The Psycho Legacy Robert V. Galluzzo

The Psycho Legacy Robert V. Galluzzo
In the first 15 minutes of The Psycho Legacy, a documentary about a certain 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film and its three sequels, the talking head interviewees address the following topics, in this order: how much Psycho scared them as children; the brilliance of the shower scene; the way the film's violence and implied sexual content pushed the envelope; the film's unusual release ("No one… BUT NO ONE… Will be admitted to the theatre after the start of each performance); the idea that Hitchcock helped give the horror genre legitimacy; legends of Hitchcock's meticulous storyboarding; the fact that Norman Bates is scary; the fact that the music is iconic; and a number of other points that I forgot to jot down. Putting aside the chaotic zigzagging through Psycho's production chronology, I'd like to emphasize the fact that this is only the first 15 minutes, including the opening credits. So you see that The Psycho Legacy is pretty skimpy on analysis of most of Psycho's key points, but that's also because it devotes 20 minutes apiece to each of its Anthony Perkins-starring sequels from the '80s and '90s, and I don't think I'm being unfair when I say that it's strange that Psycho gets as much screen time as Psycho IV: The Beginning. There's no real arc to tie it all together ― each segment is a disorganized mess of sound bite-sized interviews and non-anecdotes ― but I think the real problem is that director Robert V. Galluzzo is blinded by his fan boy enthusiasm. It no longer counts as insight to simply say that Anthony Perkins was "born to play" Norman Bates or that "Psycho will always be relevant because every horror fan will always have it on the top of their list of movies they need to see," to quote one particularly obvious interviewee. Maybe he was also so excited to be interviewing so many of his heroes that he was too intimidated to ask them hard questions. Psycho IV director Mick Garris says Perkins was difficult to work with because he wanted to direct, but he doesn't explain their working relationship further (ditto the alleged friction between Perkins and Meg Tilly on Psycho III, which everyone seems too polite to offer real anecdotes about). The list of interviewees, including cast and crew from the Psycho sequels and writers for websites like ShockTillYouDrop.com, is decidedly C-list, which would be fine if their insights weren't so thin and hyperbolic. I confess to being less than riveted by Wrong Turn 2 director Joe Lynch professing his belief that Norman Bates could kill a room full of Freddys and Jasons. DVD extras include extended interviews, an Anthony Perkins Q&A at a horror convention from near the end of his life (his anecdotes are smooth and well-polished) and short documentaries on various aspects of Psycho fandom, including an obsessive collector who has the "Mother Bates" corpse from Psycho II in his living room and confirms that, yes, in case you were wondering, it does contain pubic hair. (Shout! Factory)