Bates, Leatherface and Buffalo Bill are just a few of the fictional
characters who are based on the deeds of real life serial killer
Ed Gein. Although Gein only committed two murders himself, it
was his acts of grave robbing, cannibalism and use of human remains
that have burned the image of the hapless farmer into our nightmares.
The film Ed Gein takes a quick look at the life of Gein
through out various times in his life. More of an overview, Ed
Gein is a very twisted version of "This is Your Life".
Steve Railsback plays Gein in a fairly decent performance. Railsback
was also a producer of the film. X-Files fans will know Railsback
from his recurring role as Duane Berry. Raised by a tyrant of
a father who shoved discipline and abuse on young Ed and his brother,
the Gein boys found peace in the arms of their religious zealot
of a mother. After their father runs out, the brothers and their
mother must fend for themselves and Gein becomes obsessed with
his mother and her ways, even after she dies.
It is at this point in his life where most of the film takes place.
The story does a good job of showing Gein as a shy and simple
man, just trying to get by. Although he seems to live off of canned
beans, we soon learn that Ed has acquired a taste for things from
the graveyard. Gein frequently digs up the bodies of women and
does many things with the bodies, including eating, experimenting
and in truly a very disturbing scene wearing the skins as a suit
while prancing around his yard at night beating on a pot as a
Although he was insane, Gein was able to function with others,
as he is shown going to a local bar and even babysitting to next
door boys on occasions. This is made even more disturbing that
Gein only allows the boys to sit in his kithchen, because all
of the other rooms are filled with heads and various other parts.
But he never does hurt the boys and seems to enjoy their company.
The film really does a great job as showing two sides to the man,
even if at times I thought Railsback's performance was that
of a live action Elmer Fudd. As I said, Gein only killed two people
himself, both of whom were women he knew and that were nice to
him. He almost had to feel as if they were being motherly to him,
which was also there undoing.
Ed Gein is a decent attempt to capture the madness of what may
or may not have been going on in the mind of America’s first celebrity
killer. But the film will keep your attention and does show both
the man and the monster.
Not high on gore there are tons of shots that show the aftermath
of what Gein has done with his victims and thefts. One of which
includes a scene involving a female body part on a clip board,
that will make ya wince. A solid film and a must see for any fan
of the world's real life monsters.