5 Horror Films Inspired by Real Life Murderer Ed Gein

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3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

One of the most critically-acclaimed horror movies ever is certainly The Silence of the Lambs. Anthony Hopkins starred as the cunning cannibal Hannibal Lecter with Jodie Foster portraying the protagonist, Clarice Starling. The film is the only horror movie to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Without Ed Gein, however, the movie may never have happened.

It could be argued that another mentally disturbed character in the film is even more terrifying than Hannibal Lecter. That would be Jame Gumb, better known by the nickname “Buffalo Bill”. This is the character that mentally scarred many filmgoers who saw the movie when it first premiered.

While aspects of some other serial killers, such as the charming murderer Ted Bundy, were used to influence certain parts of the Buffalo Bill character, it was Gein who served as the primary source of inspiration. This, of course, includes Buffalo Bill’s desire to skin a woman and wear her skin as a flesh-suit, something Gein himself had actually done.

What Gein and Buffalo Bill have in common is that the worst of what they do to their victims comes after their deaths, rather than before. And that’s horrifying on an entirely different level.

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