Based on the Ed Gein case, a deranged rural farmer becomes a grave robber and murderer after the death of his possessive mother whom he keeps her corpse, among others, as his companions in his decaying farmhouse
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A man living in rural Wisconsin takes care of his bed-ridden mother, who is very domineering and teaches him that all women are evil. After she dies he misses her, so a year later he digs her up and takes her home. He learns about taxidermy and begins robbing graves to get materials to patch her up, and inevitably begins looking for fresher sources of materials. Based closely on the true story of Ed Gein. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Work of art? Exploitation film? True crime expose? Or Ed Gein homage?
I picked up the DVD for "Motel Hell," and -- after getting a few good laughs out of it -- decided to watch the double-feature as well. I expected a cheap, gratuitous exploitation film with no redeeming features. What I got was a surprisingly subdued, well-made, and well-acted film that -- strangely -- had a lot of heart and compassion in it. And it's funny too, but in a down-to-earth manner. You could almost view this as an homage to Ed Gein, as opposed to an expose.
I also got a kick out of the crime reporter who kept on popping up in the scenes, waxing eloquent about "Ezra's" horrible habits, while Ezra himself sits next to the reporter, going about his business.
"Deranged" is a very strange movie, but not in an over-the-top way. It's strange with everyday life: the family who tells Ezra to stop kidding around when he repeatedly talks about committing the well-publicized crimes in the area, the old guy in the bar who talks trash about the state of his withered sex organs, and -- best of all -- the woman who uses her dead husband to seduce Ezra. Speaking of which, this lead to my favourite line in the film, as Ezra describes this woman to his mummified mother: "You were right, momma, she sure is fat! And I like that. But it would be scary to get stuck in all that fat. Real scary. I'd better take something along to protect myself."
As uneven as this movie is, it's got a strange oddball charm, as though the people involved felt they were creating a cross between an enduring work of art and a true-life crime story, but threw in a healthy dose of gore in order to make it more interesting. I'm glad I watched it, and would gladly see it again.
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