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Psycho--Dinner and a Movie
Dinner and a Movie About the Bate's Motel?
Few movies have had an impact like Alfred Hitchcocks Psycho. Filmed back in late 1959 and early 1960, it still retains its element of horror for todays viewers, just as it did when it debuted well over 50 years ago. Almost all who have watched the shower scene in Psycho, if they are honest, have felt qualms and uneasiness, at least just once, while taking a shower afterwards.
The two main characters in Psycho are Norman Bates, played by Anthony Hopkins and Marion Crane, played by Janet Leigh. Marion Crane stopped in at the Bates Motel, which is owned and managed by Norman Bates. Norman seems somewhat quiet and shy but hospitable and eager to please. Its clear he cares about making Ms. Cranes stay at his motel a comfortable one, at least in the beginning. He offers to make Marion a sandwich; she accepts, and eats while talking to Norman and getting further acquainted.
However, this happened to be Marions last normal meal and what ensues might make future dinners and the story of the Bates Motel look more like this picture here. There are many fascinating facts related to the making of Psycho and many scary parts we perceive are probably just something we only imagine in our minds, which is probably what makes Psycho such a timeless creation from the master of suspense films, Mr. Alfred Hitchcock. Read on, if you dare . . .
What's on Norman's Menu at the Bate's Motel?
1. White cake, splattered in blood--looks just like the shower scene!
2. Ham sandwiches with Norman's signature hand print.
3. Body part fondue--all things covered in blood-colored chocolate (orange segments, marshmallows, kiwis, cherries, walnuts, & banana fingers)
4. And to wash it all down, Bloody Mary's with Icy Eyeballs staring back at you.
All decorated with a bloody spray!
The Genius of Alfred Hitchcock's Talent
Alfred Hitchcock felt the movie was too grisly to be filmed in color. But filming in black and white seemed only to add another dimension to the drama. Many decisions made only enhanced the horror and suspense, allowing Psycho to remain relevant and forever scary for decades to come, from generation to generation.
However, much of what "appears" to be happening is incongruent with reality. Hitchcock was able to scare so completely by making the viewer assume certain detailed events drawn from their own summarized perceptions. The conclusions they came to from what they saw and heard invoked utter terror.
Tedious camera shots and screeching sound created Hitchcock's technique which he describes as, "transferring the menace from the screen into the mind of the audience." A knife puncturing flesh is never actually seen but the drama and suspense infused by sound are so real and intense that one's mind seems to naturally fill in the blanks. And then there is proof for what is happening when the blood flows down the shower drain . . .? Or wait! It is really blood?
In April 2013, the Psycho shower scene was voted best bathroom scene of any film in history.
The perfect shower curtain to set the tone.
Decorate in Psycho - Just Like the Bate's Motel!
Psycho contains abundant blood and demented violence. Marion is murdered while taking a shower when some knife wielding maniac entered her motel room and violently sent her into another world.
For Halloween, decorate your bathroom to look just like the most popular bathroom movie scene ever!
And to top off the perfect Psycho shower scene...add some Blood Shower Gel to clean up with!
Oops! Norman forgot to wash his hands before making these.
How Do You Feel About the Psycho Shower Scene at Norman Bate's Motel?
Did Psycho change the way you think about showers?
Real Blood or Not?
Is there real blood in the movie Psycho?
Bloody Mary with Icy Eyeballs--No Spirits Please!
What do a melon, chocolate syrup, and a rubber knife all have in common?
Some interesting things I learned about Psycho during my tour of Universal Studios a few years back-
Filming in black and white, chocolate syrup looks more like real blood even than stage blood does-so there is no blood used in Psycho, not even stage blood-it's all chocolate syrup!
A backstage knife attack on a melon created the sounds of a knife stabbing flesh.
And the tour guide assured us all that no real knives were ever used in filming--all knives appearing in the film were made of rubber.
The Power of Music
Hitchcock is quoted to say-"33% of the effect of Psycho was due to the music." Interesting, originally he planned for all the motel scenes, including the shower scene to be silent. Never underestimate the power of music, Mr. Hitchcock!
Get Set for Halloween Entertainment at Its Best - Watch the movie or add the Psycho music to your own Halloween Fun.
Get a copy of your own. Watch it again after learning the trivia involved; it adds to the enjoyment.
The music makes the drama complete and sets the atmosphere for the scariest movie ever!
More Trivia About Psycho
1. Hitchcock was a perfectionist-the short shower scene runs only a minute or two but includes 50 cuts. It took one full week to shoot from over 70 different angles.
2. The 1957 Ford Custom 300 driven by Marion Crane in Psycho is the exact same car used by the Cleaver family in "Leave it to Beaver"-seems ironic that their name was Cleaver! The car was owned by Universal Studios.
3. A flushing toilet had never appeared in mainstream film until Psycho-another first for Hitchcock.
Psycho was rated the 14th Greatest Movie of All Time by the American Film Institute.
If Scary is What You Desire,
Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho is Your Answer.
I remember the first time I watched Psycho. It was very scary, especially the shower scene. The music in the background builds the suspense and sets your nerves on edge. The plots twist and turn and the way things seem to be going is not usually how they end up. Alfred Hitchcock is notorious for movies that really keep you guessing until the very end. And even then you sometimes do not have a clear picture of how it really did end. Probably in that case, you might just need to make up your own ending, drawn from personal conclusions.
After viewing Psycho several times, there are still parts that always make me jump, even when I know they are coming. Like when Lila, played by Vera Miles, discovers Mrs. Bates in the cellar and gives out a blood-curdling scream. Or when . . .well there are many, many more . . . you decide which parts are most unnerving to you.
Psycho is a classic horror movie and still has the ability to scare adequately time and again. Even though after learning some of the secrets Hitchcock used in filming Psycho, which honestly made it a lot less scary for me overall, I still had second thoughts about taking a shower again. There is just something about that intense shower scene.
If you are in need of a good scare for Halloween this year, the first Psycho movie is a good choice to accomplish your goal. And don't forget to add a few bloody treats to your menu to munch on while enjoying the show.
What was the Scariest Movie Ever for You?
Which movie scared you the most?
Entertainment Weekly rated Psycho as the 7th Scariest Move of All Time
Photo & other credits: Unless otherwise noted, all pictures are the property of Deborah Leigh Alexander. Some trivia sited are from Wikipedia and some came from my tour of Universal Studios.
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