FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

May 10, 2014

amazon one-star reviews: PSYCHO (1960)

I finally got my mitts on the Psycho Blu-Ray and to celebrate Norman Bates's Maniac Madness victory over Leatherface, I checked it out last night. Hatchi matchi, it melted my eyes with beautiful! It was like seeing the film for the first time. I saw details I ain't never seen before, such as this startling second during the shower scene, where the glint of Mother's eye is visible through the curtain:

yo sorry for pinching your pic, but i have no way to get BR screencaps

I don't want to get too academic over it, but gol dang, Psycho is such a great movie. Don't you think? You probably do. But hey, not everyone does. Including this reviewer, who thinks the revolutionary film is worth but one Amazon star!

this is so stupid i could puke! a movie based on the exploits of ed gaines. hes also the inspiration for red dragon and some other silence of the lambs. hes the guy in texas chainsaw massacre. norman bates is only created from ed. norman runs this hotel and kills whoever comes there. his dead mom is in his head encouraging him all the way. he thinks hes a chick and even dresses up like one to kill. not for the kids unless youd like them to have aids. cross dressing and prison can both point you in the right direction if thats something youre interested in. im not. f!2k that! its obviously a horror film. in fact, theres the famous shower scene where he hacks this chick up in a shower. dont get your hopes up, theres no nudity, only a silloutte of the 2 bodies and tiny little spatter of blood. it was the most violent scene in the world at the time. theres a quote that kind of got some recognition. morman says"we all go a little crazy sometimes". thats scary to think about. theres plenty of sequels. the last one i saw showed norman as a child abuse victim as a kid. it just doesnt get any better does it? it is considered by many [not me i think it sucks] to be the greatest horror film ever. well, i can name many way better ones like childs play, a nightmare on elm st, friday the 13th, halloween, hellraiser, the all time greatest -the shining-truckloads of zombie just sucks.(...)
You have to admit, he does have some points. First of all, while history says that Robert Bloch got the idea for Psycho's "murderer next door you'd never suspect" conceit from the case of Ed Gein, it was in fact from the story of Ed Gaines. And yes, this notorious Ed Gaines did inspire some of those other Silence of the Lambses. That's just fact.

Also, it's been proven by science that anyone under the age of 18 who watches Psycho is stricken with AIDS. A terrible thing, but we all know that Alfred Hitchcock was very much against the notion of children watching horror movies. At least he did something about it instead of just blogging and yelling!

While these are solid points, I think the final argument is perhaps the most persuasive: it just sucks. Geez, now I don't know what to think about Psycho! I guess it's like Morman says...we all go a little crazy sometimes.


Miskatonic said...

I used to be a Morman. I even went on a two year mission when I was 19. Morman missionaries always come in twos. One time my missionary partner and I knocked on an old lady's door. When she answered she asked us if we were the "JeNovas". My partner responded, "No... We're the Normans"

Now, either she was scared half to death because she thought she had just opened the door to a couple of Bateses, or she was just really annoyed. Either way, she slammed the door.

Anonymous said...

That one-star review is...something! It exists.
When I wrote about "Psycho" on my blog, I was surprised how many people really dislike it. I loved it but I think a lot of people can't deal with how different it is from slashers made in the 80s and 90s. Maybe I was prepared for it because I saw "Peeping Tom" before I saw "Psycho?"

Stacie Ponder said...

I can totally see how genre fans who prefer modern day gore-n-fast action flicks would HATE Psycho and wonder why it's considered a classic. Marion Crane isn't killed until about 50 minutes in, whereas for the past thirty+ years of slashers if there's not a death in the first ten minutes (and one every ten minutes after that) it's considered lame.

vampy said...

My thinking is that Psycho is on the line between movies like Pacific Heights, Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Fatal Attraction, House of Sand and Fog and movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Motel Hell, Halloween and Friday the 13th.

Now, for me that's no problem, I go into Hitchcock usually expecting more subtle horror like in a Rope, Rear Window, or Shadow of a Doubt. However, nowadays those would likely be placed in the "suspense thriller" genre. Psycho doesn't quite fit in that genre, too much overt horror, but long stretches of the movie are like that.

But for me the best part was when the reviewer mentioned AIDS.

improperenglish said...

Watched an absolutely beautiful-looking transfer of 'Psycho' with my sister the other day; didn't know an old movie could look that good. (Also, she'd never seen it before).

Long story short, she absolutely loved it! And she normally refuses to watch anything made before 1990 or so.

I see Psycho as being sort of Pulp Fiction-esque, in that it basically breaks down into three or four extended vignettes: Marion Crane stealing the money, ending up at the Bates Motel, and being murdered; Norman covering it up, at which point our sympathies switch almost entirely over to him; Arbogast investigating Marion's disappearance; and, finally, Lila and Loomis following in his footsteps, confronting Norman, and uncovering the truth.

It fools you a bit, because the main "chapters" are presented in a linear fashion (as opposed to movies like 'Pulp' that skip around in time), with each one very straightforwardly spinning off from the last. But I think part of what puzzles people about the film is that it essentially loses any semblance of a main character at about the halfway point, only following Norman, Arbogast, or Sam/Lila for relatively short periods of time.

Jonathan said...

We can now add 'liking Psycho' to the list of ways you know whether or not you have aids. It ranks right up there with your hand being bigger than your face.

As for the modern day horror fans not enjoying Psycho, I see your point. However, I do not understand film aficionados like Quentin Tarantino and Harry Knowles stating that "Psycho II" is much better than the original. That being said, "Psycho II" rocks as well as a sequel to one of the greatest movies ever made can.

Stacie Ponder said...

Unless you're really not a fan of "old movies", I don't see how someone could say that any of the sequels are better than the original. Like you said, though, Part II is super terrific. I love it- it's waaaaay better than one would rationally expect. For all its faults, Part III is a lot of fun and I dig it. Heck, I just watched Part IV and was surprised to find it's not as bad as I remember. All in all a really solid series, which is surprising since the first film certainly didn't need any sequels.

Dead In Hell said...

"i can name many way better ones like childs play"

I know this film has its fans, but when it was the VERY FIRST thing to come to this reviewer's mind I I don't have the words.

vwstieber said...

"Child's Play"? Really??? My eyes got the aids just from reading that.

I guess Hitchcock really was the Uwe Boll of his generation.

I also love the part where the 1-star reviewer feels the need to mention that he's really, really not interested in cross-dressing in prison. Methinks thou dost protest too much, oh dainty little one-star bee-yotch.