Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield (Video 2007) Poster

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2/10
Don't waste your money
nickdose20 May 2007
***May contain spoilers***

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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6/10
Why create a story when the real thing is much more gruesome?
causeiwantto200110 July 2007
I was interested in seeing this film, because I was hoping to see a reenactment of the actual story that inspired so many of the all time classic horror movies, but what we got was a low budget spin on the acts of Ed Gein, not the story of Ed Gein. Kane is a large presence, but Ed wasn't. He flew bellow the radar because he was quiet, slow, and unnoticed, yet this movie shows him as a bully? I also wanted to know why they stuck Michael Berryman's character in the movie? Ed Gein didn't have help digging up body's, and the truth would have been much more twisted then the fictional situation. It may be a silly observation, but we know that the Gein house was basically a rats nest, and only the room his mother lived in was clean, yet there's an early scene where Ed's in the hall, and the carpet looked like it had never been left longer then an hour, without cleaning. I didn't hate the movie, but it was just another spin on a true serial killer, yet somehow they decided the truth wasn't as good as the fiction? It's worth a watch, but not if you want a true account of the gruesome truth of Ed Geins rampage.
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7/10
Fun Gore Filled Slasher
Ted Brown29 May 2010
In Ed Gein : The Butcher of Plainfield the horror icon Kane Hodder takes the role of one of the most infamous serial killers in American history. A man who is the basis for such legendary cinema madmen as Norman Bates, Buffalo Bill, and let's not forget Leatherface. Gein a real life serial killer who went on a brutal wave of violence in the 1950's when police officers searched his home and found the following items. Human skulls mounted on his bed posts, various things made out of human skin such as lampshades, clothing, and a chair, also in the home police were shocked to find a box of preserved vulvas that Ed admitted to wearing.

I was scrolling through netflix instaview and noticed this little gem, being a huge TCM fan I try to watch every Ed Gein related media I can get my hands on. And as a bonus this one just happens to star the great Kane Hodder of Jason Vorhees and other horror fame. I've heard a lot of complaints about this film not following the facts. And for you who feel this way and think that is reason enough to dub this a bad movie I'd love an example of a based on a true story movie that follows the real life account fact to fact not changing one detail for the sake of making it cinema friendly.

Now with that said and out of the way I enjoyed this film from start to end it reminded me of my childhood and how much fun the 80's slasher genre was. If this film would of been released in that era instead of 2007 it would of seen a theatre release it would also of been a great drive in movie experience. While it does nothing new for the genre it does do a good job at sticking to the old' classic slasher formula of extreme violence and over the top blood and gore delivered in a fashion that can only be described as brutal and unforgiving. The makeup effects in this movie are beautiful a true symphony of screams and blood soaked bodies.

The story may not be 100% accurate but that's no reason to over look this movie. If this film would of had a title that had nothing to do with Ed Gein a lot of the people belittling it due to this fact would probably watched it and came away loving it especially fans of the Friday the 13th series and children of the 80's splatter generation. If you can find a copy of this I recommend you give it a shot and once again for all you Netflix subscribers out there you've nothing to lose as it is currently available for instaviewing I have a feeling it will feel familiar and comfortable for all you long time horror fiends.

7/10
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4/10
Not Horrible... But Not Entirely Factual
Evil-Dead-Girl9 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
There are many reasons I'm not a fan of fact based films, but more than any other is how the filmmakers give themselves creative license over the story. If they have such great imaginations then why not use that talent to make something original? Otherwise stick to the facts. This could have been an okay movie if only they had done just that. Ed Gein was an insanely frightening human being. It's been said if you were to take Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Leatherface, wrap them into one person, Ed Gein would still be sicker/scarier. So why can't someone make a movie about him that can convey this? When will they figure out that reality is ultimately scarier than fiction?

I've read books and watched news programs about him and, now I'm not a screenwriter or anything, but I believe there's enough documentation on Gein that it shouldn't take a whole lot to write a story about all these atrocities he committed without creating murders that had never even been documented. I'm aware that he was only found guilty of 2 murders but with all the evidence found in his home and barn there should have been plenty of other ways to put this film together rather than using the deputy's relationship with his Mother, and girlfriend as filler, and far too much of it.

I guess what I'm wondering is this... why at the end of the movie did I know more about the supporting characters than I did about Ed Gein? Why didn't we get to know his Mother, Father and brother and the relationships between them... what made him the psychopath he was... what abuse he endured as a child that may have contributed to the man he became? Instead, the only thing we got of his childhood were flashes of him as a little boy... running.

In the end I give it 4/10 stars. Thats 2 for the gore and 2 for Kane Hodder. Even though it was kind of bad casting in my opinion, considering Gein was a smallish man, and possibly effeminate and Hodder is anything but small and nowhere near what I would consider feminine. Maybe I was just excited because he was Jason Voorhees.
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2/10
It's just awful!
happyreflex2 April 2007
I stopped watching this film half way through. It was just terrible! Boring, contrived subplots. A complete lack of the pathos seen in Norman Bates, Buffalo Bill, or Steve Railsback's portrayal of Ed Gein. A movie doesn't have to be historically accurate, but the true story of Ed Gein is so much more interesting than this third-rate melodrama that was completely made up for no good reason! Ed Gein as portrayed by Kane Hodder is a cartoon sadist. The attempts to show the trauma inflicted on him by his mother are just weak exercises in recycled style. And this movie wanted to be stylish, but it even screwed that up. Fortunately, there is a better film of this story. 2001's Ed Gein told the story efficiently, and offered a few real chills as we watched a sick man not in control of himself. Steve Railsback, who played Ed Gein that time, was already famous for memorably portraying another famous serial killer: Charles Manson. His Ed had pathos. His film is the one to see. Avoid this mess.
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4/10
Gein and best forgotten
ssoppy3 June 2007
I have watched this movie quite bemused. I am not sure whether it was attempting to be a horror gore fest in a Rob Zombie type affair or an exploration of real events.

In either case it missed its mark. It's not particularly historically accurate with characters being chopped and changed for the sake of the story.

The performances were neither compelling nor bad.

For me, I would have preferred a more psychological approach and this film could easily have gone down this route without spoiling the overall effect.
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3/10
this movie was bad
j-w-price1 May 2007
This movie was really bad. First they didn't even follow the facts for it. Half of the movie was made up and it was more about the deputy whose mother was one of Ed Gein's victims. The acting was horrible, except for the guy playing Ed Gein, but its not hard to mess up playing a weird guy. though i think it was horrible i gave it a three because they started it off with actual crime photos. that was the best part of the movie. As soon as the introduction of the movie was finished the movie went downhill. The writer of this movie tried to spice it up, but it didn't need to be. The story of Ed Gein is interesting enough without falsifying information.
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1/10
Not worth the money it took to produce
shay2044 April 2007
What a waste of time to watch this movie. Poor picture quality, poor sound, poor acting and definitely not based on actual facts. The deputy's "girlfriend" did so much overacting, as did the sheriff, that it was more comedy than horror. The deputy tries to make an emergency phone call by dialing 911...PROBLEM...in 1957 that emergency number was not in existence. That is just one example of glaring inconsistencies.

The "scary" aspect was way underdone. Just did not come across as horrific.

I did think that the actor playing Gein did the most admirable acting job in the whole movie. I could well see mental disturbances in his character portrayal.

Sorry...this one just does NOT get it!!
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1/10
My Take
jwindsor-612 March 2007
This was, without a doubt, the worse horror movie I have ever seen.... Forget the fact that the story had little to do with the facts of Ed Gein... Ed Gein's story is horrific & this movie ignored the facts and strayed way off course. Acting, on all levels, was pathetic. Story, again, for some unknown reason didn't go into the horrific facts. Could have been so scary if it would have stuck to the facts. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? TERRIBLE MOVIE! Steve Railsback version was much, much better. Don't waste a penny on this terribly made flick... And, why ignore the reality of the horrific events? That alone would make for a great story. Man, makes you wonder why this would ever be approved for release. Why spend so much money on a movie that will never make a penny (except for my wasted $5...
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7/10
Good fictionalized version of a true story!
leatherfacefan19 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
OK, why complain about this movie? It's fiction. Deal with it. If you want to see the biography, go watch it. This is an original, fictionalized version of what happened in Wisconsin. People who are obsessed will complain about this, as they do every other deviation of the facts. Sad but true. I think making Kane Hodder the man in which the film is named after was a great idea. I thought it wasn't so good at first, I'll be honest. But that just made it even scarier. If you like Kane Hodder, Ed Gein or movies based on real events, I think this is a good movie. But if you're obsessed (like some other people) stay away from this movie and all others.
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