Crazy For Feelin’ So Lonely

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The incredibly strange case of Ed Gein has been deeply influential on modern horror for over half a century: Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence Of The Lambs…they all took bits and pieces of Gein’s complex madness to create their characters…but Deranged, made by the sickies who brought you Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and Deathdream, Alan Ormsby and Jeff Gillen…and with early FX by the Sultan of Splat, Tom Savini…was perhaps the first to tell the actual story as close to the truth as possible. Roberts Blossom (Stephen King fans will recognize him as the guy who sells Christine to Arnie) is the Gein character Ezra Cobb, a devoted mama’s boy and sexually repressed weirdo who is so shattered by his mother’s death that he digs up her corpse and keeps it around the house, often conversing with it. It’s never totally explained why he becomes a cannibal serial killer, often wearing the skin of his victims and making arts and crafts out of their leftover scraps…maybe there is no explanation, other than pure madness…but I think at the root of it, much like Jeffrey Dahmer explained his crimes decades later, is loneliness and fear of abandonment that drove these men to such unbelievable acts of depravity. Deranged is uncompromisingly creepy and morbid…but also shot through with pitch-black humor…which one would have to inject into such a story in order to get through it with their sanity intact…

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