Synopsis: In 1960 Anthony Perkins scare the world with his chilling portrayal of a murderous madman obsessed with his dead mother, catapulting the horror genre into a new realm of possibility. Alfred Hitchcock’s original Psycho spawned three sequels and one remake, and the series continues to affect popular culture 50 years later.
The Psycho Legacy follows the indelible filmmaking legacy left by the Psycho movies and unravels the screenwriting, casting and directing all of the motion pictures starring Anthony Perkins, examining their undeniable longevity and success. Interweaving ultra rare and never-before-seen footage of Anthony Perkins and dozens of interviews, including Robert Loggia, Olivia Hussey, Henry Thomas, Diana Scarwid, Tom Holland, Hilton Green, Mick Garris and many more, The Psycho Legacy is the first documentary to untie and explore decades of Psycho movies in one place, reveling surprises and insights into what is considered the “granddaddy of modern horror.”
Like many other fans of the ‘Psycho’ series, Robert V. Galluzzo deplored the fact that the home video releases of the three sequels featured absolutely no interviews or other insightful and/or entertaining looks at the films.
Unlike all other fans, however, he decided to take matters in his own hands: he sought out cast, crew, fans and industry people and put together a film documenting the series, along with a bevy of other footage that aficionados are rejoicing about.
It took three years, but the film is finally out on DVD.
It’s an insightful piece, even if it doesn’t go very deep (it is, after all, a 90-mins documentary covering four films!). It provides viewers with a variety of information about the making of the films, as well as colourful commentary, and fills the void in the hearts of fans everywhere. Not bad, all things considered.
But it truly is for fans. And that’s its chief weakness:
The filmmaker assumes that the viewer has seen the films and is familiar with the content; ‘The Psycho Legacy’ doesn’t devote any time to providing a basic background on the films. If a person is unfamiliar with the stories, cast and crews of these productions, then the pieces may seem a tad loose at times.
It’s also severely biased and over-enthusiastic. I mean, there’s no way that one could seriously say that ‘Psycho III’ is a good film – except that some of the interviewees find ways to ooze praise on what is nothing but a schlocky, pain-by-numbers sequel. Fan or not, one has to be level-headed and see the films for what they are – flaws and all. Not so, here.
‘The Psycho Legacy’ is obviously low budget, not having had the benefit of a big studio’s backing for its financing (in fact, they probably couldn’t afford the rights to even the music, because they had to come up with a facsimile of it! ). But the film was admirably done nonetheless, despite some cheap graphics and poor audio on a couple of the interviews – one simply has to remember that this was a DYI production.
In the end, seeing as it contains a great range of interviews from fans, filmmakers, crew, actors and plenty of excellent information that isn’t available elsewhere, ‘The Psycho Legacy’ is a very good companion piece to the films. It’s certainly worth every penny for fans of the series and/or of the genre.