Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Deranged Directed By Alan Ormsby & Jeff Gillen. Starring Robert Blossum (1974)
   Alan Ormby is a fascinating character that gets stranger the more information I find, he wrote Deranged, Death Dream, acted in and wrote Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things, created Hugo The Man of 1000 Faces; the inspiration for The Love Butcher and invented the peanut butter blood recipe (that no one really uses, so strike one)! I had his incredible book on Monster movie lighting and effects in elementary school (click here). It really goes into cheap lighting and creepy make-up two attributes that really make Deranged a fun time!
   Ormsby is not really that highly regarded or cared about, mostly Tom Savini and Bob Clark get all the credit for Deranged (I’m even guilty of that, I mean the effects in this are phenomenal)! Ormsby gets eclipsed, especially in the light of super talented genius' like Clark and Savini, but he's no slouch either!
   Deranged is one of the most accurate portrayals of the Ed Gein story (nothing is obscured or loosely based on, it’s the real deal), like on Dragnet though, only the names have been changed to protect the cannibalistic. There’s a Rod Serling type narrator played by Les Carlson (Black Christmas, Videodrome) who oversteps his boundaries and even shows up wedged in between Ezra and his mother’s corpse at one point.
Does anyone have any Febreze?
   Robert Blossum (Christine, Escape From Alcatraz) does a top notch job of playing Ezra Cobb, the mother-fixated grave robbing, skin wearing butcher of Woodside. There’s a disturbing level of black comedy that borders on the ghastly, often erasing some of the gags that half work. The reality of Ed Gein is worse than anything all copy cat films could have put together combined. Read the hideous details in the Harold Schechter book Deviant, it's a nice companion piece to this film, because it really illustrates the madness that went on in the kitchen, (collected skull bowls,earlobes and dried out genitals) and Gein’s warped mind.
   Ez is pretty much an insane retard with the mind of a child and would boast about his grave robbings, telling all the dumb farmers about his crimes, but of course no one took him seriously. His domineering fanatical Christian mother quickly dies right in the beginning as Ezra shovels pea soup down her gullet, she looks like the withered corpse of George Washington. I had a certain level of sympathy for Ezra Cobb (for some godawful reason,)! as he helplessly watches his mother croak.   There’s an eerie moment as he exhumes his mother’s grave and is relieved to find her cryptic smile in the blackness, staring back at him, then moments later he is repulsed as the reality strikes and her decaying flesh pulls away like melted green soap.
suddenly I'm gettin a hankering for some Quaker Oats
   It gets progressively weirder from then on and all sympathy that I may have had shuts off like a tourniquet, as Ez begins his gleefully murderous rampage! Cashiers, waitresses and chubby psychics fall victim to this redneck dressed in the sewn up butchered skin of his mother (his flesh suit looks oddly familiar to the Bill Moseley character later seen in House Of A 1000 Corpses, to me at least)!
Do I smell like limburger or headcheese, I can't tell?
   The same theme of all women are sluts and should die horribly because “Jesus approves” is the message conveyed and carried out by Ezra and the rotten corpse of his self-deluded and crazed religious fanatic mother. There’s a dinner scene Leatherface would be proud to attend with all of Ez’s victims present as a poor waitress in her underwear is tied to a chair, this film mixes a little Chainsaw Massacre in with it’s Norman Bates. This one predates Chainsaw, but I doubt there was an influence, I think it was purely coincidental. Deranged attempts to cover all bases and is sinister in a fun, campy, ghoulish manner and to me is one of the best portrayals of the Ed Gein story. Bob Clark produced this uncredited and it was filmed in Canada (most of the cars have Ontario plates). The trailer is great too! This was a film swallowed up by the vortex of Netflix Stream-aggedon, but thankfully its available on a cheap DVD double feature that includes Motel Hell.
Plaidstallions info on the HUGO puppet.
Get a room!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...