6 December 2008 | Coventry
Ed Gein: America's favorite and inexhaustible source for horror!
Did we really need another movie-version of the life and crimes of Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein? No, of course we didn't, but clever producers realize there's always room for one more, especially because all horror movie fans agree that Ed Gein simply is one of the most perhaps THE most fascinating sick individuals in history. And the producers of this movie were even extra clever, as they managed to cast no less than Kane Hodder in the titular role. Hodder is already a bit of a horror legend on himself (depicting Jason Vorhees multiple times in the "Friday the 13th series") and his name alone is guaranteed to attract even more viewers. I've lost count of how many movies both fictional and non fictional there already are closely inspired or loosely inspired by Ed Gein. There are the strictly factual and almost biographical ones, like "In the Light of the Moon" and "Deranged: Confessions of a Serial Necrophile", but of course the most commonly known horror classics simply used little morbid characteristics of Gein's utterly demented persona, like "Psycho", "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", "Motel Hell", "House of 1.000 Corpses" and "The Silence of the Lambs". As you can probably derive from its juicy title as well as from the DVD cover art, this particular isn't too concerned with accuracy and merely just sets out to shock and provoke its viewers with a whole lot of gruesome images and perverted insinuations. It feels as if director Michael Feifer wants to make us believe his film version is truthful, but repeatedly "forgets" about the facts in favor of sheer horror movie excitement. Kane Hodder portrays Ed Gein like he was a muscularly shaped and relentlessly unstoppable killing machine, whereas in reality he was a scrawny and miserably timid guy whose horrendous psychopathic tendencies only gradually come to the surface after his arrest. Although Gein only ever got charged with two murders he commits nearly a dozen of vile kills here, so you know you don't have to check out this film for its informative value. Still I don't want to bash this straight-to-video production entirely, because there really are a handful of positive things to say as well. The make-up effects are effectively nauseating and the Californian filming locations were aptly chosen in order to recreate the depressing 50's Wisconsin atmosphere. And in spite of his unfit posture, Kane Hodder isn't such a bad choice to depict Ed Gein. He hardly has lines to speak but looks menacing throughout the entire playtime.