Friday, March 6, 2009
Day Thirty-Five: Deranged (1974) - Rank 2/5
When it was originally released, the film was billed to be based off of a true story (hey, what film isn't these days) - the story of Ed Gein. It's amazing how many films borrowed information from one of the most infamous serial killer cases in American history: "Psycho," "It," "Maniac," "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Three on a Meathook," etc. So by the time 1974 rolled around, "Deranged" was treading on familiar turf. However, I will give the film this: it's far more accurate than those of the same ilk. Roberts Blossom has the same, basic visage of Ed Gein, the manner in which the murders take place are fair recreations, and even the farm home appears to have been built as a direct replica of Gein's.
Regrettably, the pacing crawls at 82 minutes. Apart from a high degree of intended, historical replication and Blossom's scenery chewing, the film doesn't have many redeeming qualities. The only reason to watch the film is the performance Blossom puts forward as the lonely farmer, Ezra Cobb (for those unfamiliar with Blossom, I will name one role of his and then you'll know who he is - the creepy neighbor from "Home Alone"...there you go...).
It seems like he's the only one having fun on the set, playing up the role very tongue-in-geek, be it spooning blood back into his dead mother's mouth to ranting how you can always trust a fat woman. All this while everyone around him plays it straight. That juxtaposition makes the film darkly humorous enough to enjoy but Blossom does what it takes to make the film work (within its limits, that is...).
Watch the Trailer