Deranged (1974)


Up until Chuck Parello’s 2000 film “Ed Gein” (a.k.a. “In the Light of the Moon”), this 1974 trash-fest, “Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile”, was the most factual cinematic depiction of Gein’s life and crimes. Kind of odd considering it is flagrantly inaccurate and oftentimes downright goofy.


Roberts Blossom plays the Gein equivalent, under a new name, whose wildly religious, untrusting, overbearing, sickly bitch mother dies and leaves the reclusive weirdo to sulk and grieve over her for a year. That is, until he then starts hearing her voice commanding him to dig her up and bring her home. Turns out mother is a little ripe and decomposed at this point, so sonny boy gets the idea of digging up other old broads from the cemetery and using their parts to “repair” dear ol’ mother. Eventually, at the request of his pitying friends and neighbors, he meets up with a woman who is mourning the death of her late husband and it seems like a match made in heaven since she is also a delusional nutjob who claims to speak to the deceased. Unfortunately, his mental illness flairs up and he kills her, thus sparking a spree of kidnapping and murder.

I hadn’t seen “Deranged” in quite a few years and kinda forgot how comical it is. A lot of people peg this one as being disturbing and truthful, but it really isn’t. “Deranged” is really just going for the ‘shocking horror’ angle, as apposed to some kind of biopic by embellishing a lot of shit to make it more exciting because – as bizarre and heinous as Gein’s exploits were – they really weren’t all that “exciting”. Hence, this film has him digging up his dead mother and keeping her at the farmhouse (something Gein never did), dating a loony fat chick and abducting and killing MUCH younger women then the elderly ladies he actually targeted. This stuff works, however, in a gritty 70s hillbilly-horror sense and IS relatively entertaining and sometimes pretty funny. The whole pointless seance scene and the fact that he and his mother were so centered on what a fat heffer Maureen Selby was and how she is surly trustworthy due to her obesity. Personally, I kind of agree andgenerally tend to trust the fatties over the hot chicks, although my penis usually disagrees.


Blossom is certainly the highlight of the film, in all his wild-eyed, twitchy-faced lunacy. He definitely pulls off the awkward psychopathic introvert with great verve and is quite creepy at times.

Not a whole lot of gore or nudity on tap here. A little bit, but it’s pretty much saved for the tail end and is nothing spectacular. I guess there’s an unchopped version in which a severed head is dissected in one scene. Could’ve probably used a little more nastiness and sleaze, anyways, as far as I’m concerned and could’ve done without the narrator walking into the scene and describing the plot. It was a bit disruptive and kinda corny, in my opinion. Otherwise, I’d give “Deranged” a moderate recommendation. Don’t expect total accuracy on Gein’s life, but enjoy it for it’s 70s horror charm.


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