Blu-Ray Review: Deranged

Published on September 3rd, 2013 in: Blu-Ray, Current Faves, DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews, Horror, Retrovirus |

By Brad Henderson

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Most people know names like Dahmer, Manson, Gacy, and Bundy, but one name always seems to slip under the radar when serial killers are mentioned: Ed Gein. Some might think that name sounds familiar; most people know of the films The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, and Silence of the Lambs. All were inspired by the slayings of Ed Gein and his weird, emotionally f-freaking-uped mind.

Arrow Films recently released a film called Deranged. It is also based on Gein’s life and comes pretty close to the actual storyline. Even for 1974, Deranged pushes all sorts of limits; it has a dark and unexpectedly twisted side. About midway through the film it takes a turn into the unknown, into the psyche of Ed Gein. We get to see his disturbed mind from the inside out.

Other films have tried to superficially depict Gein’s tale. In Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Leatherface wears human skin and dresses up as a woman; in Psycho, Norman Bates is his own mother (spoiler alert); and in Silence Of The Lambs, Hannibal Lecter eats human flesh. These films pick only one or two characteristics but never invest themselves into the mind of the actual killer.

Deranged dives right in and we nearly drown with it.

Arrow Films has prepared a magnificent release and has blessed us with many special. They were sick enough to bring in the brain-scooping scene in this uncut marvel. There is a delightful introduction with Tom Savini who served as a make-up artist on the film (and who also proves a audio commentary). There are three awesome featurettes on this disc that are worth the price. A “Blossoming Brilliance,” a featurette with director Scott Spiegel (Intruder) who speaks about the film and its impact. “Ed Gein: From Murderer to Movies” includes the creepy Laurence R. Harvey from Human Centipede II and goes into depth about the real serial killer and how he haunted Wisconsin. “Wages Of Sin,” a making-of featurette, is the weakest of the three, but still pretty neat because it includes remastered production footage and an interview with the co-director, Jeff Gillen.

Just like all Arrow releases that I have watched, everything is pretty radical. This is the best that Deranged has ever looked. I would include sound as well but there isn’t a whole lot to judge that on since the film was cheap to begin with and the sound design wasn’t a big part of the film.

Keep in mind that this release of Deranged is a Region-B “locked” Blu-Ray, which means you must have a native Region-B PS3 or SA to watch it.

Deranged was released by Arrow Films on August 19.

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