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Deranged / Motel Hell (Midnite Movies Double Feature) (1980)

Roberts Blossom , Cosette Lee , Alan Ormsby , Jeff Gillen  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Roberts Blossom, Cosette Lee, Leslie Carlson, Robert Warner, Marcia Diamond
  • Directors: Alan Ormsby, Jeff Gillen, Kevin Connor
  • Writers: Alan Ormsby, Frank Cotolo, Robert Jaffe, Steven-Charles Jaffe, Tim Tuchrello
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: August 27, 2002
  • Run Time: 183 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000068TPD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,626 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Deranged / Motel Hell (Midnite Movies Double Feature)" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

A double bill of rural schlock, with both entries gruesome but somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Deranged was inspired by the unsavory saga of Ed Gein, whose isolated madness oiled the gears of both Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This is a low-rent production all the way, but its shabby locations have a certain eerie authenticity, and it benefits greatly from the casting of the reliable character actor Roberts Blossom--a scarecrow in the American Gothic mold--in the lead role. Now and again a somber but vaguely amusing narrator wanders into the frame to remind us that we are watching the tale of "a necromaniac, a defiler of the dead," as though we could forget. Serial-killer completists should check it out.

Motel Hell is slicker but less effective. Former Western star Rory Calhoun plays Farmer Vincent, a country hotel keeper (free samples of jerky at the front desk) whose line of smoked meats turns his customers into unwitting cannibals. The movie's got some genuinely creeped-out ideas (a backyard garden of victims, buried up to their necks?), but the execution is pedestrian and the humor pretty square. Onetime cultural icon Wolfman Jack has a few scenes as a TV preacher, for no apparent reason. --Robert Horton

Product Description

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 the 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).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Meat's meat, and a man's gotta eat." April 21, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sink Your Teeth into a Delicious Double Feature November 24, 2003
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).
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.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Two Good Horror Movies July 29, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Deranged" the Better of the Two August 29, 2011
By Kasey G
This dual-sided disc from MGM Midnite Movies is the first one I've bought where the film unknown to me turned out to be better than the one I was buying it for.

I had high hopes for "Motel Hell", hoping to see Nancy Parsons (Beulah Balbricker from the "Porky's" movies) chew the scenery to bits. Unfortunately, the script doesn't give her much to do besides pig out on chicken drumsticks and try and drown Nina Axelrod in the big 'ol swimming hole. Parsons' best role is still as the deadly masseuse Zora on "Charlie's Angels" back in 1978.

Here she's sister to Rory Calhoun, and together they make the best smoked meat in the county. But what their customers don't know is that their special ingredient lay in the hidden "human garden" they're constantly cultivating by capturing innocent passersby on the highway.

While I'm sure this idea sounded much better on paper, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. It plays like a black comedy more than an actual slasher/horror film--but even then misses the mark. Notable only for an amusing turn by Elaine Joyce as half of a swinging couple, and an early non-speaking role for John Ratzenberger (Cliff from "Cheers"). Nothing else here to really recommend.

"Deranged" on the other hand, is much more interesting and well-made, yet downbeat and not an enjoyable film that would merit repeat viewings. Loosely based on Ed Gein, in this one a middle-aged Mama's boy goes off the deep end after the old lady dies. He digs up her corpse and eventually embarks on a killing spree to keep bringing companions home for mother. A delayed sexual awakening complicates things and has him kidnapping a cocktail waitress and the teenage hardware store clerk.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best movies ever
One of the best movies ever. Motel Hell. Never tire of this. Rory Calhoun is the bomb. Love it.
Published 9 hours ago by elizabeth coleman
4.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the past!
I originally viewed this film back in 1974, when it was released, and when I was just 13 yrs old. I wanted to see if it was as terrifying now as it was then. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Jerry Castellanos
4.0 out of 5 stars Maw goes all to pieces
I have Deranged solo, without Motel Hell, and I must say, I enjoyed it (more than Motel Hell, which I've also seen). Read more
Published 26 days ago by gizzyspal
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 26 days ago by Teresa Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Mark L
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Motel Hell. Old time scary classic.
Love Motel Hell. Old time scary classic.
Published 1 month ago by Tracy
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Published 1 month ago by sue
5.0 out of 5 stars dumb/great :)
Motel hell was so dumb/great that I had to watch it twice. Good flick, cant explain why!? :)
Published 2 months ago by Michele A. Dow
3.0 out of 5 stars Deranged/SUCKED Motel Hell/Classic Cult
Motel Hell/Classic Cult Stuff
Published 2 months ago by Tyrone E Gross
5.0 out of 5 stars The wages of sin are syphillis,gonoreah,and DEATH!!!
My favorite Deranged of course.Motel Hell didn`t have no gore in it which was the let down for me.I remember when it came out and you saw the picture of the guy in the pig mask... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Schizo Kris
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Topic From this Discussion
anyone that has seen this movie hello!!!!!!
wich one deranged or motel hell?
im more of a fan of deranged mainly cuz im kinda obssessed with ed gein
Oct 4, 2013 by Mike Watson |  See all 2 posts
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