Deranged (1974)

“Remember what I’ve always told you: The wages of sin is gonorrhea, syphilis and death.” A grave robber, necrophile and serial killer, “Ezra Cobb” (Roberts Blossom) isn’t exactly the life of the party. Let’s face it, this guy has some serious issues! When his beloved, religious-fanatic mother, “Cosette” (Amanda Cobb) dies, Ezra starts feeling a little lonely and useless around the house. His solution? Dig his mother up from the cemetery and return her to the rundown farmhouse (in his deluded state he actually believes that she’s still alive). Soon he starts digging up other bodies in order to use parts to patch his poor mother’s body together (he treats the obituary section of the local newspaper like its the menu at the local diner). Before you know it he’s got enough bodies around the house to have a tea party (yes there is some very dark humor in this flick if you haven’t guessed already!). Then Cobb’s motives become even more sinister as he embarks on a killing spree. Directed by Alan Ormsby and Jeff Gillen, Deranged (AKA Deranged: The Confessions of a Necrophile) was based on the notorious Ed Gein case. You might recognize Blossom as “Doc” from the 1979 Clint Eastwood film Escape from Alcatraz (the prisoner who chops off his fingers with a hatchet after the warden revokes his painting privileges) and as “Old Man Marley” in Home Alone (1990). A word of warning: I wouldn’t categorize this as a “first date movie.” Probably not a great idea to plop this DVD in if you’re planning a romantic evening with your new girlfriend. Useless Trivia: Believe it or not, Harvey Keitel reportedly auditioned for the role of “Ezra Cobb.”

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