Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent Arrow disc, 23 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Deranged [Dual Format Blu-ray + DVD] (Blu-ray)
In between the unbelievably tiresome Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Thing [DVD] [1972] [US Import] and the wonderful and unconventional familial Vietnam zombie horror-drama Deathdream [DVD] [1974] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC], producing duo Bob Clark and Alan Ormsby made this picture. Clark did not direct this one but produced it (uncredited), but it shares Deathdream's wonderful small town ambience and ingenious use of a low-budget to add to the intimate atmosphere. What sets it apart from both Deathdream and Children...is a distinct lack of supernatural elements. This film, in case you did not know, is based on the real life nutter and sometime-killer Ed Gein, who also inspired Psycho, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Silence of the Lambs and many more movie crazies. Unlike most, this film presents an extremely faithful version of the story so while it may not be as good of a movie as any of those (it's not, frankly), it is VERY good none the less and is easily the most honest.

Using very simple elegant cinematography and a repeating Christian hymn on church organ as it's aesthetic, the film manages to also play with mood in a way that some may find disrespectful but shouldn't. Black comedy in this film is NEVER at the expense of a victim or real crime, but rather the absurdity of an OBVIOUSLY CRAZY person in the midst of a town who (as Gein really did) repeatedly confesses the bizarre and deeply abhorrent things he is doing only to be met with ridicule and dismissal. Frankly, the real case was pretty absurd too!

I didn't bother looking at the DVD but the Blu-ray here is wonderful - very natural, slightly grainy transfer of either a very high quality print or the original interpositive. The sound is lossless two channel stereo and sounds fantastic.
Extras include an intro and commentary by Mr Tom Savini (engaging and charming as always, though I've heard much of it before in other anecdotal scenarios and in his books), a kind of behind-the-scenes thing with archive footage of the director, a deeply awkward interview with Scott Spiegel (writer of the classic Evil Dead 2, director of the not-so-classics "From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money" and "Hostel III") where he now appears to be a witch, an interview with the guy from Human Centipede 2, a trailer and a stills gallery plus the usual reversible sleeve (new art is great and may lure new punters and those who prefer it, but the original poster art is the way to go for me!) and booklet (one of their best so far - 40 excellent pages!).

Overall this is THE definitive release of this classic. The only possible extras that could give another release even a remote edge is an Alan Ormsby commentary but that doesn't seem likely.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Aug 2013 11:13:06 BDT
Good review. Just to point out Scott Spiegel did not direct Hatchet III but did direct Hostel: Part III

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Sep 2013 18:05:33 BDT
A. Moncrieff says:
Whoops, amended!
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