Welcome to Laughing Vixen Lounge and a very special Fear Friday. As part of the May Monster Madness hop and the final film in the May Road Trip theme, this week's film has one of the most iconic monsters in cinema history. A classic tale of a fateful stop for the night after a long drive. A brilliant performance and an unforgettable setting makes this experience something that will stay with you long after the movie stops. Enjoy!
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Every Friday at the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog is Fear Friday. Fear Fridays are a celebration of all films spooky. Horror is a very broad genre and the Lounge loves it all. Each Friday you will find a review of a different film. These can range from Classic Horror (black and white and cheesy), Thrillers (suspense, jumps and a good mystery), outright Horror (chop chop, slash slash, die die) and anything else in between.
So pop some popcorn, kill the lights and enjoy tonight's selection. And please, share your comments on the film. Bad or good let me know what you thought of it. And now, my little ghouls and dolls, the Laughing Vixen Lounge Blog is proud to present this week's film.
Fear Friday - Psycho
Taglines - No One ... BUT NO ONE ... Will Be
Admitted To The Theatre After The Start
Of Each Performance Of Alfred
It Is Required That You See Psycho From
The Very Beginning!
Don't give away the ending - it's the only
one we have!
As the last film in the May Road Trip theme and as part of the May Monster Madness hop, this film fits both perfectly!!! Could there be a more classic tale of horror on the road or a more iconic film killer? Psycho may be over 50 years old but it is still the stuff of nightmares.
Alfred Hitchcock directed this film version of the novel by Robert Bloch. Released by Paramount Studios (but actually owned by and filmed at Universal Studios) on August 25, 1960 (Not rated). Secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) decides on a whim to steal $40,000 and run off to be with her boyfriend Sam Loomis (John Gavin). She may have gotten away with it if she had not made one fatal error...stopping at The Bates Motel for the night. Caretaker Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and his "Mother" make this an unfortunate night for Marion. Can her sister Lila Crane (Vera Miles) and Sam solve the mystery of what happened to Marion or will they fall prey to the Bates Motel too?
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I simply adore this movie. The black and white is gorgeous and the music is divine. It truly is one of the scariest scores out there. The fact that it is over 50 years old, there is no gore and not a lot of violence, and it can still scare you is a testament to how well made it is.
Anthony Perkins is brilliant as the overgrown child Norman Bates. His dialogue with Marion in the parlor is engrossing. He goes from innocent to dark and back again with ease (this probably should have been her cue to leave right then and there!). The whole scene where he cleans the bathroom just makes my skin crawl.
I know I am probably the only one that actually liked the Gus VanSant remake of Psycho but Vince Vaughn did a great job at the role of Norman. It is always tricky stepping into an iconic role like that but I think he did good at capturing Anthony Perkins' Norman while still making it his own. Either way you look at it it is still creepy watching either of them eating those candy corns with that slightly evil boyish smile.
The fact that the movie took inspiration from the real Ed Gein and his life makes for an all the more creepy feel. After watching the 2012 movie "Hitchcock", about the making of Psycho, it was very interesting to learn all the connections between the two.
And there is the house. I love it and the motel. Just plain creepy and wonderful! It was largely based on the painting "House by the Railroad" by Edward Hopper, 1925.
And of course now we have the TV show "Bates Motel". While it takes some liberties with the story and setting I am OK with most of it. Not real fond that they make Norman a killer from the beginning, and that he channels Mother before she is dead, but it does not bother me enough to stop watching it. The set is gorgeous!!! They rebuilt the entire motel and house up in British Columbia. It is great to see it brought to life again and this time used in much more depth. But my favorite part has to be Norma or "Mother". Vera Farmiga does an amazing job at making the character a full rounded human instead of just the overbearing mother. Her performance and the set is what really makes this version of the story a must see each week. The big problem with this show? It only airs 10 weeks out of the year!!! So unfair!
|Norma and Norman arrive at their new home. |
Originally the "Seafairer Motel" will soon
become the "Bates Motel".
Take a look at the original trailer.
Some trivia about the movie.
1. Alfred Hitchcock bought the rights to the novel anonymously from Robert Bloch for only US$9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret.
2. Alfred Hitchcock's cameo is about four minutes in wearing a cowboy hat outside Marion's office.
3. Walt Disney refused to allow Alfred Hitchcock to film at Disneyland in the early 1960s because Hitchcock had made "that disgusting movie "Psycho".
4. In the opening scene, Marion Crane is wearing a white bra because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to show her as being "angelic". After she has taken the money, the following scene has her in a black bra because now she has done something wrong and evil. Similarly, before she steals the money, she has a white purse; after she's stolen the money, her purse is black.
5. Marion's white 1957 Ford sedan is the same car (owned by Universal) that the Cleaver family drove on "Leave It to Beaver" (1957).
6. First American film ever to show a toilet flushing on screen.
7. The novel "Psycho", written by Robert Bloch, was actually part of a series of pulp novels marketed in conjunction with the popular spooky radio show "Inner Sanctum".
8. To ensure the people were in the theaters at the start of the film (rather than walking in part way through) the studio provided a record to play in the foyer of the theaters. The album featured background music, occasionally interrupted by a voice saying "Ten minutes to Psycho time," "Five minutes to Psycho time," and so on.
9. The Bates house was largely modeled on an oil painting at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The canvas is called "House by the Railroad" and was painted in 1925 by American iconic artist Edward Hopper. The architectural details, viewpoint and austere sky is almost identical as seen in the film.
10. In the murder scene in the shower, we never see the knife actually touching the victim's body.
11. The last shot of Norman Bates' face has a still frame of a human skull superimposed on it, almost subliminally.
12. Alfred Hitchcock strictly mandated, and even wrote into theater managers' contracts, that no one arriving after the start of each showing of "Psycho" would be admitted into the theater until the beginning of the next showing.
The May Monster Madness hop is hosted by Annie Walls, Little Gothic Horrors and Something wicKED this way comes