The film is based on true events behind some early seventies serial killer. Only the character name is fictional, Ezre Cobb. A US farm worker. A loner with an unhealthy obsession with his mother in life and death.
The obsession is unlike Kenneth Williams. Comedy this film ain't.
Cobb comforts his dying mother and psychologically scarred brings her home. Quite literally several months later in a decomposed state from her resting place.
Roberts Blossom plays the main character of the film. He looks the part. A creepy little character.
Background music from church organs adds to the creepy atmosphere.
Cobb starts to recover other decomposing bodies for 'spare' body parts to try and fix his rotting mother.
Cobb soon turns his attentions to living females with his dead mothers anti-female thoughts in his head. Si the gruesome serial killings begin.
The film provides a different angle to similar films of the genre like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and even Silence Of The Lambs nearly 20 years later.
The low budget and creepy music add to the sense of gruesomeness as the film develops.
Yet another film unlikely to fill the schedules on mainstream TV schedules.
Roberts Blossom tries his hardest to be scary as Ezra Cobb but his performance comes off as being more camp than anything else.
The murder sequences, although there are only a couple, are handled very well and contain a fair amount of suspense even though the gore is quite low. The movie tells the Gein story quite well and the highlight performance has to come from the actress who plays his mother.
Being a low budget movie, the soundtrack is very limited and it often plays the same portion of music over and over which can become quickly annoying but this is nothing new from low budget horror films of this era.
It's worth seeking out if you are curious about the Ed Gein case or are a Roberts Blossom fan.
The remarkable thing is that the first half of the movie is unintentionally hilarious, and I fell in love with it almost immediately. Roberts Blossom gives what could be the most memorable performance os his career as Ezra Robb. It's demented and hysterical, sometimes at the same time. Still, my favorite actor in the film was Leslie Carlson as the narrator. He pops up from time to time to intone serious plot details in a wonderfully serious monotone. Every drive-in movie from the '70's should be so lucky to have him.
There is actually one unnerving scene in which a waitress stumbles into Blossom's room of horror and discovers him in his flesh suit. It legitimately works, and from that scene forward the film becomes more serious. I actually found myself involved in this story rather than simply laughing at the campy acting and silly dialogue. I honestly began to make the movie seriously, and it builds to a climax that is frankly kind of suspenseful.
The make-up effects by a young Tom Savini shows promise, and "Deranged" is something of a mixed bag that is ultimately worth watching. It's funny, sometimes creepy and always oddly captivating.