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The Psycho Legacy
HDDVD disk
Nov 1, 2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
The Psycho Legacy order
Director:
Robert V. Galluzzo

Actors:
Anthony Perkins
Jeff Fahey
Robert Loggia

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Anthony Perkins and Sir Alfred Hitchcock created a vision for Horror that nobody saw coming but fans still know, love and respect five decades later. PSYCHO redefined the way of the serial killer as we know it and this documentary takes us into the mind and mythos of Norman Bates, one of the most iconic characters to ever take the stage.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
The PSYCHO films were regrettably before my time as a movie buff (case in point, I had no idea they even made a part IV). Now of course I know who Norman Bates is and I have a great respect for the boundaries this character and these movies help push but after watching this documentary I can honestly say that I didnít know a hell of a lot about PSYCHO. Thankfully, THE PSYCHO LEGACY is an in depth look at not only the films themselves but the characters, the actors and the blood, sweat and tears that went into making these films the icons they are today and the end result is cool beans whether youíre a die-hard fan or a bit of a newbie to the series like myself.

My favourite angle with Norman Bates is how they decided to push the ďnormal lookingĒ dude next door approach (Anthony Perkins had been a romantic lead up until PSYCHO), to show audiences that evil has many faces, even the pretty ones we donít expect. Yes, that angle is nothing new these days but it was a pretty big deal back then. Iíd always known the shower scene was a landmark in Horror history as well (I always loved the POLICE ACADEMY reference to it) but I didnít know all the reasons why; beyond the nudity, theyíd never actually shown that sort of in-your-face brutality and I found the work they put into very interesting.

Anthony Perkins plays a fantastic villain, as a kid I was freaked out by the VHS covers of these movies but it was the third film where itís his face dangling the key that always stuck with me. One of the only scenes I distinctly remember from PSYCHO 3 was when the sheriff was asking Perkins some questions by the ice machine (that had a dead chick in it), he then reaches in and takes a piece of ice which he proceeds to eat. Itís probably not as cool now as it was then but I still dug it. The one film they donít mention here is the awkward remake featuring Vince Vaughn. I remember watching it and thinking, ďMan, this guyís ridiculous giggle is annoying.Ē This was back before Vince got comedy fever so as awkward as it was then, I can only imagine how it would play out now.

THE PSYCHO LEGACY is a rewarding look into a series of films that helped shape what Horror is today. For many fans these films are underrated, especially when it comes down to the time and effort put into the sequels. I was never into Hitchcock films (again, the black and white days were before my time), I know of them sure, but theyíre just not films I even ended up watching. In light of this documentary however, I do plan on re-watching the PSYCHO films as I now feel that Iím missing out on something special, something that still manages to capture the hearts and minds of fans fifty years later.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted Scenes: Rather than actual deleted scenes, here we get an extension of the documentary as the various peeps involved discuss each individual scene and offer their two cents. Itís clear everyone here loves these films.

Extended Interviews: Much like the title implies, we again get another extension of the documentary via more one on one time with the writers, producers and cast for all the films. It would have been cool as hell to hear what Anthony Perkins and Alfred Hitchcock had to add these days.

Disc 2: The second disc contains over three hours of features but like the two featurettes that came before this one, I really felt this was an ongoing cut of this documentary. There are more scene discussions, a tour of the Bates Motel, more of Anthony Perkinsí discussion panel, the PSYCHO reunion panel as well as more discussions on the sets, the art and the memorabilia (mostly the infamous knife) as well as more open ended discussions on the films themselves. Basically, they could have just made this documentary a four to five hour deal and been done with it.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I certainly canít talk the talk about PSYCHO that the boys in this documentary can as I came into Horror via Jason and Freddy, but the documentary is rewarding and worth checking out as it made me want to buy the PSYCHO films and play a little catch-up. You donít need to own it, but itís certainly worth checking out.
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