Deranged: Ezra's good at making friends... into home furnishings! Based on the same terrifying story that inspired Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs, this hauntingly scary film chronicles t... more »he grisly exploits of a rural necrophiliac and murderer! Brace yourself for a "solid horror story" (Variety) that's guaranteed to make you bite your nails... because if you don't, Ezra will! Motel Hell: You really are what you eat with Farmer Vincent's smoked meat in this creepy horror yarn that "packs a punch and goes way beyond mere terror" (Box Office)! Vincent's popular products contain a special ingredient that the psychotic farmer and his sister would literally kill to keep secret in this darkly funny flick that "just might be your cup of meat" (L.A. Herald Examiner).« less
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 3/24/2011...
MGM's Midnite Movies Collection has done an excellent job of showcasing some of the more obscure classics.
Deranged was written by Alan Ormsby (Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things writer/star) and is based on the Ed Gein case. Darkly funny in an EC comics (Tales From the Crypt) type of way.
Motel Hell must be seen to be believed. An insane film that goes for it.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
"Meat's meat, and a man's gotta eat."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 04/21/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Cannibals, necrophiles, and murderers, oh my! I own many of the MGM Midnight Movie releases, and I have to say, these two films together certainly combine to make the most gruesome release to date.Deranged (1974) aka Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile, was co-directed by actor Jeff Gillen (he played Santa Claus in the classic Christmas Story film released in 1983, "You'll shoot your eye out, kid.") and writer Alan Ormsby, who also wrote the film, along with other films like My Bodyguard (1980), Cat People (1982), and Porky's II: The Next Day (1983), is based on the ghastly true life events of reclusive Wisconsin farmer Ed Gein, convicted of necrophilia, cannibalism, and murder, inspiring films like Psycho (1960), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) and Silence of the Lambs (1991) and others. The film stars perennial old timing character actor Robert Blossoms as Ezra (Ez) Cobb, whom I best remember from the John Carpenter film Christine (1983), as George LeBay, the old timing man who sold the nerdish Arnie Cunningham the possessed car.The film starts off with an on-screen narrator giving us some exposition about Ezra, who lives a quiet, solitary life caring for his deeply religious, domineering and bed ridden mother, who instills within Eddie the notion that women, in general, are evil and sex is sinful. After her death, Ezra is left alone, and becomes miserable. So much so he digs up his mother more than a year after her burial (yuck), and brings her home. He soon begins finding fresher corpses, by following the obituaries, for all kinds of uses (double yuck). Soon his compulsions move from dead corpses to living victims. His secluded house becomes a shrine to all things dead. But in small towns, missing women are very much noticed, and soon people begin following the fairly obvious trail left by Ezra, and discover a true American Psycho in their midst.The production values within Deranged are all that great, but, as another reviewer stated, this actually worked for the film, giving it a gritty, realistic feel. Blossoms was truly creepy with his gaunt features, creepy, awkward stares, and child-like demeanor, one who has depended on another for guidance and now finds the solitary existence after his mother's passing too much to bear, snapping his already weak will, emanating in nightmarish behavior. What was really interesting for me was how much I was drawn into the film, and then shocked out of it by the occasional appearance by the on screen commentator, relaying information aspects of the story as it continued to unfold. The film does get pretty graphic, but not to the point of showing much of the more grisly crimes comprising the true-life events. There are three version floating around, ones running 78, 82, and 84 minutes. This one runs 82 minutes, and is missing a scene, as stated by other reviewers.Motel Hell (1980), directed by Kevin Connor, who also directed films like The Land that Time Forgot (1975), At the Earth's Core (1976), and The People that Time Forgot (1977), tells another horrific tale with a cannibal slant, but unlike Deranged, Motel Hell dishes out a heaping helping of dark comedy, making for a more palatable watch (pun intended), in my opinion.The film stars Rory Calhoun and Nancy Parson as Vincent and Ida Smith, brother and sister who run the out of the way Motel Hello (the neon letter o at the end of Hello flickers on and off) and also produce locally famous Farmer Vincent's Smoked Meats, "It takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent's fritters." What makes their meats so popular? It's a family secret, but know it involves the kidnapping various passersby Vincent manages to ensnare in any number of traps he sets on the isolated road near the hotel. What happens to these unfortunate victims? Well, you really have to see it to believe it. I'll give you a hint...stay out of the `secret garden', by all means. After shooting out a tire of a couple on a motorcycle, an older man and a younger woman, Vincent takes in the woman, and with the help of his sister Ida, they nurse the woman back to health. The woman, who knows not of the peculiar methods in Vincent and Ida produce their meats, is thankful and even develops a relationship with Vincent, leading to impending nuptials. And what happens when she finally discovers their secret? As I said, there is a good amount of black humor mixed with the horror, and the film was a lot less visceral than I thought it would be...the methods used to `fatten' up and keep the victims before their `harvesting' was quite disconcerting. Rory Calhoun presents such a friendly image throughout most of the film, reminding me of Jed Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies, but knowing what you know as the story unfolds, it makes it all the more sinister. Look cameos by the legendary radio personality Wolfman Jack as an evangelical television preacher and John Ratzenburger of TV's Cheers as a drummer of an ill-fated rock band. I especially like the S&M couple that stay at the motel, thinking they're in for a real kinky experience, only to find that they are dead wrong. And the tearful admission by Rory Calhoun at the end is definitely worth sticking around for...Both films look pretty good, with Motel Hell looking not quite a good as Deranged, and both are presented in wide screen format. This is a two-sided disc, with the each movie occupying one side, and special features include theatrical trailers and English subtitles. I'll leave you with one of my more favorite lines from Motel Hell as spoken by Farmer Vincent to his young fiancé...'I'm gonna teach you the ancient art of smokin' meat." Cookieman108"
Sink Your Teeth into a Delicious Double Feature
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 11/24/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Another delectable double-feature tidbit from MGM, this DVD features two horror movies with cannibalistic themes: DERANGED (1974) and the cult classic MOTEL HELL (1980).DERANGED:There are several movies whose writers claim that the films were inspired by the notorious Wisconsin necrophiliac and purported cannibal Edward Gein--PSYCHO (1960), THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (1974), and THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991), to name a few--but only DERANGED comes close to reflecting Gein's grisly true-life activities. For those who don't already know, Ed Gein was a backwoodsy Wisconsin farmer who, during the 1950s, raided cemeteries and collected various body parts from the corpses. He is known to have made clothing and household items from the preserved skin and bones of his "trophies," and it was reported that he also ate some of the flesh (though this was never substantiated). Gein was caught and arrested in 1957 after actually killing the proprietor of a hardware store, then taking her body to his barn and preparing it in the manner of a hunter dressing a deer.In DERANGED, the primary character is named Ezra Cobb, and though a lot of the real-life necrophilic and cannibalistic acts have been toned down for the script, Cobb is still a fairly accurate reflection of Edward Gein. To make these ghoulish themes a little more palatable, scriptwriter and co-director Alan Ormsby mixes in lots of gallows humor. In addition, the over-the-top performance of award-winning character actor Roberts Blossom, as Ezra Cobb, adds some jocularity to the film, but never goes so far as to diminish the overall horror.Like Tobe Hooper's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, which was released the same year, DERANGED opens with an attempt to convince the audience that what they will soon see is the gospel truth. But instead of having a mere voice-over and some scrolling transcript, DERANGED takes it a step further with a phony news anchor who introduces the film as if it were a docu-drama--a very effective device for getting the audience into the right mind-set.If you like raw, true-to-life horror, or if you're interested in films that are inspired by grisly real-life crimes, you'll love DERANGED. You'll also enjoy the film if you're the type of fan who likes his horror played tongue-in-cheek. Non-genre fans may be a bit put off.MOTEL HELL:Farmer Vincent Smith and his loopy sister, Ida, are the proprietors of the Motel Hello (the last neon "o" is often burned out), next to which is a small meat-processing factory that they also own and operate. The meat products they make and peddle are actually more popular than the Motel--and more lucrative. Indeed, people come from all over the country to to satisfy their hankerin' for Farmer Vincent's meats. Customers frequently comment on how the Smith's meats have a delicious but distinctly unique flavor, and they are always trying to pry the secret from Smith and Ida. Is it the way they process it? Is it some exotic seasoning? Or is it the way they raise or butcher the animals? Farmer Vincent says that he uses no preservatives, and it's the all-natural ingredients that make the meat taste soooo yummy. But as a highway billboard declares, "It takes ALL kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent's fritters." An' when it says ALL, it ain't lyin'! Under cover of night, Smith and his sister frequently shanghai society's undesirables as they are passing through town, and...well, that ain't just beef and pork in them fritters!MOTEL HELL isn't just a horror film; it's also a dark comedy. The plot is goofy but fun, and the dialogue is sometimes outrageous, yet certain scenes can really raise the hair on the back of the neck. It's a mixture that works well here, and it's hard not to become engrossed. Part of the reason it plays so well is, of course, the acting. Veteran actor Rory Calhoun is perfectly cast as Farmer Vincent Smith, as his straight-faced delivery only adds to the hilarity of the script. Sister Ida is played by Nancy Parsons, an award-winning character actor who has proven to be quite adept at both comedy and drama, having appeared on TV in soaps and shows like BARETTA and THE ROCKFORD FILES, and later in films like PORKYS (1982) and STEEL MAGNOLIAS (1989). She does an outstanding job in MOTEL HELL, deftly making Ida's persona switch back and forth between an uproariously funny country hick and a downright terrifying murderer.Throughout MOTEL HELL, there are several witty and playful nods to countless horror classics. And alert viewers will be able to spot a few famous faces, including the late Wolfman Jack, a 1970s radio personality and former host TV's THE MIDNIGHT SPECIAL; John Ratzenberger, better known as Cliff the postman on TV's CHEERS; Elaine Joyce, former wife of the late Bobby Van who is currently married to playwright Neil Simon; Monique St. Pierre, German beauty who was the 1979 PLAYBOY Playmate of the Year; and the late Hollywood stuntman Everett Creach.Horror fans and those who enjoy gallows humor will love MOTEL HELL, as will fans of the kinds of movies that used to show up on local late-night TV. Others, including those who don't appreciate the art of campy humor, may just think it's silly."
Two Good Horror Movies
Amy Lynn | Pennsylvania United States | 07/29/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Deranged was the only film i hadnt seen yet based on Ed Gein and I have to say i was pleasantly suprised. Made in 1974, it takes a different approach to the other films using a narrator to offer his two cents during the film. I know the story well by now but I was satisfied with the acting and found it to be a decent horror film based on the atrocities of Ed Gein. It stands out amongst the others.
Motel Hell was something else. I enjoyed this one a lot. It was more of a horror comedy type of movie. Really far out and I liked the characters. Farmer Vincent makes meats and plants tourtists in his garden. A friendly guy on first impression, he has some secrets hes hiding from the public concerning his meats. The fight at the end was great. and you cant forget that pig mask. That really freaked me out. This one shares a similar theme to Texas Chainsaw Massacre except double the dark comedy and humor. The ending is also quite funny. Recommended."
A very nice double feature of cannibal terror!
John Lindsey | Socorro, New Mexico USA. | 10/13/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Deranged" is the story of a souther mama's boy named Ezra (Roberts Blossom) as his mom just died recently, but some how she just haunts him as he has no choice but to dig up her body and use it for conversations as he is going to the brink of insanity. He starts to murder off innocent women and keep their bodies, sometimes have sex with the bodies becoming a necrophiliac and even cook their flesh for dinner. "Motel Hell" is the story of Farmer Vincient Smith (Rory Calhoun) and his sister Ida (Nancy Parsons) run a meat farm and motel called Motel Hello where some of the guests usually disappear and Vincient makes the finest smoked meats in town, his stuff sells like hotcakes and his motel is quite successful around travelers. It really does kind of takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincient's Fritters as Vincient's police officer brother (Paul Linke) is skeptical about what makes the meat taste sooo good, there's a catch to it as there's a secret garden with live humans caught for butchering to become what people will eat.
These are two well made and enjoyable cannibal based movies, first off "Deranged" is influenced by the horrific murders of Ed Gein and came out the same year that the masterpiece "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". Not as memorable as that movie, "Deranaged" is still a very documentary-esque look at the mind of a serial killer long before there was "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer", it's a nail-biting suspense shocker that will hit you in the stomach. "Motel Hell" is a very entertaining horror comedy that plays like a comical version of "Psycho", "The Hills Have Eyes" and even "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" as it's a lighthearted satire about cannibalism and motel based horror movies, the film does co-star Playmate Monique St. Pierre and an early appearence by John Ratzenberger. The film does have a cult following to this day and is one of the most satisfying cannibal/slasher/horror comedies around.
This double feature DVD offers both movies a decent transfer with good sound quality with only extras being the trailers to both movies."
Deranged/Motel Hell DVD
Terry L. Adams | Whitesburg, KY USA | 08/29/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I recently purchased the Deranged/Motel Hell DVD from Amazon.com. I hadn't seen Motel Hell since I was a kid (I know what you're saying, what kind of parents did I have? It was a different age in the late '70s, early 80's and I was sneakey to boot). I did a double-take when I saw the title. I only purchased the combo-pack because it was cheaper than buying "Motel Hell" alone. Needless to say, it wasn't the thought-provoking, nightmare-making machine it was to a nine-year-old but the nostalgia alone was worth the purchase. I am amazed with the selection that Amazon provides; anything I can summon from the mental files of my misguided youth will materialize in living color on my computer screen. I've already ordered several more deviant and bloody movies from Amazon and some more traditonal choices as well. The product I received was just what they said it was in the condition they implied. I can't reccomend Amazon enough; they are the real deal! And if you're in the mood for good old-fashioned horror, try Motel Hell (Deranged isn't too bad, either).Deranged/Motel Hell (Midnite Movies Double Feature)"