Wicked (Wisconsin) Wednesday Pt. 8: Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield


Another week. Another Ed Gein. What is it about serial killer biopics that makes people produce so many shit movies. This week I was stuck watching yet another film based on Gein because apparently I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel now (not like I’ve been picking from the cream of the to begin with). This is not the 2000 Spanish film that also goes by the name In the Light of the Moon. Noooo. I don’t even get to watch THAT version. Instead I got the treat of watching this 2007 shitfest – Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield.

This film centers around a deputy a small town in Wisconsin. Ah yes, you must remember the deputy that was so involved in solving Gein’s case, right? No. Well, he’s the main character and Gein’s kidnapped his mother and girlfriend! The plot chugs along slowly with a version of Ed Gein that is so confounding it constantly distracts from the film. Actually, I have no idea what this movie was about. I think it takes place in a ghost town in the deep south because everyone has a funny accent and every set looks like it was abandoned decades ago.

Ed Gein has such an atrocious script it barely holds attention at any point. Despite the gore in places, it hardly seems horrifying because Gein’s motivations are never given. In fact, if the viewer knew nothing about the real story they might not have the faintest clue what is happening. I don’t think the point of a movie is to ever make the audience groan in pain or boredom. There are scenes that actually evoked a full-on eye roll from me. Yes, it turned me into a snobby 15-year-old.

What is so infuriating about this movie is that half of it isn’t even true. This is a film with Ed Gein’s name painted across the top and it isn’t even about the terrible things he did. Did this movie and Deranged get their titles mixed up? Kane Hodder (best known for his turn in several Friday the 13th films and the Hatchet trilogy) plays Gein and this was a totally perplexing casting choice. Hodder doesn’t look a thing like Gein. He’s big, tall and menacing – nothing like the thin 50-year-old Gein was when he committed his two murders. They even put Gein’s actual picture in the opening credits. Did they think the audience would be stupid to think this actor would be believable as the same man? Why give them the chance to compare?

There is definitely sorely lacking in this movie, and that’s a total misunderstanding of Gein’s psyche. He wasn’t some hard-ass who enjoyed beating people up. Getting the story this wrong… might as well just make it about something else completely, but you know. Movies. How do we make money? Usually I try not to be too hard on movies, but it is completely disrespectful to everyone involved in the real horrors of this story to have some sort of sick make-believe be written about it.

I usually don’t have ratings in my reviews, but I would like to give this shit show a total 0 out of 5. Or maybe 1/2 a star because it had a beginning, middle and end. This is this worst un-fun movie I have watched in a very long time. And that’s coming from someone who had to watch Black Cadillac.

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