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Deranged/Motel Hell (Midnite Movies Double Feature)

Roberts Blossom , Cosette Lee , Alan Ormsby , Jeff Gillen    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
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Product Description


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

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Mgm 2 Pack ~ Deranged/Motel Hell

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good eatin' here! May 4 2004
I'm really learning to love these MGM double feature discs. Usually, this motion picture studio releases its films on DVD with few or no extras, a supreme disappointment to cinema fans. When you can get two low budget cheese fests for such a low price, however, you tend to make a few allowances for the lack of bells and whistles. Who could turn down the wonders of "Troll" and "Troll 2," for example, just because the movies' only extras are trailers? It's the same situation with "Deranged" and "Motel Hell." But don't worry. The wonderful badness of these two films makes extras a moot point. Besides, how could you get Nancy Parsons and Rory Calhoun into the studio to record a commentary track? They've both been dead for years.
"Deranged" is a movie that every horror aficionado should see at least once. Actually, one time through is about all you'll be able to take of this low budget excursion into the dark, dank recesses of the human mind. Based on the legendary maniac Edward Gein, the movie "Deranged" has always had a small coterie of loyal fans. They claim that this movie is the closest thing there is to the real events that occurred in rural Wisconsin back in the 1950s. They're wrong, of course. Even a cursory examination of the Gein story will quickly tell you this film wanders far from the truth on several occasions. No matter, though, since the movie is still a fun way to waste a couple of hours. Instead of referring to their main maniac as Ed Gein, the moviemakers decided to rename the guy Ezra Cobb. Old Ezra resembles Eddie Gein in several ways: he's a mama's boy, a bit of a simpleton, and he quickly nosedives into the shrieking pits of insanity after his mother passes on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 of the best flicks on one DVD! July 14 2004
By J. Cook
This 2 disk set is a MUST have for horror/slasher flick fans!
The first film-- Deranged-- is about a wierd fella named Ezra who can't seem to let go of his mother's death. After hallucinations of her he decides to dig her up and keep her near him at all times. The movie after that takes off and basically ends up with his kidnapping, and bitchering (like he was skinning a deer) a local salesclerk.
The movie is based on psychotic killer Ed Gein, which influenced MANY movies such as Silence Of The Lambs, Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2,3,4) and of course the movie Ed Gein and Ed and His Dead Mother.
The second movie is a bit more strange and funny!
In short it's about a brother and sister who own a motel and sell beef jerky on the side. The only thing is at night, like a hunter going out to hunt, he watches the road waiting for the right time to find his next victim.
After they are caught they are buried in the ground to be harvested and then made into jerky...
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3.0 out of 5 stars "Deranged" the Better of the Two Aug. 29 2011
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Scary May 21 2004
By Kosovar
Deranged - as you probably know by now is based upon the most cruelest and the most sick serial killer Ed Gein.
When his mother dies he goes absolutely nuts, especially when "she" calls for him to pick her up from the grave. To fill up the skeleton of her mother he needs more bodies so he keeps digging graves and killing women.
What a sicko...
The actor who played the sicko was very very good. He almost makes you think that he's the sicko himself.
I can not recommend this movie to anyone. The true story plot is just too sick and extremely scary. It's something no one can ever imagine.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars "Meat's meat, and a man's gotta eat."
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... Read more
Published on April 21 2004 by cookieman108
3.0 out of 5 stars Deranged
When I was a kid, we saw Deranged at the midnight movie in Houston, TX. I never forgot it! I was amazed to see it's available! Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2004 by trillian63
5.0 out of 5 stars okay
i loved motel hell. i never saw the kmovie deranged but now i plan on it. excellent.
Published on Dec 11 2003 by jj
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great addition to the Midnite Movies dvd series.
The MGM Midnite Movies is a great addition to any horror collector's collection. This one is Deranged/Motel Hell.
DERANGED is a story about Ezra Cobb. Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by Ryan
4.0 out of 5 stars Sink Your Teeth into a Delicious Double Feature
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). Read more
Published on Nov. 24 2003 by Michael R Gates
3.0 out of 5 stars motel hell
I liked it. It wasn't as good as my Boss made it sound but it
was worthy of a bag of popcorn. I will never look at cabbage
the same way again. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2003 by J. wheeler
MOTEL HELL is the most hilarious of the 80's B movies. You have got to love this one, as Farmer Vincent routinely preys upon passers buy... Read more
Published on July 8 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Deranged is one of the best!
Deranged is one of the best films I have ever seen. It will stay in your mind and make you want to learn more about the real man the film is based on. This is horror at it's best. Read more
Published on June 24 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars deranged/motel hell an inviting combination
Deranged is a well filmed and well articulated classic. It shows great insight to a murderers mind. The acting is phenomenal. Read more
Published on June 19 2003 by bliss morgan
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