Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974) Poster

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9/10
A true bone-chiller.
Nightman8525 September 2005
Over the years there have been a number of films, both horror and thriller, that have been inspired by the real-life crimes of the infamous Ed Gein. Yet, this was the first film to be closely based on the real Ed Gein.

Reclusive old man loses his mind after the death of his mother and starts to rob graves. But that's just the beginning of terrors to come.

While In the Light of the Moon (2000) may be the more accurate film for the true story of Gein, Deranged is the most effectively frightening. Deranged is an example of low-budget film making at it's best. It sports a believably dark atmosphere and the feeling of chilling realism. In fact some sequences from this film (especially the midnight 'dinner' scene) are simply unforgettable.

The cast of the film is good, but the real highlight of it all is in it's star Robert Blossoms. Blossoms brings such a genuine believability to his crazed character and at times makes him quite sympathetic! That achievement alone is impressive.

Also of note, this was one of the early films for makeup FX artist Tom Savini and his creations for the film are well-done. Adding even more to the sheer spookiness of this film is it's musical score, which is comprised of religious songs.

While Deranged may not have the fame of other low-budgeters of it's day, it is none the less a masterful horror picture that deserves a place in the history of low-budget horror.

*** 1/2 out of ****
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10/10
One of the greatest movies depicting Ed Gein
lthseldy113 June 2002
Ok, we've seen "Texas Chainsaw Massacure", "Motel Hell" and that other newer film I forgot the name but all are not as good as this one. This movie tells the true story of cannible Ed Gein known in this movie as Ezra Cobb. Ez is a sympathetic character in this movie and I really do feel sorry for him as he takes care of his ailing mother and then she passes away. Ez kidnaps her corpse and sends her home and treats her as if she were alive again. During his state of dementia he finds himself being facinated with embolming bodies, cannibalism and things that are down right gross. This one is one that must be seen for those into real life crimes of the deranged.
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When the movie ends, the terror just begins!
chadledwards6 October 2001
Based on the diabolical doings of psycho-mama's boy Ed Gein, this film is guaranteed to leave you feeling uneasy for days after viewing. Some images are so horrific that they are fairly certain to haunt your dreams. Character actor Roberts Blossom in his best role ever is chillingly good as the overly devoted son who, not quite all there to begin with, goes completely round the bend when his beloved mother dies. He digs the old lady up, brings her back to the family farm, restores her corpse, and kills an occasional female passerby to keep her company. It's every bit as strange as it sounds. But when it's over, you can't simply shrug it off and say to yourself, "Oh well, it's only a movie", because it's based on the truth. Viewers familiar with the Ed Gein case will note that the filmmakers have, for the most part, stuck close to the facts. It leaves a strong impression, and, to put it mildly, a rather disturbing one. What's truly amazing is that the filmmakers have brought a sense of humor to these gruesome events and it ISN'T offensive. DERANGED is one of the best scary/funny movies I have ever seen. It is most definitely not for children. As for the adults, you"ll just have to take your chances.
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8/10
One of the creepiest films ever
sylvain gross27 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I've seen "Deranged" recently and it 's one of the most disturbing film ever done; It' nigh as macabre as TCM but it is not quite well as the same level , just one step under ; TCM relies on more on the viewer imagination although we really see these horrible things Gein has done;

The most shocking scene in the cut version is when Ez Cobb digs his mother out and embrace her already messed up and all cheesy body in his arms , i thought i was going to puke all over the place; but it's nearly nothing compared to the famous cut scene (which was on the DVD in bonus ) when he scalps a severed head with a saw and removes the jelly-like matter (the post-mortem collapsing brain) inside with a spoon !! This time i REALLY got to run to the John and spew my dinner out!

The creepiest scene is when a wondering victim to be arrives in the living room of Ez's home and find this collection of rotten corpses; yeah this is strange but the strangest is when Ez begin to play the organ with a corpse's top skull on his head ! We can really feel the insanity , the madness , the frustrations and the nastiness of the character , admirably played by Roberts Blossom , whose face and eyes are absolutely frightening in the film , the least we can say is that he physically fits well the character, but not only , because he has added this verbal and muscular tics ; for example the one he does the most is with his lower lip and this is very eerie. I think this is one of his most impressive performance and it's a shame producers underestimated him during his career (and now) cause the guy has talent.

My overall rating is 8 cause this is a unjustified forgotten little gem of the macabre and bizarre and (often subtle) black humor and gives one of the finest performances by an actor in the genre "psycho- horror" ;

SPOILER: don't watch it if you have a gastric indisposition of whatever sort , unless you have a big empty bucket nearby!
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Forgotten horror classic.
Infofreak25 July 2001
FINALLY got to see 'Deranged' recently after wanting to for years, and what a surprise it is. Low budget yes, but takes its subject matter much more seriously than you would expect. There are some touches of black comedy in places, but overall this is no "funny" gorefest ala the 'Evil Dead' flicks. Roberts Blossom puts in an excellent performance as Ezra Cobb, the Ed Gein inspired protagonist. You may not totally understand why he ends up doing what he does, but Blossom successfully conveys Cobb's loneliness and isolation, which explodes into full blown delusional behaviour.

The only negative comment I have about 'Deranged' is the clumsy and unnecessary intrusions of the narrator into the plot. Without that we'd be looking at a complete classic. Even so, 'Deranged' is much more than a "video nasty" and deserves a much larger audience.
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7/10
Ezra Cobb is a homicidal mamma's boy
evilskip3 August 1999
This is partly inspired by the real life murderer Ed Gein. Ezra is a middle aged momma's boy. He's also a pet moron.Mommy is a raving twisty herself as she is a zealot and always preaching about "dirty women"(finest kind).So when mom drops dead old Ez starts to get lonely.

Well Ezra starts hearing mom's voice after a year. She's lonely & so is he. He digs her up and brings her back home where everybody is happy.His neighbors try and set him up with a woman.This is a really funny scene as his date tries to seduce him. She's kind of crazy herself and tells Ez that her dead husband wants them to play beneath the sheets. Well, she winds up under the sheets permanently.

Ez starts digging up the graveyard and bringing mom some company.He also starts semi stalking a waitress.Finally he sandbags her, brings her back to his place and it gets wild from there.She finds herself trussed to a chair with a table full of rotting corpses.Ez is dressed in the skin of a dead woman.There is no way out of this house of hell.

Ez really goes off the deep end on a trip to town. It involves a rifle, a young girl and a harrowing chase through the woods.This is another gripping scene that spirals into complete madness.

There are a few drawbacks. This movie could have done without the narrator.When he popped up it seemed like we were in a different movie.Old Ezra is the most sympathetic person in the movie.Everyone else is cruel, stupid or as nutty as he is.

On the upside Roberts Blossom gives a great portrayal of Ezra. You feel for Ezra and can really understand his madness.There are many shocking and disturbing scenes in this movie. But it uses suggestion rather than out and out gore.It looks rather tame compared to slasher flicks but that's why this is better. I had to wait 25 years to see this film and all in all it was worth the wait.
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Work of art? Exploitation film? True crime expose? Or Ed Gein homage?
Muffy-52 September 2003
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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10/10
You can say that again! ...DeR@nG€d!!
Coventry3 February 2006
Oh yeah! This is what us genre fans like to call a REAL horror film! "Deranged" is shocking, insensitive, cold-hearted and features a 'you-don't-like-it-go-to-hell'-honesty you can't possibly walk away from! This is the pretty damn factual, and therefore hugely disturbing, reconstruction of the case of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein. This guy was crazier and far more dangerous than any fictional horror character could ever be and therefore he was a nearly endless source of inspiration for independent filmmakers who wanted to bring a horrific tale. "Deranged" appears to be very cheap and amateurish, but it's one of the rare films in which the low budget production values actually contribute in making the story more grim and realistic! Ed Gein really was a poor and simple-minded farmer who went absolutely berserk after the death of his beloved mother and he refused to accept her passing away by replacing her with cadavers that he kept in his house. The characters' names have been altered, as well as the timing of the story, but Ezra Cobb's actual crimes are frighteningly truthful and portrayed with a chilling eye for detail. The film's biggest trump is unquestionably the casting of the rather unknown actor Roberts Blossom whose impressive and straight-faced performance will make you more than once wonder whether he isn't a real madman! Other aspects that definitely increase the creepiness are the constant funeral music that guides the film and the colorless, depressing set pieces. "Deranged" is not a total gorefest (mainly due to the lack in budget) but the murders are nonetheless explicitly illustrated and quite bloody. Strangely enough, the film's devastating tone is regularly undercut with brilliant flashes of morbid black humor, like Ezra's encounter with an overweight widow who talks to her deceased husband. In short, "Deranged" is a typically 70's cult treasure that should be watched by every horror fan on this planet.
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8/10
Deranged indeed!
The_Void5 January 2006
Deranged is an adaptation of the same story that inspired such horror classics as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho and Silence of the Lambs, among others. It's the story of deranged psychotic Edward Gein, only in this film the story is a lot closer to how it actually happened than in any of the classics that it influenced. Deranged is a film not for the feint hearted. Shot on an extremely low budget of just two hundred thousand dollars, the directorial team of Jeff Gillen and Alan Ormsby have created one of the most vile and disgusting films that I've ever seen. Subtitled 'Confessions of a Necrophile' for the US market, Deranged tells the story of Ezra Cobb; a simple farm owner who lives with his domineering mother. After her death, Ezra gradually slips into insanity; starting with the unearthing of his yearlong dead mother from the grave. Ezra then decides that she needs patching up, and so embarks on unearthing more bodies for the task. It isn't long, however, before the psychopath is on the rampage for fresher victims...

Deranged goes all out to shock from the outset. The image of Ezra carrying his dead mother into her bedroom is sickening in a way that few movies manage. The amoral attitude of the character adds to this sickness, and ensures that most audience members will be uncomfortable watching this film. Deranged benefits from a superb lead performance courtesy of Roberts Blossom. Blossom does an amazing job of convincing us that he really is the psycho at the centre of the film. Usually in films like this, I am firmly on the side of the killer; not really caring about the victims - but Blossom is so vile in this film that I was actually praying he DIDN'T catch his prey! The film has a short running time, but this time is used excellently on a series of nasty and weird sequences, and the movie never really lets the pace go once it has set itself up. On the whole, this film has gained itself a cult following for a reason. It's certainly not for everyone's taste, and it's not as good as the most famous of the films that the story has influenced - but if you like your cinema to grisly and shocking; Deranged is a film that you should seek out!
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7/10
Fun, but NOT for the whole family
Tito-818 February 1999
If you can stomach the plot of this movie, then I think that it's fair to say that you will like it. The bloodshed is kept to a minimum (considering the subject matter), but the film should still probably be avoided if you are squeamish or easily offended. However, for people like me who can enjoy a warped sense of humour and don't mind a little gore, it's a pleasant way to spend some time.
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Typical 70's Horror!!
FORREST13630 December 2002
Cossett Lee steals the film as a hateful and domineering mother that practically castrates her only son! Telling him all women are sluts and whores and that they all have an STD! This was pre Aids! Great make up make this film a must see for Horror fans! The filming reminds me alot of "Last Huse On The Left". Catch it on DVD with a double feature of "Motel Hell".
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7/10
Nice and Twisted
bensonmum213 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
  • Deranged is a Ed Gein type story - a man takes care of his elderly mother and knows nothing else. After her death, he discovers he can't get on without her so he decides to dig her up and bring her home. She's been in the ground for over a year so she needs some work. In a matter of time, the graverobber discovers that fresh, living tissue will work better on Mama than dead tissue.


  • I really enjoy it when I stumble across a film that I've somehow missed over the years. I finally picked-up the Motel Hell / Deranged disc from MGM. The reason was Motel Hell, not having heard much about Deranged. Discovering Deranged on the flip side of the disc was like finding money under a couch cushion - a very nice surprise. It's got most everything one could ask for in a horror movie - twisted characters, flowing blood, a familiar but compelling story, and dead bodies everywhere. But the thing that most impressed me was the acting. Roberts Blossom gives an outstanding performance as Ezra Cobb. There are actually moments when you forget you're watching an actor and really believe what the character is doing. Blossom did that for me. It was as if I was watching a real person. Mannerisms, facial expressions, voice, look, and actions seem absolutely real.


  • Even though the MGM disc is cut, I still found many of the scenes very violent. I thought the waitress' death was brutal until I saw what Ezra had in store for the hardware clerk. It's not for the squeamish and not something you see in movies made today. It's raw and brutal. There's "real" violence without a happy ending. The movie is not, however, without a touch or two of comedy that work on some level. The best of these scenes is the contact with the spirit world scene. I actually laughed out loud.


  • If you can find the Motel Hell / Deranged MGM disc, I would highly recommend it.
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8/10
instant classic
trashgang2 October 2013
This flick came out the same year as Texas Chainsaw Massacre but as TCM became an instant hit this became a creeper that slowly turned into a classic because so far up to this writing, this is the closest story to the real life events of serial killer Ed Gein. There were a lot of flicks about insane Ed, Psycho (1960) maybe also coming close but Deranged even as it isn't that gory after all tells us the story in details.

But it's also Robert Blossom (Ezra Cobb) who gave a convincing performance that made this flick watchable. Also this was Tom Savini's second flick were he did special effects. And it shows because it took years before this flick came out full uncut. By this writing it's finally out on Blu Ray worldwide in a stunning version with lots of extra's and also full uncut which means that the brain-scooping scene is here to watch.

It doesn't stand up to today's standards which Texas Chainsaw Massacre still does but it do has a few 'deranged' scene's. The blood is so typical of that era, thick red stuff running and it even runs from a nude girl hanging upside down. One of the notorious scene's and even killings of Ed Gein. Pat Orr played the full nude part and was never seen again in another flick. And I must say that she gave an excellent performance as Sally.

This flick is only watchable for freaks out there who like stories about serial killers and also for those who liked the old school horrors made just before the gore came in in the slasher era. I can't say that it's slow but the horror lays in the story itself. Worth picking up.

Gore 1/5 Nudity 0,5/5 Effects 2/5 Story 4/5 Comedy 0/5
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9/10
Deranged
Scarecrow-8817 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A film inspired by the notorious killer, Ed Gein has Roberts Blossom portraying Ezra Cobb, a man who slowly grows sociopathic after his mother dies. We see more of how Cobb becomes crazy rather than his killing which comes out towards the end.

I felt the film is completely a black comedy playing off the absurd gimmick of documentary even having a narrator popping in at times to tell us this and that about Ezra. It's straight-faced, but one can see this is supposed to be parody. I'm pretty sure many might find this film a tasteless exercise sending up a sick individual who did horrible things, but I felt the filmmakers were stating that Ed Gein was an absurd person, quite deranged and aloof. He was quite simple-minded and a shut-in from the outside world where his whole being swirled around the care of his mother. The "mother complex" one associates with Norman Bates in PSYCHO is played to the hilt here as we see Ezra seeing images of mom warning him about sin and it's curse to those who commit acts of lust. The film really has a weird vibe(as I'm sure we would all feel weird if we peered into Ed Gein's nights at homes with his dead skin and body parts..and dear old mama)once Ezra begins to bring home corpses and chats away with them believing whole-heartedly that they were quite alive. He even admits to having bodies in his house to neighbors who laugh it off as if Ezra is just joshing with them. That whole "not taking Ezra serious" attitude may've cost lives because once he admits to holding the body of a missing waitress(we see what happens to her when she tries to escape Ezra's clutches while throwing the corpses at him in desperation only to receive a femur bone to the skull)he is on a dark path to kill as many as it takes for fresh skin. The film really has only two disturbing death sequences, the waitress and a beautiful young girl, operating the register of a department store(she is the girlfriend of Ezra's neighbor's son)who almost gets away until she walks right into a bear trap her boyfriend's father just planted down.

I think what makes this such a unique experience is that the film starts as a very dark comedy showing how goofy a man completely cut-off mentally from those around him, living in his own created world, can be in a realistic way. The bodies in his home is absolutely abnormal obviously, but somehow seeing this man joyous with these lifeless shells of former people is fascinating in a sordid, sad sort of way. He never much had a chance of a normal life because of his unfortunately sheltered upbringing, specifically with how he was told by his mother that females were nothing more than sluts with disease. The film then takes a very disturbing, ominous turn once Ezra begins selecting and destroying innocent women who have no ill will towards him and seem comfortable around him.

The film lives and breathes because Blossom is absolutely convincing as an Ed Gein sociopath. I accepted completely as this strange, quiet man whose little normalcy dissolves when he wishes to preserve the corpses in his home. The film is also quite well made despite a very low budget which can often either be a hindrance or a blessing. In this film, using unfamiliar faces is indeed an asset as I felt it was as if we were watching real people in a grotesque situation no one could've imagined. I'm sure the Ed Gein situation was the same way.
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8/10
Ahh, these dominating mothers
ODDBear7 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Just watched this movie an hour ago, maybe I should watch it some more to digest it properly, but what the hey; here's what I think.

This film is said to be the most faithful to the story of Ed Gein, called here Ezra Cobb. Raised by a dominating mother, Ezra is completely socially retarded and when his mother passes away Ezra's whole world crumbles. He digs her up and pretends she is alive but as if that weren't insane enough he has to get her some companions, dig them up as well or even provide fresh corpses. While all this is going on, nobody seems to suspect Ezra despite him leaving clues (mostly comments) all around him.

Alan Ormsby's script is nothing short of superb. Seeing the black humor behind Ed Gein's story, he incorporates it with great success. Apparently Gein showed his collection of corpses to children and told townspeople that he was more or less responsible for these actions, nobody believed him, quite simply thinking of him as eccentric and probably with a weird sense of humor. Ormsby (who also shares co-directing billing here) includes many downright hilarious scenes where Ezra (brilliantly played by Blosom) admits to his doings and isn't taken seriously.

The nasty bits are also all too well depicted. The movie is gruesome with some startling gore and some very disturbing moments showing the extent of Cobb's mania. When showing off his skills to a soon-to-be victim his collection of "man-made" objects, like a banjo made of human flesh... well, I just get the creeps. But nothing packs more of a wallup than the final scene where Ezra hunts down his last victim. This is shocking stuff indeed, and it's all true.

Orsmby, who also penned the excellent Deathdream, cooks up one hell of a story depicting one of the most notorious maniacs ever. By focusing largely on the humorous aspects the story the film is all the more memorable, but it's not for the squeamish.

I think it could be a little longer though, 80 minutes sure go by fast.
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7/10
Newcomers to the horror genre will want to give it a look.
Hey_Sweden14 July 2015
"Deranged" is a classic rural shocker that stars the excellent character actor Roberts Blossom as Ezra Cobb - Ez, to his friends. Ez goes off the deep end when his beloved mother (Cosette Lee) dies. He can't bear to be apart from her, so he brings her corpse home from the cemetery. Realizing that her body is in bad shape, he starts robbing other graves to help treat her body the best that it can be treated; he also brings home corpses for the "company".

Blossoms' superior performance, which enables one to sympathize, as much as is possible, with this insane person, makes this a must see. It's also noteworthy for being one of the earliest makeup effects credits for a young Tom Savini. Also on the makeup crew is the screenwriter Alan Ormsby. Ormsby and his co-director, Jeff Gillen, were associates of the filmmaker Bob Clark; they'd also done "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things" and "Dead of Night" together. While the pacing is awfully slow at times, Ormsby and Gillen give "Deranged" wonderful rural atmosphere.

The makeup effects on this show are pretty good for low budget fare; fans will be pleased to note that the recent Blu-ray release includes a long excised scene of eye / brain scooping.

Ormsby based his screenplay on the real life exploits of the notorious Ed Gein, and apparently this version has been one of the most faithful to the true story for over 40 years now. Buffs, of course, are already aware that Gein also inspired such favourites as "Psycho", "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre", and "The Silence of the Lambs".

The supporting cast - Robert Warner, Marcia Diamond, Robert McHeady ("Cannibal Girls"), Marian Waldman (the original "Black Christmas") - are good, but this is almost entirely Blossoms' show.

Some people take issue with the presence of the newspaperman / narrator character Tom Sims (Leslie Carlson, "Videodrome"), which admittedly is not really a necessary element.

Good stuff overall, but the ending is awfully abrupt.

Seven out of 10.
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10/10
I wish I had seen this film first!
catfish-er22 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I am so glad I started watching MOTEL HELL on AMC. I was reading the comments on IMDb; and, most of them said the AMC version was cut; and, the DVD was better.

As such, I stopped watching AMC; and, went to Amazon.com, to buy the DVD. I found MOTEL HELL and DERANGED paired as an MGM Midnight Movies Double Feature.

I read the comments about DERANGED; and, found out that this film is based on the life of deranged psychopath Edward Gein. That's the same story that inspired such horror classics as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho and Silence of the Lambs!

I like the documentary approach employed, the characterizations are perfect, as are the sets and locations.

I have read up on Ed Gein; and, I think this story is a lot closer to what actually happened than in any of the films it influenced. I wish I had seen this film first!

Having just watched DERANGED, fairly soon after seeing Texas CHAIN SAW MASSACRE: NEXT GENERATION on cable, I can finally answer the question, "why has Leatherface become a whiny little transvestite?"

It's because he's based on Ed Gein, who wore womens' skin, to transform himself!
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Ultimate Creep-Out
dougdoepke16 August 2015
What a creep-out. I'll bet even Gein himself would cringe at this. I don't know who Roberts Blossom is, but his slobbering mouth merits some kind of acting award. In my many years of viewing, I've never seen a weirder guy given so much screen time. But then his cadaverous frame and skeletal face are perfect for the role. Based loosely on the demented obsessions of 1950's Ed Gein, the movie really delivers the goods. (So why the disclaimer about no intended relation to persons living or dead, when everything indicates Gein. For legal purposes, I guess.)

The girls may be prettied up, but nothing else is. Those desolate rural settings underline the desolation of Ezra's's state of mind. No wonder he goes nutzoid. Though not played up, the real Gein apparently decorated his house interiors with human skin stolen from graveyards. But then the movie has enough to do with outfitting rotten corpses at the dinner table. And that's the horror-fest's weakest point. The death masks and skin effects are cheaply and poorly done. Then too, I've got mixed feelings about that sadistic chase scene at the end, but I guess they figured a bang-up climax was needed. And they got it, but in a stomach churning way. Surprisingly, this cheapo is very competently made, from the performances to the direction to the photography. All in all, I can see why it's apparently become a cult classic. And, oh yes, I won't be traveling in the woods anytime soon, thank goodness. Nor, for that matter, do I expect to see Blossom in a Hollywood picture book, though he certainly merits it.
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8/10
Creepy low budget horror based on Ed Gein
dworldeater5 January 2013
Deranged is a very low budget , but very effective and extremely creepy horror movie based on Wisconson serial killer Ed Gein. Other horror movies and thrillers have been loosely based on Ed Gein 's exploits , such as Psycho, Silence Of The Lambs and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.(which was released the same year as Deranged ) Deranged is heavily based on Ed Gein and is a character study of his psychosis and downward spiral. Ezra as he is called here is played wonderfully by Robert Blossom as he loses his mind after his mother 's death.Ezra goes from bad to worst from digging up women's graves to murder. This is far from as gory or extreme as the filmmakers can go with this. However, I found this to be very disturbing and creepy with a touch of dark humor for good measure. Definitely well done and I'm sure Deranged shocked audiences on its release in 1974.Great film.
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1/10
Hor rible.
valstone5210 March 2020
This has to be the most stupid movie that I have ever seen. I know this had to be made as a joke. Bad so called accents and badder so called acting.
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6/10
Porto-Slasher
BandSAboutMovies27 October 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Man, Alan Ormsby has done so much. In addition to working with Bob Clark on Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things and Death Dream, he wrote My Bodyguard and the remake of Cat People. Plus, he was the original director of Popcorn and the man behind Kenner's Hugo: Man of a Thousand Faces action figure.

He's the man behind Deranged, along with Jeff Gillen, who played Jeff in Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things and who you can see every Christmas Eve as Santa Claus in A Christmas Story.

Deranged is filmed as if it were a true story, with reporter Tom Simms (Leslie Carlson, Black Christmas) appearing within the events and narrating them. The whole thing was based on Ed Gein, the infamous real life Butcher of Plainfield, Wisconsin that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Psycho are both based on.

It was produced by producer Tom Karr, a concert promoter for bands like Led Zeppelin and Three Dog Night who had been fascinated with Ed Gein and dreamed of making a film about his story.

Ezra Cobb (Roberts Blossom, Old Man Marley in Home Alone, how's that for a scary tie-in role?) is our Ed Gein stand-in, running a midwest farm with his mother Amanda (Cosette Lee, who played Raxl, Daughter of the Priestess of the Serpent on Strange Paradise, a Canadian occult soap opera created in the wake of Dark Shadows). Since he was a boy, she's taught him to hate women.

Once she dies, it takes a year for him to come out of his shell. When he finally snaps to it, he does what any loving and grieving son would do: he digs his mom up and puts her body together with fish skin and wax.

Ezra gets involved with an eccentric older woman who claims she's psychic named Maureen Shelby (Marian Waldman, Mrs. MacHenry from Black Christmas, and if you don't know who that is, please stop reading and start watching). They have a fumbling sexual encounter that ends with Ezra killing her and we're off to the races.

Ezra's next target is Mary Ransum (Mickie Moore, who is also in The Vindicator and is one of the Believers in, yes, The Believers), a waitress who he lures home, knocks out and dresses in just her underwear for dinner. Their nice meal is ruined by her trying to run, so he smashes her head with a femur bone. And then he takes out young Sally, which leads the police to his home, where they find him in the kitchen, enjoying a bowl of blood after skinning her.

Deranged is not an easy watch, as its subtitle, Confessions of a Necrophile, will tell you. It's also the second movie - after Deathdream - that Tom Savini ever worked his special effects magic on.
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7/10
A Great Telling of the Ed Gein Story
gavin694224 June 2007
Ezra Cobb (Roberts Blossom) loves his mother and is intimated by women. When his mother dies, he still hears her voice and decides to keep her around the house. But he does not want his mother to get lonely and has to get her some new friends...

Blossom is amazing as Ezra Cobb. You can say what you want about this film, but one thing you cannot say is that Blossom is a horrible actor -- he made Cobb come to life and seem as believable as such a character could be. Cobb, being the movie version of Ed Gein, is more or less exactly the way I picture Gein being. Blossom's facial expressions make this whole picture worthwhile.

I would like to commend them for the faithful version of this story. So many people take the Ed Gein story and add all these elements to it or just take a grain of it and run wild (as in "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" or "Silence of the Lambs"). While not all of this movie is factually what happened in Gein's life, the similarities are quite striking -- right down to the death of the hardware store clerk and the gutting of the woman like a deer.

Although this film is now almost forty years old, almost nothing is lost from the passage of time. In some ways, the film quality really adds to the setting (the story could only take place in the past). Another great feature is the narrator, who enters the story at random intervals to do an overview of the situation. Not only is he great, but watch the camera -- in one scene, the camera leaves Ezra in one room, goes to the narrator, and returns to Ezra in another room, in a seamless fashion (no cuts or edits) and visually showing the passage of time. It is quite well put together.

For a great Gein film, check this out. Whether Tobe Hooper admits to it or not, I do not know, but he owes a debt to this film (much as John Carpenter owes a debt to the late Bob Clark -- who coincidentally produced this). This film is plotted wonderfully, acted wonderfully, and flows wonderfully. With one small detail changed (the plastic looking blood) this would probably be considered a lost classic. Heck, maybe it already should be. (Okay, and maybe we should not be able to read the license plate saying Ontario.)

For a bonus: not only is the legendary Bob Clark an uncredited producer, but Tom Savini worked as a makeup artist for the film's corpses. This was Savini's first film, and the undisputed horror effects master is still going stronger today.
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8/10
Not for the faint
virtthemaest2 September 2005
DERANGED

"The Butcher of Woodside" Ezra took care of his Bed ridden mother for years. After his mother suffered a Stroke and was paralyzed waist down, Ezra brought her downstairs and closed of upstairs so he can be closer to her. For 12 years he slept at her doorway. Waiting on her feeding, bathing her, reading to her and comforting her. To his Neighbors he was a devoted son. But that devotion massed a Growing psychosis which came to the surface when his mother died.

Ezra, Believes he has left his mother alone. Ezra can not accept his mother's death. He visited her grave 4 – 5 times a week, dreams about her, writes letters to her He feels completely lost and alone without her. His loneliness, his despair!

If he misses her so much he should bring her home, He should be ashamed of him self! Shame! Leaving her all alone. Almost a year now, all alone in the dark! All alone.

So the tail goes like this, Ezra brought her home. Returning to Waiting on her, feeding her, bathing her, reading to her and comforting her. .

I'm giving this film an 8 for Completely disturbing surrealism
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7/10
Before The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, there was Deranged.
dantedammit66725 March 2020
This cult film is one of the many great proto-slasher films that changed the horror genre forever. The film is a nearly forgotten docudrama that is truly one if the creepiest films to come out of the 70's. It's hilarious black humor balances well with the disturbing aura the film exudes. Roberts Blossom stands out as the tragic protagonist Ezra Cobb, who's this film's depiction of real life necrophilie Ed Gein. Gein is infamous for inspiring many horror films such as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Psycho, but it seems that Deranged is often forgotten. I find this disappointing because this is one of the more unsettling films to really capture the crimes of Ed Gein very well. This is a must watch for horror fans everywhere.
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8/10
The First Movie Inspired By Ed Gein
jimcarter19592 December 2019
If I were just grading on creepiness, it would earn a "10". Make no mistake, this is horror, but there were a few laugh out loud moments.
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