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Ed Gein (2000, Steve Railsback, Carrie Snodgrass)

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Plainfield, Wisconsin in the late 50s was a small town where nothing happened and everybody minded their own business. Which suited Ed Gein (Steve Railsback) just fine. Following the death of his mother (Carrie Snodgress) and paid by the state not to grow crops on his farm, he whiled away the lonely hours at the local cemetery where the freshly buried womenfolk of the town provided the raw materials for his hobbies – cannibalism, necrophilia, making a human skin suit so he could dress as a woman and using their skulls as soup bowls. But as his mother’s voice became more insistent, he took to collecting the living, murdering two local women. Caught by chance, he was committed to the State Hospital for life and died in 1984.

Based on a true story, Gein’s exploits were to inspire Psycho , The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence of the Lambs but this is the first ‘factual’ account of his crimes. Railsback, who has the dubious honour of also having played Charles Manson, is superb as the psychopathic weirdo who the townsfolk tolerate, little realising his secret, while Snodgress, seen in flashback and as the demonic voiceover, shows why Gein, already mentally fragile, was tipped over the edge by her rabid pseudo-religious rants against scarlet women.

production details
USA | 89 minutes | 2000

Director: Chuck Parello
Script: Stephen Johnston

cast
Steve Railsback as Ed Gein
Tish Hicks as Leigh Cross
Travis McKenna as Ronnie
Carrie Snodgress as Augusta W, Gein
Carol Mansell as Collette Marshall
Sally Champlin as Mary Hogan
Steve Blackwood as Brian
Nancy Linehan Charles as Eleanor
Bill Cross as George Gein
Jan Hoag as Irene Hill
Brian Evers as Henry Gein
Pat Skipper as Sheriff Jim Stillwell
Craig Zimmerman as Pete Anderson
Nicholas Stojanovich as Dale
Dylan Kasch as Melvin
Thomas C. Rainone as Butch
Carole Davis as Rosemary (uncredited)

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