Synopsis by Cavett Binion
Unlike its contemporary The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and predecessor Psycho -- both of which were very loosely based on the gruesome antics of notorious Wisconsin killer/graverobber Ed Gein, who killed, skinned, devoured or made furniture out of his many victims in the late '50s -- this gritty, disturbing and underrated production purports to be a semi-accurate account of Gein's crimes. Roberts Blossom turns in a frighteningly effective performance as Ezra Cobb, the crusty old farmer with unique decorating ideas, an intense interest in the occult, and a decidedly unhealthy attachment to his domineering mother, whose body he preserves after her death. When evenings with his stuffed mom prove less than comforting, Cobb goes into town to seek young female victims whose corpses he uses for a variety of grisly household projects. Exiled in distribution limbo for 20 years, Deranged was available only in severely-cut prints, missing much of the film's goriest footage (which featured the early work of makeup maestro Tom Savini), although a pristine uncut print briefly surfaced in the mid-'90s.
cannibal, corpse, farmer, serial-killer, abuse, furniture, insanity, investigation, mother, murder, parent/child-relationship, taxidermy, Oedipus-Complex, revenge, incest, middle-age