This movie may never get out from under the shadow of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which came out the same year and was also inspired by the notorious Ed Gein. And it’s too bad, because this is a terrific flick. Like TCM, it is very low-budget and raw, which gives both films a ‘cinema verite’ feeling. Deranged is more a character study than TCM, with Robert Blossoms delivering a wonderfully creepy performance as the Gein-like Ezra Cobb. The music is also very effective, a non-melodic cross between David Lynch sound design and moody Mark Snow music. My favorite sequence is the plight of a would-be victim named Mary, as she attempts her escape from Ezra’s nightmarish home. The film also features a solid finale that makes great use of freeze-frame and slow-motion. The only element I didn’t care for was the inclusion of a reporter who pops up from time to time to narrate. The narration doesn’t add to the movie, and often pokes a hole in the movie’s otherwise enveloping sense of doom.
Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)