|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
(Jeff Gillen, Alan Ormsby, 1974)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Karr International Pictures
Video: Arrow Video / Kino Lorber
Region: 'B' / Region 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:23:20.995 / 1:23:14.990
Disc Size: 36,740,238,436 bytes / 19,568,885,083 bytes
Feature Size: 25,196,931,072 bytes / 17,951,668,224 bytes
Video Bitrate: 34.99 Mbps / 24.94 Mbps
Chapters: 12 / 8
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: August 19th, 2013 / July 7th, 2015
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
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
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1687 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1687
kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 256 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 256 kbps
English (SDH), none
•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)
Audio Commentary by Writer and Director Alan Ormsby
Description: Real-life Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein
inspired many distinguished films, including
The Silence of the Lambs and
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,
but none is quite as disturbing as Deranged.
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.
The Kino transfer is also 1080P but single-layered with a more modest bitrate. This shows up exporting a brighter image with less grain support. It's not unwatchable - just not at the high video standards of Arrow. The UK edition has more texture and depth. I suspect the Kino as coming from the same clean source just a less robust rendering. We've compared 4 captures below and the 4th is an exact frame if you wish to toggle between the expanded captures to note the visual differences.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
More Arrow Captures
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.
Kino's DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel transfer at 1536 kbps sounds the same to my ears as the similarly robust linear PCM of the Arrow edition. However, it offers no subtitles and is region 'A'-locked.
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.
Kino Lorber do add some new extras in the form of two audio commentaries - the first with writer and director Alan Ormsby and a second with film historian Richard Harland Smith (previous commentaries include The Death Kiss and The Devil Bat). They supply varied knowledge of Deranged and fans of the film will want to indulge. There is also a 17-minute interview with producer Tom Karr who discusses the evolution of the film and many other facets of the production. Lastly we get a trailer.
Arrow - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Kino Lorber - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
This remains such a creepy horror and quite remarkable considering the modest budget. It is certainly a film you don't easily forget. The Kino Blu-ray has value with the 2 commentaries and a decent, if lesser, 1080P image transfer. Fans keen on this sub-genre will appreciate this edition, even if it is not up to the lofty, stacked, standards of the Arrow.
August 8th, 2012
June 23rd, 2015
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.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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