Director: Robert V. Galluzzo
Stars: Robert Loggia, Olivia Hussey, Henry Thomas, Tom Holland
Review by Brian M. Sammons
Docs on famous horror flicks are all the rage right now, which is a good thing since all that’s coming out of Hollywood horror-wise anymore are nonstop remakes. It’s good to remember when horror flicks were, well good. This latest documentary is on one of the best, most classic, and most influential horror movies of all time, Psycho, and the three sequels that followed it all staring the late, great Anthony Perkins. But does this 90 minute doc do that amazing film justice? Well grab your wig, dress, and butcher knife and let’s find out.
This film starts off as it should with the original film. It goes on about what a genius Hitchcock was and how talented the actors were, which is to be expected, but there is one large, glaring missing part. Well, mostly missing. The sum total length the documentary devotes to the original novel, without which there would have been no movie, and the author of that game changing book, Robert Bloch, is about two minutes. Now there is a featurette on the extras disc about the book and author, so I guess that’s something, but the fact that the actual documentary dismisses the book so easily was a bit of a let down. That aside, this documentary was a whole lot of fun. So now that the one complaint I had is out of the way, let’s take a stab at the good.
First and foremost this doc has some never-before-seen footage of Mr. Perkins discussing the movies and character that, for better or worse, he became such an imporant part of. While Hitchcock isn’t around to comment on his film, the other directors of the three sequels that followed all give their insights as do many of the actors from all four films. There are some noticeable actors missing, such as Meg Tilly and it would have been great to hear from her own lips about her well known problems with Tony Perkins, but I guess she doesn’t want anything to do with that these days. However other famous actors such as Henry Thomas, Robert Loggia, Olivia Hussey, Jeff Fayhe and others from the various Psycho movies all share their memories. Then there are the guest commentators, most of whom are horror directors, journalists, and the like, but some of these I do have to question what makes them an expert. Take the guy that directed the direct-to-video slasher sequel Wrong Turn 2 and … well nothing else. Why is he considered an authority on the Psycho films, other than possibly being friends with the maker of this doc?
In addition to the hour and a half documentary there is a bonus disc that comes with this Shout! Factory release that has over three hours of additional bonus content. I’m not going to list them all here, but I will say that everything and the kitchen sink – or should that be the bathroom shower – on all aspects of Psycho are covered, including what I missed most in the documentary: a very nice featurette about Bob Bloch and the three Psycho books he wrote. There’s also stuff on the making of Psycho 2, a featurette on creepy artists and art, extended and deleted scenes, a reunion panel on the original movie, and best of all, a full panel discussion with actor and Psycho 3 director Anthony Perkins.
Psycho Legacy is a fun, albeit a little light and fluffy, documentary on one of the greatest must see films, horror or otherwise. I can easily recommend this DVD to not only all horror fans but all cineophiles everywhere. This movie comes out October 19 and like the original classic the doc is about, this little film is a must see.