THE PSYCHO LEGACY
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
Robert V. Galluzzo
and Robert Loggia
What's it about
The first documentary to completely explore the legacy of all four Psycho films.
Is it good movie?
Now I always enjoy a good documentary. If done correctly, they can be an enlightening experience. If done poorly, they can be shitty and annoying. The Psycho Legacy falls somewhere in-between. Itís a doc that wants to dig deep into Norman Batesí cellar and examine the legend of Hitchcockís masterpiece and all the follow-ups. And to some respect it does. It collects an impressive array of interviews and speeches by the filmmakers, cast, fans of the movies, and critics to present a fairly well rounded discussion about why these films have endured for a half-century. These are passionate folks who know their stuff.
However, thatís my problem with The Psycho Legacy. Itís more or less an 87-minute discussion of the movies versus an exploration of what made them become a part of pop culture. Sure, that comes out some during the interviews, but after a while itís just an overload of interviews, one person after another discussing their love. Thatís good. Thatís interesting. But I wanted a little narration to guide the doc along so it doesnít feel as random. I want to know more about the creation of the movie, about building the sets, and much, much more about Hitchcock. I realize the guy is dead, but there must be more folks out there to reveal more info than I got. Also, it would have been nice to have places all four movies in a slightly more organized fashion for a feature length documentary. The Psycho Legacy is quite insightful, but it plays more like an extra on the Psycho DVD than an independent production. I donít knock the director for piecing the information together, but the presentation isnít overly interesting. It doesnít hold, doesnít hook the audience for a long period, whether a fan of the genre or not. The movie tries mightily, but it lacks the overall knockout punch to make it a re-watchable experience. Sure, maybe some fans just love hearing people talk about the movies. And thatís fine. But I want a more cognitive experience from a documentary. Maybe that makes me a jerk. A horror documentary jerk. The worldís first.
Video / Audio
Video: A full frame presentation.
Audio: A nice sounding presentation. (Itís a documentary, what are you expecting 5.1?)
Anthony Perkins Q&A: A joyful Perkins provides a great Q&A with an audience in at a convention hall around the late 80s (it seems about that time at least). About 40 some minutes of Psycho goodness complete with a skinny tie and bad old lady glasses on Perkins.
Psycho Reunion Panel: Audio clips from the reunion of the surviving crew members in 2008. Some interesting comments as the audio plays over still pictures from the meeting.
Bates Motel Tour: A brief tour of the motel with commentary from the director of the doc.
Revisiting Psycho II: A 15 minute convo with the writer and editor of the sequel with some interesting tidbits about it and lots of love about the script here.
Shooting Psycho II: A interview with cinematographer Dean Cundey about the creation of the movie. Dude carries some weight as the former director of photographer of Halloween and a lot of famous movies. Interesting stuff.
Meeting a psycho Psycho fan: We travel to the home of a super fan. Like any obsessed fan, itís a little creepy. And I wasnít overly impressed with all his stuff. Just saying. I expected a true hoarder.
The other stuff: Psycho on the web, in Art, and in Print A collection of interviews about the original novel and the author. Itís interesting to remember the movie wasnít all Hitchcock. The web portion I didnít find too great, but the art doc about serial killers is a good watch.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Psycho Legacy but it left me wanting more. Left me wanting to get a bloody shovel and dig up Perkins and Hitchcock to ask just one more Q. Well, maybe two more.