Casabloga: Psycho

I know I said I would have my computer “before long”, but then my computer wasn’t even sent. I found out last night that it’s getting shipped next month. I keep getting emails and notifications on my phone from WordPress and the WordPress app that I haven’t posted. So I figured since it’d been awhile, and I promised that the next Casabloga would be Psycho, a movie I’ve seen more than the Sun, I will do a review over that one now. I’m typing this on my phone, so this may not be as long as I would like it to be. Although I have a Galaxy S4, which has awesome predictive text to where I didn’t have to type the last few lines…

In 1957, monster by the name of Ed Gein was discovered and arrested. This one guy was the inspiration for fictional characters such as Leatherface from Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, and Norman Bates from Psycho.

Horror writer Robert Bloch lived close to where Gein was arrested, and as soon as he heard the news, it gave him the idea for a story about a monster disguised as a harmless person who you’d trust without 1958, he published Psycho. But Allred Hitchcock found it and immediately decided that it had to be his next movie. Just like people tried talking Walter Disney out of making Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, people tried stopping Hitchcock from making Psycho. Bu t he did, and history is grateful for it.

Pretty much everything about the movie holds up a middle finger to the standards of filmmaking at the time. The first time you see someone, it’s an unmarried couple (though Sam is divorced) in bed together with most of their clothes off. Janet Leigh in a bra may be very tame by today’s standards, but back then it was shocking. The film also marks the first time a toilet was seen or heard in a movie. Movies used to be totally different…

But I don’t just love the movie because of its innovation. The story and characters of the movie make this one of the most enjoyable movies I have ever seen. I wasn’t surprised at all when it was announced that they would be making a Bates Motel TV series (but that’s a different post all together).

But this wouldn’t be a decent review of Psycho if I didn’t praise the music of Bernard Hermann. From the opening credits through to the “The End”, Hermann’s score really brings this rich story to life. He turns something as simple as a single shot on Marion Crane’s face as she’s driving into a very suspenseful scene.

This is one film I could go on about forever, taking about the extended franchise such as the sequels, the novel series, the failed TV pilot (that was still good), and the current successful TV series. Makes me glad Alfred Hitchcock didn’t listen to anyone.


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