There have been many movies based upon Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs and Psycho are probably the most famous. Deranged is a little seen gem that manages to combine both deeply disturbing moments of insanity with darkly humorous situations to create probably the greatest film based on the exploits of Gein. Let's not forget that Deranged also features effects work from a young Tom Savini (Deranged is his movie debut). What you have here is a film that really should be much bigger than it is.
Ezra Cobb looks after his bedridden mother. When she dies, Ezra's world slowly falls apart, and his insanity and unbearable hurt at his mother being taken away from him makes him dig up her corpse. Soon, his insanity develops, and he steals bodies to "repair" the corpse of his mother, and then later using them to decorate his house, making belly drums and other household items from them. Eventually, Ezra begins taking the life of local women, and one by one, the body count grows.
This movie is incredible. I hadn't had the pleasure of seeing it before, but my mother had constantly sung it's praises, as she went to the cinema when she was younger. Thank god for Arrow Video, who have produced a beautiful dual format BLU-RAY/DVD for all of us horror/exploitation fans to salivate over. Not only do you get the brilliant movie, restored and fully uncut for the first time ever anywhere in the world, there is a plethora of special features for us all to get our gore soaked teeth in to.
To say the humor in Deranged is dark is a grand understatement. Every situation in the movie is rammed with darkness, but it is Roberts Blossom's performance as Ezra that fills the audience with laughs a plenty. That isn't to say the film isn't disturbing. It is. Almost to the point of being sickening. Ezra's descent into madness is played incredibly well, and has to be one of the most believable breakdowns I have ever witnessed in a film.
The movie only has one problem in my opinion. It is narrated by a newspaper reporter, and the narration doesn't only consist of a voice over. The narrator pops up in scenes, explaining what is going on, and this just becomes plain annoying after a while, but it is but a small gripe in a movie that is filled with madness and a slow, helpless descent into insanity. This film will shock you into submission, and will stay with you long after the credits have rolled. It manages to get under your skin very easily, and this is a testament to great filmmaking.
The dual format BLU-RAY/DVD comes loaded with special features. There is a commentary with Tom Savini, an introduction to the film by Savini, three featurettes, the original trailer, a stills gallery, a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh and a collectors booklet featuring new writing on the film by Stephen Thrower, an article from Rue Morgue on the legacy of Ed Gein, plus an archive interview with producer Bob Clark, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.
Deranged is released from Arrow Video on August 19th 2013.
You can purchase Deranged from the Arrow Video website by clicking HERE.