(Jeff Gillen & Alan Ormsby, US, 1974)
This little-seen but often-cited sleeper from 1974 is supposedly based upon the notorious true-life exploits of murderer Ed Gein (the inspiration both for Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre among others) and appears to be one of those films that somehow earns a wholly inappropriate 'classic' label over the years. But, hilarious inserts throughout of a 'real' news reporter aside, this is clearly something of a landmark film. Released the same year as Texas..., Deranged delivers its own chilling scenes of skinned bodies, decaying corpses and mercilessly slaughtered innocents, with a well-judged central performance from Roberts Blossom as the psychopath. Excluding the distracting inserts, this has more narrative structure than the pseudo-documentary style of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but it does take a matter-of-fact approach that provides the same distancing and unnerving effect created by Tobe Hooper's film. Recommended.