Deranged (1974) [UK] Blu-ray Review

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(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Disc and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.)

The Film

[Rating:3/5]

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Ostensibly a horror film, 1974’s Deranged is a darkly comedic and violent retelling of notorious 1950s Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein, the man who also inspired Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Unlike these those two films, however, Deranged is meant to be a somewhat accurate account of the macabre events surrounding Gein’s murderous exploits, complete with somewhat off-putting interjections by a reporter as narrator to the events.

Roberts Blossoms puts in an effective performance as Ezra Cobb whose madness escalates when his domineering mother dies and he misses her so much that he digs her up and is soon killing unsuspecting women to keep her company. His conversations with the corpse of his mother, though visually horrific and psychopathic, are also at the level of wryly humorous as he worries how his mother will like the women he’s found and the things he’s done. Other off-kilter, darkly twisted scenes include Cobb’s first kill during a séance with a desperate woman putting the sexual moves on him.

Deranged features gruesome make-up effects by top artist Tom Savini and, for the first time in the UK, appears here in all of its most stomach turning, uncut glory in this newly restored edition.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

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Deranged is fully-restored to its uncut edition for the first time. It doesn’t always look the best in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Arrow, suffering from graininess, film softness, and some spotty video noise, but it’s relatively clean and has mostly organic, filmic quality to it. Close-ups are textured and brighter scenes look rather clean.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

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The monaural track in LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit) is somewhat boxy, but clipping is limited, therefore the dialogue comes through with enough clarity as do most of the sound effects.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4/5]

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We get the typical slate of featurettes and collectible booklet with this Arrow release.

The supplements:

  • Intro by Tom Savini
  • Audio Commentary with Tom Savini
  • A Blossoming Brilliance – An interview with Scott Spiegel (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:10:22) – Scott Spiegel speaks about Deranged star Roberts Blossom the lasting legacy of this gore-soaked gem.
  • Ed Gein: From Murderer to Movies – An interview with Laurence R. Harvey (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:14:52) – Harvey discusses the lurid legacy of the Wisconsin serial killer and the secrets of portraying a cinematic psychopath.
  • The Wages of Sin (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:12:00) – Making of featurette comprising newly transferred 16mm production footage and an archive interview with director Jeff Gillen.
  • Trailer Commentary (1.33:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:54)
  • Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • Stills Gallery (1080p/24)
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original & newly commissioned artwork by Nathaniel Marsh.
  • Collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Stephen Thrower, an article from Rue Morgue on the legacy of Ed Gein, plus an archive interview with producer Bob Clark, illustrated with original archive stills and posters.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

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Early horror based on Ed Gein, the psychopath who inspired films from Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to The Silence of the Lambs, Deranged will be a must for genre fans and anyone looking for something just a bit strange.

Additional Screen Captures

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