Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why, she wouldn't even hurt a fly...

Psycho (1960)

Last night we made yet another trek to The Loft. This time to see a once in a lifetime showing of the 35MM print of the original Alfred Hitchcock horror classic PSYCHO (1960). This week marks the 50th anniversary of this genre-shattering release upon an unsuspecting middle-American audience. I can only imagine what monstrous effect it had on such homogenous sensibilities all those years ago. Talk about really messing up June Cleaver and “The Beav”.

There is no other movie like Psycho. Even that useless 1998 remake by numbnut, uber-pretentious Gus Van Zant didn’t get anywhere near the same response; in fact, if anything, it caused some fairly angry reactions among Hitchcock fanatics and horrorheads. Probably the closest thing we’ve had happen to horror since Psycho would be John Carpenter’s classic slasher, HALLOWEEN (1978). What struck me (although I guess this should not surprise me by now) is that the younger people in the audience seemed to find certain frightening parts funny—parts which most horror fans would agree are some of the greatest scenes ever shot by Hitchcock.

Of course sensibilities have changed.
Moviegoers have inevitably become more jaded by several decades of gratuitous violence, both in cinema and the news. Although some would say, with very little argument from me, that these mediums are sometimes one in the same.
But the scenes that still worked and got startled screams from this mixed audience?
--“Mrs. Bates’” sudden knife attack on private dick Arbogast at the top of the stairs got probably the most vocal reaction of the night.
--Another one that got a big reaction was the end scene of Norman Bates’ creepy and terrible smile into the camera.

Personally, I think there is a certain huge quality to Hitchcock’s films that make them perfect for the big screen. I was lucky enough to have seen on the big screen what I consider his greatest film, VERTIGO (1958), back in 1996 in Orlando.
Not to get off on a tangent, here, but Jimmy Stewart’s performance in Vertigo is nothing short of heart rending. Even to the point at which he wants revenge for having been played by a woman whom he loved with all his heart.
But back to last night. We once again met up with our buddy RJ Cavender and we got a chance to meet another of our mutual Facebook friends, Eric Grizzle and his wife. Unfortunately, the place was so packed we didn’t get a chance to really talk much with them. Although I believe his wife won a cool DVD set during the pre-show raffle. Congrats to her!
Maybe we'll get a chance to talk with them next time.
But we had a great time watching the film and a great time hanging with RJ for a bit. We plan more excursions to The Loft. We know for sure we'll be there for their annual Scream-O-Rama (more on that later as details become available), so maybe we'll meet some of you there in August.

Before I go, here’s a little something for the Nick Cave fans out there. This is his version of “Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart”. i love this song and love Nick Cave. He's a unique kind of intellectual rockstar, with a voice like no one else.

--Nickolas Cook

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