Deranged (1974): The Ed Gein Film that Time Forgot
Almost everyone has seen Tobe Hooper’s 1974 classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. And even if they haven’t, most still know two things about the movie. The first is that it includes some crazy killer with a chainsaw named Leatherface. The second is that it is based on the true story of Ed Gein – but only loosely. For those looking to watch a film a bit more accurate that also happens to be from 1974, I have one word for you: Deranged.
While Hooper’s film took an approach more rooted in monster movies than reality, Jeff Gillen and Alan Ormsby’s film took a more restrained approach to Gein. Instead of being a massive, hulking beast, the killer in Deranged is, well, just an ordinary-looking, simple guy. In the film, Roberts Blossom plays Ezra Cobb, a farmer with some serious Mommy Issues. Once his mother passes away, Ezra slowly delves deeper into insanity, going so far as to dig up her body and return it to their country home.
But that’s just the beginning of it.
Ezra, whose mother had demonized sexual relationships, begins to hunt down the women of the town and bring them home to join his mother. They join her at the dinner table; a similar scene will be shown two years later in Hooper’s film. Ezra is a born outsider; to the common person about town, he is looked upon with pity. He’s just a simple man, maybe one that’s a little strange, but nothing too harmless. Or so they think!
The beauty of this film is how they portray Ezra Cobb. It’s a strange situation Deranged puts us in, and Blossom sharpens the idea of the pitiful, lonely outsider to a sharpened point. He does, in a way, come off as innocent. He’s confused, maybe a little scared, and not fully accepted by the outside world. He is controlled by his domineering mother, even after death, and cannot accept her passing. While Gunnar Hansen would play a monster who is maybe just as pitiful, there seems to be something much eviler under his dried, unnatural skin.
Deranged is unique in terms of its presentation, something that has rarely been done ever since. With a soundtrack consisting only of a haunting funeral organ, a news reporter walks us through the story of Ezra Cobb, narrating us through Cobb’s sick and demented scenes of murder and lost hope. Set against a snowy, isolated backdrop, the film seems isolated and bone chilling. That, mixed with an unsettling sense of black humor, makes the movie more than worth your watch.
If that’s not enough to get you interested, how does the involvement of Tom Savini sound? While his work here will pale in comparison to the grandiose expositions of bloodshed that he will master later in his career, it is nothing short of phenomenal to view a more primitive form of his effects wizardry. It’s not a particularly gory film, but there are plenty of macabre sequences nonetheless. Cobb’s decaying mother looks especially disgusting in this film, and Savini is the brains behind it.
So…what happened? Why did The Texas Chain Saw Massacre completely overshadow this film, when Deranged came out in the same year? For one thing, the unconventional faux-documentary style would surely have to do with it. It’s a much quieter and more reserved film, with sick humor sprinkled throughout. The full name of the movie undoubtedly affected the draw for the common moviegoer as well, with the full title being called Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile.
This isn’t a debate as to which film is better. That appears to be a moot point, as both are phenomenal. For whatever reason, the simple fact remains that one took the horror world by storm and the other did not. There is no reason to really compare one to the other, except possibly in terms of source material. And in that regard, Deranged is simply more accurate. Whether that makes it a better film is up to you.
The film would have a short release and then disappear for about a decade when underground horror fans would begin to write and speak up about the movie. In 1994 movie would get a home video release, but it would only make a small splash in the gigantic, bloody ocean that is horror cinema. This tiny little independent film is still relatively unknown today.
This may sound controversial, but I believe that many – not all, but a good number of them – “hidden gems” in this genre were hidden for a reason; not really gems. I do not believe that Deranged is in the same caliber as the films that fall into the “false gem” category. It’s a little rough, a little clumsy, but it has a charm that few other horror films have ever been able to capture. Seek this movie out and watch it on the next moonlit night.
John Wick in Development for a Sequel and a Video Game
John Wick 4 was a complete blast and the ending pointed at the odd fact that John Wick might actually be… dead. I didn’t believe it for a second. Not John Wick. The dude is a tank. Lionsgate has already greenlit development for a John Wick 5.
That isn’t all the studio has in store though. It also appears that we will receive a big triple-A game based on the Baba Yaga.
“What is official is that, as you know, Ballerina is the first spinoff that comes out next year,” President of Lionsgate Joe Drake said, “We’re in development on three others, including and including television series, “The Continental”, will be airing soon. And so, we’re building out the world and when that fifth movie comes, will be organic — will be organically grown out of how we’re starting to tell those stories. But you can rely on a regular cadence of John Wick.”
In addition to those awesome projects, we also have The Continental TV spinoff coming and a whole new Ballerina film based on the assassins introduced in John Wick 3.
The synopsis for John Wick 4 went like this:
With the price on his head ever increasing, legendary hit man John Wick takes his fight against the High Table global as he seeks out the most powerful players in the underworld, from New York to Paris to Japan to Berlin.
Are you guys excited about a John Wick 5 and a full-on, shoot-em-up video game based on Wick? Let us know in the comments section.
Tim Burton Documentary Features Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp, and Other Regulars
Tim Burton will always be a part of horror for us. He has a page indexed here and we love it. From Beetlejuice to Ed Wood the director has broken the mold time and time again. A documentary focused on Burton is headed to Cannes this year and will feature all of the director’s co-conspirators in action.
The four-part documentary features Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Jenna Ortega, composer Danny Elfman, Christopher Walken, Danny DeVito, Mia Wasikowska, and Christoph Waltz. All of these awesome actors to talk about their time with Burton.
“Tim continues to build his aesthetic, the Burton-esque style, derived from a wealth of art, cinematic, and literary genres,” the release says “The documentary explores how Burton brings his vision to life through his own joyous idiosyncrasy and his ability to meld the ominous and the frightful with a sense of whimsy. Tim’s films are just the tip of the iceberg.”
The documentary will take us through Burton’s life and many adored films.
Are you excited to see Burton’s documentary? Let us know in the comments section.
‘The Last of Us’ Fans Have a Really Long Wait Till Second Season
The Last of Us was a big hit with fans. It brought in both fans of the game as well as new fans entirely. It managed to give gut punches in the feels and still managed to create a terrifying experience. That’s great and all but the long wait for fans isn’t going to be an easy one.
While the writers strike wages on and the powers that be drag their heels to give the writers the wages that they should be getting paid, it is not an easy ride for fans.
The Last of Us was already going to take a year at the minimum to get back to season 2 premiere. But with the writers strike in action those timelines have been pushed even further back.
Writer, Francesca Orsi of The Last of Us says that it looks like at the moment there could be a 2025 date in mind… and that is saying everything does work out.
“We will have to assess what is the end of the ’24 schedule, what are the shows that are going to be delivered for 2025. At this point, those shows that I’m looking to air wouldn’t necessarily be ready if this strike lasts six to nine months. So yes, that’s a big question for us, but I think we’ll cross that road once we come to it.” Orsi said.
We are all at the mercy of the writers and the hands that need to feed them. So, the wait could get really long depending on the amount of greed that the folks in charge have.
What do you think about the long wait for a second season of The Last of Us? Let us know in the comments section.