It has been 66 years since infamous serial killer Ed Gein was apprehended and a series of horrific crimes were brought to light. Under the cover of darkness, Gein would rob freshly settle graves, using corpses for his own depraved desires, including making a female suit from human flesh. Gein soon moved on to live victims, murdering residents Mary Hogan and Bernice Warden, although he is suspected to have committed numerous other killings. The Gein crimes shone a bright spotlight on the quiet town of Plainfield, Wisconsin and ignited a cultural firestorm that still rages today.
Gein has been the inspiration for three of horror cinema’s most notorious villains. Beginning in 1959, author Robert Bloch used the Gein crimes as the basis for antagonist Norman Bates in his novel Psycho. The following year, director Alfred Hitchcock adapted the book and created a cinematic icon and a well-regarded slasher franchise.
In 1973, writer-director Tobe Hooper partnered with friend Kim Henkel and used Gein as the template for various members of the infamous Sawyer clan in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, most notably Leatherface. Finally, author Thomas Harris took Gein’s deeds and parlayed them into elements of the characters Buffalo Bill and Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter in his novel Silence of the Lambs.
Although it’s been almost 7 decades, the public fascination with Gein refuses to die. This is perfectly illustrated by the announcement of a 4-part docuseries headed to MGM+ this fall.
Psycho: The Lost Tapes of Ed Gein will not only re-examine Gein’s crimes in detail, but also disclose “never before heard” recordings of the killer himself. Made whilst Gein was in custody, the tapes document a man on the verge of becoming an infamous legend.
From Fall River director James Buddy Day, Psycho: The Ed Gein Tapes has set a tentative premiere date of September 2023 on MGM+ and promises to be the ultimate Gein documentary.