Ed Gein, the 1950s murderer/grave robber/taxidermist/interior design innovator has inspired plenty of movies. “Psycho.” “The Silence of the Lambs.” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” But nothing like this.

“Ed Gein, The Musical” is “Sweeney Todd” in a red plaid shirt, a macabre medley of Midwestern murder, mayhem and mirth. It's based on the notorious Wisconsin serial killer who made masks from the skins of his victims and fashioned furniture from their bones.
Dan Davies’ $9,000 extravaganza is a treatise on deviant psychology with a libretto of song parodies. Davies, who also wrote the script and stars, really throws himself into the role of the timid, childlike ghoul, belting out “Everybody Needs Some Body Sometime” with community-theater gusto. It was filmed around Appleton because Gein's hometown of Plainfield was uncooperative.
The unrated100-minute production is overlong, unless you have an insatiable appetite for sick jokes, vintage cars and stage blood. But it’s also creative, technically competent and boldly confident in its tastelessness. It’s a cut above cheap, so-bad-they’re good midnight movies like “Troll 2” and “The Room,” whose blithe incompetence is their chief selling point. In fact, at $9,000 it’s a bargain, the best Wisconsin necrophilia musical you will see this year.
The film makes its area premiere next week at the Mounds theatre, 1029 Hudson Road, St. Paul. Showtimes are 7 and 9 April 1-2; 4, 7 and 9 April 3; 7 and 9 April 9; 4, 7 and 9:15 p.mApril 10. Tickets: $9. Call the theater at (651) 772-2253 or visit www.edgeinthemusical.com