Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield
Film: Ed Gein: The Butcher of Plainfield
Director: Michael Feifer
Writer: Michael Feifer
Starring: Kane Hodder, Adrienne Frantz and Michael Berryman
This film begins with old pictures of the way that Plainfield looked and of the real Ed Gein. The film lets us know that we are in this area of Wisconsin back in the 1957. The title character is played by Kane Hodder. His mother and brother are already dead, so he is all alone. This one gets into it pretty quickly. He has brought back a woman to his home and has her hung from meat hooks in his barn. She tries to get away, but Hodder stops her before she can.
We then meet a young deputy played by Shawn Hoffman. His father has passed away, so he is out to prove he is capable in his position. He lives with his mother, who is played by Priscilla Barnes. She can be a little bit overbearing. Hoffman finds the car with the blood on the windows and wants to immediately start searching for the young woman. The sheriff is played by Timothy Oman. He is older and wiser and wants Hoffman to calm down.
Hoffman has his girlfriend, played by Adrienne Frantz, for dinner with him and his mother. She is actually the daughter of Oman, but I didn’t realize this until almost the very end. The whole time Hoffman wants to go back out to look for the missing young woman.
We then see that Hodder is a grave robber. He has a helper who is played by Michael Berryman. Berryman doesn’t want to do this, but he is getting paid so he helps. Hodder isn’t having his complaining and it gets to the point where Hodder stops and kills Berryman with a shovel. He ends up tying him to the back of the truck and drags him down the road. Hodder comes across a car with Hoffman and Frantz in it, but they do not seem to notice Berryman.
The next morning, Hodder stops off at the local bar and orders a caramel pop. There is a couple in there that leave. Hodder looks at the bartender, who is played by Caia Coley, but he sees his mother, played by Amy Lyndon. He ends up strangling her. The couple is still standing outside and they think they are kissing.
Coley’s husband is played by John Burke. He comes to the station and wants them to find his wife immediately. He is also positive that the witnesses were wrong that she was kissing the man. Hoffman is also scolded during this time for being late and for not using his new radio. He states that he isn’t sure how to use it. He is required to head out to the bar where Coley worked. Before he does though, he speaks with Frantz and wants her to come with him, where he thinks she will be safe.
Before Hoffman had left, he told his mother to lock her doors and be wary of strangers. Hodder comes to the store that she runs. He waits at the door for them to open and ends up coming in through a back door. He then hears his mother’s voice from her and ends up taking her captive.
Hoffman and Frantz investigate the bar and find the bottle that Hodder drank from. Hoffman notices the dirt on it and remembers that forensics said there was dirt on the missing woman’s steering wheel.
Hodder is out to make a suit that he can wear to be a woman. He has used the first woman as well as Coley to make it. He now has Barnes as well. Where will he stop? When Hoffman learns that his mother was taken, he drives erratic and crashes. When he does, Frantz is hurt. When Hoffman goes to look for help, Hodder finds her. Will she become his next victim? Can Hoffman save her before it is too late? Will they realize that it is Hodder doing all of this?
I have to say that of all the films that are supposed to closely follow the actual story of Gein, this one is loosely based on the true events, but it is also probably the most violent. Hodder is physically a big man and plays the character in a different way from the others. He is more violent and that adds a different element to this one. I am also a big fan of Berryman. He is limited in the roles he can play due to his physical appearance, but I think he is solid in support. I think a few of the supporting characters are also okay as well.
My biggest problem is that this one is supposed to follow the true story, but it really does it loosely. I do not think it is correct at the end when it states that Gein killed 10 people and was only charged with 2. By nature he was quiet and I think the only two he killed were the bartender and the woman who runs the store. I think that much of the acting in this was horrible. Hoffman, Frantz and Oman horribly overacted. Hodder does well at being bland, but this version added a ‘self-righteousness’ to the Gein character that I didn’t care for. I also thought the film was boring. I never connected with the characters and I think a lot of what happened didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
I would not recommend seeing this one. If you want to see a historically accurate version of these events, I would recommend seeing Deranged or Ed Gein. If you want gory and violent, but with a fictional story, then I would say go with Texas Chain Saw Massacre. There is some good acting, but for the most part it is overacted and not believable. The story loosely follows what really happens, but I personally feel was not put together very well. I would really only see this one if you want to see a bad horror film with some friends. If not, I would avoid this one and see one of the other versions that are much better.
My Rating: 3 out of 10