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Inspired by the true story of one of the most gruesome killers in American history. Now, years after inspiring "Psycho's" Norman Bates, "The Silence Of The Lambs'" Buffalo Bill and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's" Leatherface, the story of real life serial killer Ed Gein is told once again. Nicknamed "The Butcher Of Plainfield," Gein was responsible for a rash of gory murders that sent shock waves through his rural Wisconsin town, and across America, in the late 1950's. Prepare to enter the evil mind and twisted world of "The Butcher Of Plainfield." Written by
I had very high expectations for this film, based on the trailer. I knew a bit about the real Ed Gein, so I figured this was a medium-budget Hollywood version of the real events. Man was I wrong.
First, the writing apparently came from an eight-grader who barely knew anything about Ed's history and cranked out the script in about 20 minutes. The movie completely passes over the most interesting facets of Ed and his relationship with his mother (not to mention what the real police found in his house) and decides to focus primarily on the young deputy who looks like he just wandered onto the set. Likewise, all of the male characters seem to be ad-libbing their dialog throughout the entire movie. I'm not exaggerating.
Don't even get me started with the historical goofs in this movie. Seriously, who the hell directed this? This movie is supposed to take place around 1957, but the cops are carrying modern side-handled batons, some of the stuff in the hardware store look like they came from Lowes, and when the cop gets to a payphone he dials 9-1-1 (didn't exist back then). Also, Ed was a small guy, scary like Anthony Perkins' character in Psycho (who was supposedly based on real-life Ed), not this burly dude who ended up looking way too much like the bad guy in Men In Black.
Another thing that really bugged me was the appearance that the makers of this film shot the whole thing in an abandoned, 3 building set. Because of the "clever" camera angles, you never see any actual town, and the interior of the sets looked like old, long-abandoned shacks. Pop a cash register on a saw-horse and bam!--instant hardware store.
I'm usually pretty forgiving of low-budget horror films, but this one just begs for it. All you had to do was include most of the real events (even embellish them!), pay five good actors instead of 15 crappy ones, and for Pete's sake take 5 minutes and think about the time period once in a while. My advice: Google Ed Gein, you'll be far more entertained.
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