Wednesday, August 22, 2007


There's this little movie from 1960 which stands as my favorite Alfred Hitchcock film of all time. It's about this pretty woman who steals $40,000 from her job and drives away only to end up in a strange eerie motel run by a shy handsome creepy mama's boy gentleman who has a knife-wielding jealous murderous "mother." We all know the name Norman Bates and the deserted motel he ran, for this is the shocking creepy black & white masterpiece seen around the world. A classic in every sense; from Bernard Herrmann's haunting score, the now often imitated (but never duplicated!) shower scene, and its mature themes such as implied masturbation and transvestism which are forever etched in our minds. There was no better cast than Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, and even the wooden stiff but very handsome stud John Gavin.
So why then, WHY I AXE Y'ALL, would director Gus Van Sant remake Psycho in the late 1990s into the laughable and God awful waste of celluloid that he did? WHY???!!!!! WHO THA HELL KNOWS?!!

But let's compare the masterpiece with the piece o' crap shall we?

-The original shower scene. Perfectly executed in every sense with the famous screeching violins by composer Herrmann. Perhaps the most famous scene in film history:

-And a comparison of the new remake shower scene. Anne Heche looks retarded and epileptic, the new Bates house looks dumb, and all that red blood just don't work!
-The second murder in the film. It's disturbing. It really is:

-Now take a look at the remake version. One has to laugh not only at the way William H. Macy (who is usually a terrific actor) falls back and screams, but at the strange imagery Van Sant uses in this ridculous scene!

-Norman is discovered to be a murdering mentally disturbed transvestite! Creepy!

-Vince Vaughn however, is discovered to be a cheap ludicrous drag queen:

-Anthony Perkins really played the part to perfection. Look at his face and just listen to "mother's" chilling voice:

-Vince Vaughn on the other hand, kinda turns me on here. He looks somewhat hot and like he's about to jack-off! LOLOLOL!



Todd said...

Why? Because Gus Van Sant is a no talen hack who had an interesting idea and poorly executed it in what is called MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO and became famous. Have you ever tried to read one of his incredibly stupid books?

Gavin Elster said...

While I'm no fan of the Van Sant version I can tolerate his remake.
If you think of the story as just that, a story then a retelling is not only ok but needed. If this were a play then no one would have ever pitched a fit. Plays get restaged all the time.
What I found offensive was the "shot for shot" aspect. (Which was just a poor selling point as the film is NOT shot for shot) I didn't like the fact that Lila was now a key holding lesbian and Sam shops at AARDVARKS. VV did an interesting take on Norman that grew out of nevous on screen jitters more than any direction Van Sant gave. Marion's motivation for taking the money was distroyed by Anne Heche's improper performance. Case in point the "Packing" scene. While Janet showed clear apprihention about taking the money Anne seems almost like a giddy school girl full of nervous excitment about the prospect of getting some backroom hardware store dick while laying on mounds of cash. Anne fucked it up and its clear she cant act.

Vertigo may be my current favorite film but Psycho will always be my first.

M- Filer said...

I just watched the last clip with Vince...damn he was hot before he got fat. Maybe fat isn't the word, but ya know what I mean. He looks so cute sitting there wrapped in his blanket having psychotic thoughts.

laurenbove said...

WOW! Goodmorning WAT. I really had fun with the comparison study of these two versions of Psycho. Obviously the original has the right feel and it's lean sinewy performance was always restrained just enough to create a lot of tension in me when watching. It seems the newer remakes typically dumb down the nuances into complete and obvious detailed over explainations...photographically, and with out respect to our intelligence and love and intrest in what is left out, as much as what is in the film.

I think even books to tv or film remakes do that...take out the part that we need to fill in mentally the part that is unique and provides unique satisfaction to the individual... Leaving a stupid obvious and underwhelmed feeling. I don't know why any actor would do it. They must know/be aware that they will fail, before going in. It's simple human nature.

Oh well. it was a fun morning for me though. thanks again for making me think even before my coffee set in.


PS: After seeing Wedding Crashers, I really don't think I could give VV a fair shake anyway.

Junk Thief said...

I've never had the nerve to watch this remake or the various sequels to the original. Anne Heche looks retarded? Isn't that redundant? Oh, actually I like her in a weird way. It might have been interesting during the time it was filmed to have had her in the Norman role as a drag king chasing around Uma Thurman in the shower.

Gavin Elster said...

Wat You have a location of the original very close to you.
At the corner of Lankershim Blvd. and Whipple Street is a BMW dealer. That dealership (on the east side of the street) is where they filmed the scene in which Marion switches out her car at CALIFORNIA CHARLIES used car dealership. The location hasn't changed that much since they filmed Psycho.

If you are curious about the location that Anne Hesche traded her car it is located on Van Nuys Blvd North of Burbank Blvd. on the west side.

WAT said...

Thank u G.E. for all yer great info. I've seen this dealer before, but had no idea this was the historic one in the movie!

LA's tha place.

Pod said...

gus has made some real booloos.....

as for anne hesh.....

she even sounds like something you would find in a tissue

Palm Springs Savant said...

I'm still freaked out my psycho. especially if I'm alone taking a shower. Which is why I like to shower with someone else...

Bill German said...

i was up at bodega bay this month and the old world charm of the filming of the birds has been replaced with bullshit gift shops and the thrill is gone