged is a close retelling of the Ed Gein story. We follow our main character, Ezra. In the opening, we learn that Ezra’s mother is extremely and overtly religious and fills Ezra’s head with unrealistic extremes. After his Mother passes, Ezra has a psychotic break and can hear his Mother talking to him. She tells Ezra that she wants to be back home and Ezra digs up her body and takes it home. We see Ezra struggle to maintain the “freshness” of the corpse and gets increasingly creative to preserve his mother. Eventually, this escalates Ezra to start grave robbing and using pieces of other corpses to preserve his Mother and also decides to create other household items. As the story goes on, Ezra is eventually escalated to murder.

I found out about this film while scrolling through Instagram of all places. The poster caught my eye but the description really got me excited. The claims in the post were that this movie is little known because it’s so disturbing and people wanted to just bury it. It went on to say that it had been banned in several places around the world and that always seem to make great fuel for my own demented curiosity.

Deranged The Confessions of a Necrophile

Did it live up to the hype? No. Not even close. However, I did still enjoy it and I’m glad I gave it the time. The film had a very small budget and sometimes, it shows. However, not on the corpses. Tom Savini is responsible for that. Even though the corpses were made on a budget, they did an amazing job making them look realistic. Robert Blossom plays Ezra so beautifully that if you had met him on the streets, you would have expected to be meeting with that character. It’s hard to imagine Blossom as a regular person.

I can’t say it doesn’t have a disturbing factor to it. Disturbing is extremely subjective and based on the individual viewer. However, there is no real gore. We get two kills and we really don’t see them happen. However, grave robbing, being a necrophile, and rotting corpses are all disturbing themes. However, there are plenty of films of that time period that are way more graphic than this one.

As far as being an accurate depiction of Ed Gein, it is and it isn’t. It is absolutely the best depiction of the time. I won’t tear it apart and nitpick every single difference. Personally, I have yet to watch a film based off true events that stays completely true to what they are based on. However, it is pretty close to the depiction of the events.

This film was actually “lost” for about 20 years. It was released in 1974 but did not resurface until the 1990’s. It is often criticized for its humor. The dark and subtle humor was done on purpose and I believe it is done very well. There is a scene around a neighbor’s dinner table that gave me a genuine belly laugh and another that takes place in a bar. I can see how if you weren’t aware that the humor was placed there on purpose that you could mistake it for bad writing.

I recommend checking this one out if you haven’t seen it. Don’t except a masterpiece, but turn it on and have fun. Take solace in the humor and when you’re done with it, call your Mom.

You can watch Deranged on Amazon Prime for free.

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