The Silence of the Lambs (Image: Orion Pictures/MGM)

A True-Crime Series on the Killer That Inspired ‘Psycho’ and ‘Buffalo Bill’ is Coming in September

It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again!” – The Silence of the Lambs

The brutal serial killer whose real-life crimes inspired the iconic horror films Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs is getting a new true-crime docuseries. Coming to MGM+ this September, Psycho: The Lost Tapes of Ed Gein descends into the f-ed up mind of grave robber and serial killer Ed ‘The Mad Butcher’ Gein. The crimes he committed in his hometown of Plainfield, Wisconsin gained national attention in the United States during the late 1950s when authorities discovered a houseful of horrors, including skin masks and all sorts of handmade objects from human remains.

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The Silence of the Lambs (Image: Orion Pictures/MGM)
The Silence of the Lambs (Image: Orion Pictures/MGM)

Filmmakers, journalists, and scholars have long attempted to unravel the mind of the notorious psychopath. Now, with the unearthing of never-before-heard recordings, the series is set to transport viewers to late-’50s Middle America and submerge them into the perverse mind of ‘The Plainfield Ghoul’.

The series will also explore Gein’s childhood and his twisted relationship with his mother, who he alone cared for on the family farm until her death. Gein boarded up all of her rooms after she passed, creating pristine shrines, while the rest of the house fell into squalor. He started grave robbing middle-aged women who reminded him of his mother and reportedly tried to create a ‘woman suit’, so that he could literally walk around in her skin. Nope. Nope.

Ed Gein (Image: Discovery+)
Ed Gein (Image: Discovery+)

The series will also detail the clumsy murders that led to his arrest, along with the discoveries that local officials made in Gein’s house of terrors. All of this is said to be accompanied by brand-new revelations revealed in exhumed recordings–in Gein’s own words. Yeah, good luck getting any sleep after this one.

“This gripping and disturbing docuseries shines a light on an infamous chapter in our true-crime history,” said Michael Wright, the head of MGM+. “Psycho: The Lost Tapes of Ed Gein takes an in-depth look at not only the life of one of the most notorious serial killers of our time, but also explores the impact his crimes had on both the victims and our culture.”

Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (Image: Universal Pictures)
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (Image: Universal Pictures)

The crimes of Ed Gein definitely made a massive impact on pop culture, beginning with Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho (1960), which paved the way for the slasher genre. Director Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) incorporated details from the Gein case, with Gein serving as the inspiration for horror icon Leatherface. The Silence of the Lambs featured a serial killer similar to Gein named Buffalo Bill, who skinned his female victims to make a dress. The film went on to make history in 1992 as the first (and still the only) horror film to win Best Picture.

The four-episode series Psycho: The Lost Tapes of Ed Gein is directed and executive produced by James Buddy Day (Blumhouse’s Compendium of Horror, Fall River), with Jill Latiano Howerton and Josh Kunau of Roots Productions serving as executive producers. Amazon & MGM Studios Distribution will distribute the series internationally.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface (Image: Legendary Entertainment)
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface (Image: Legendary Entertainment)

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Chad Kennerk
Contributor

Chad Kennerk

Chad Kennerk is a storyteller, entertainment writer, and self-proclaimed cinephile. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from The Actors Studio in New York City, a Bachelor of Arts from Purdue University, and attended the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He serves as the Digital Editor of Film Review, and as an Analyst/Staff Writer for Boxoffice Pro.