Unbeknownst to all but the most dedicated of TV viewers, NBC tried making a TV series out of director Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in 1987. That aborted version of “Bates Motel” starred Bud Cort (Harold and Maude) as Norman Bates’ roommate at the lunatic asylum, who gets out and reopens his kill-crazy pal’s old roadside haunt. For better or worse (mostly the former), the pilot movie (still unavailable on DVD) never got picked up for a full series. Now A&E is trying again, rebooting writer Robert Bloch’s familiar oedipal plotline as a weekly cable series.
There was a strange point in my adolescence where a friend and I had an obsession with the Psycho movie series. Series, you ask? Yep, 23 years after the Hitchcock classic came out, a low-budget sequel was released (and then a few more). What kept it interesting was that Anthony Perkins (aka Norman Bates) had stayed on board.
Anthony Perkins was a weird guy. Either that, or he was just really good at playing one. More than being just a perverted, serial-killing momma’s boy, Psycho II introduced us to Bates’ penchant for whole milk. It was a fucked up movie.
But according to John Bear, it was no less misguided than Manuel Muñoz’ What You See in the Dark, a book about the making of Psycho, which Bear reviewed for this week’s Arts section.
What You See in the Dark by Manuel Muñoz relies strongly on the outward appearance of being about an Alfred Hitchcock film. So the absence of the creepy Englishman for the first half of the proceedings stands out like his famously bulbous profile.
Canada's conservative government is going all Reagan on your ass with this crime bill.
This bicycle plays records.
You must watch this nifty/naughty stop-motion Spike Jonze short.
Was Gaddafi the richest man in the world?
Uber-expensive new metallurgy laboratory (read as "nuclear bomb factory") in Los Alamos continues to freak everyone out.
C&O Canal water-bridge (aqueduct) over water has been restored. Neat.
Take the psycho ex-girlfriend test.
Which RUSH song is stuck in your head right now?
Did you know RUSH had a drummer BEFORE Neil Peart?