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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Deranged [Blu-ray]

 

(Jeff Gillen, Alan Ormsby, 1974)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Karr International Pictures

Video: Arrow Video

 

Disc:

Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:23:20.995

Disc Size: 36,740,238,436 bytes

Feature Size: 25,196,931,072 bytes

Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: August 19th, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary: LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

 

Subtitles:

English (SDH), none

 

Extras:

Audio commentary with special effects artist Tom Savini
Introduction to the film by Savini (:12)
A Blossoming Brilliance: Scott Spiegel (Intruder, Evil Dead II) speaks about Deranged star Roberts Blossom and the lasting legacy of this gore-soaked gem (10:22)
Ed Gein: From Murder to Movies - Laurence R. Harvey (The Human Centipide II) discusses the lurid legacy of the Wisconsin serial killer and the secrets of portraying a cinematic psychopath (14:52)

Wages of Sin (12:00)

• Original trailer (1:33)
Original Trailer with intro/commentary by Adam Rifkin (1:54)

Stills Gallery
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh
Collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Stephen Thrower, author of Nightmare USA, and an archive interview with producer Bob Clark by Calum Waddell, illustrated with original archive stills and posters
 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: Real-life Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein inspired many distinguished films, including Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but none is quite as disturbing as Deranged.

Roberts Blossom gives an alarmingly convincing performance as rural eccentric Ezra Cobb, whose mother's death unhinges him to the point where he not only lovingly preserves her corpse in the living room but also goes out to find 'friends' to keep her company not all of whom are dead when he finds them! Perversely, Ezra's more worried about what mother would say about his various activities than he is about the prospect of being found out. Indeed, like Gein, he's cheerfully open about his activities when visiting friends, but no-one believes him.

Like Carnival of Souls and The Honeymoon Killers, this is one of American horror cinema's great one-offs, an eerie, genuinely unsettling but also darkly comic experience.

 

 

The Film:

Unlike its contemporary The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and predecessor Psycho -- both of which were very loosely based on the gruesome antics of notorious Wisconsin killer/graverobber Ed Gein, who killed, skinned, devoured or made furniture out of his many victims in the late '50s -- this gritty, disturbing and underrated production purports to be a semi-accurate account of Gein's crimes. Roberts Blossom turns in a frighteningly effective performance as Ezra Cobb, the crusty old farmer with unique decorating ideas, an intense interest in the occult, and a decidedly unhealthy attachment to his domineering mother, whose body he preserves after her death. When evenings with his stuffed mom prove less than comforting, Cobb goes into town to seek young female victims whose corpses he uses for a variety of grisly household projects. Exiled in distribution limbo for 20 years, Deranged was available only in severely-cut prints, missing much of the film's goriest footage (which featured the early work of makeup maestro Tom Savini), although a pristine uncut print briefly surfaced in the mid-'90s.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

This dark, stark account of the murderous activities of Wisconsin necrophile Ed Gein (the real-life character who inspired Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) impresses not only through its occasional flashes of black humour (Gein, distressed by his beloved mother's death, exhumes her, and when she proves a little taciturn at the dinner-table, kills various women to keep her company), but by the sheer austerity of the direction. The more sensationalist aspects of the story are admirably underplayed, and Blossom's nicely gauged performance lends the film surprising conviction.

Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Deranged gets an impressive transfer to Blu-ray from Arrow Films. It should be noted that an MGM DVD edition came with Deranged as a double feature with Motel Hell. This 1080P transfer fits solidly onto dual-layered territory and has a max'ed out bitrate for the 1 hour 23-minute feature. Colors are truer than SD could relate and there is a nice layer off consistent grain. There is solid contrast supporting impressive detail in close-ups and some minor depth in the 1.85:1 frame.  It's very clean with a speckle or two and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray probably looks like exactly the theatrical version of the film Deranged. It is a very strong image transfer.

Note: This appears to be the 'unrated' (brain-scooping') version with that footage included.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is transferred via a linear PCM 2.0 channel at 1536 kbps. The sound is more a byproduct of the production limitations but the original score by Carl Zittrer (the iconic, and also Canadian shot, Black Christmas), with funeral-related organ sounded consistent and creepy. Unremarkable but positive in its accuracy and cleanliness. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.

 

Extras :

As usual Arrow add plenty of valuable supplements. We get an audio commentary with special effects artist (as well as a very brief intro to the film by Savini). The renowned make-up effects supervisor (and actor!) knows the genre and it isn't surprising that Deranged is a favorite. A Blossoming Brilliance spends 10.5 minutes with Scott Spiegel discussing the performance of Deranged star Roberts Blossom and the lasting legacy of this gore-soaked gem. Ed Gein: From Murder to Movies is 15-minutes of history with Laurence R. Harvey talking about the lurid legacy of the Wisconsin serial killer and the secrets of portraying a cinematic psychopathy. Pretty interesting. Wages of Sin spends a dozen minutes with co-director Jeff Gillen talking about Blossom and other aspects of the film. There is an original trailer and another with commentary by Trailers From Hell with director Adam Rifkin. There is a Stills Gallery and the package has a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh in the Collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Stephen Thrower, author of Nightmare USA, and an archive interview with producer Bob Clark by Calum Waddell, illustrated with original archive stills and posters. Wonderful.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Considering the low budget Deranged is an excellent horror. The minor docu-drama style and financial production limitation aspects add to the vérité. Nasty topic. The Arrow Blu-ray provides an authentic a/v presentation with highly appreciated supplements. For horror genre aficionados this is easy to consider a very worthy purchase. Another impressive job by Arrow! 

Gary Tooze

August 8th, 2012


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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