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The Psycho Legacy (2010) (NTSC)
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Details At A Glance
Additional Footage-Extended Interviews
Interviews-Cast-Full panel discussion with Perkins
Featurette-PSYCHO reunion panel
Featurette-A tour of the Bates Motel
Featurette-Revisiting PSYCHO II
Featurette-Shooting PSYCHO II
Featurette-A visit with PSYCHO memorabilia collector Guy Thorpe
Featurette-PSYCHO on the Web
Year Of Production
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew
Robert V. Galluzzo
NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.
††† The production of Alfred Hitchcockís Psycho has been exhaustively documented, with the film having been given a lot of attention for its two-disc special edition DVD release. But each DVD release of the three Psycho sequels has been barebones, with no commentaries or featurettes to shed light on the productions. Thus, Psycho super-fan Robert Galluzzo became determined to fix this oversight, spearheading a documentary that ultimately became The Psycho Legacy. Universal were uninterested in the project, however, leaving Galluzzo to personally finance the project himself, though he was permitted to use stills and footage of all four Psycho movies. Itís not a perfect documentary, nor is it definitive in any way, but one does have to admire Galluzzoís tenaciousness, securing interviews with a variety of participants to piece together a fascinating documentation of the making of all four films.
††† The Psycho Legacy is broken down into four main segments, with each of the four Psycho films being explored in varying degrees of detail. Since the making of Hitchcockís film has been the subject of a number of documentaries, Galluzzo does not spend a great deal of time on the original Psycho, instead devoting the majority of the feature to uncharted territory. Reportedly, segments were created for 1987ís Bates Motel and the 1998 Psycho remake, but they were excised from the final edit and have disappeared entirely, not even featuring as DVD extras. Even though both productions are terrible by all accounts, it would still be fascinating to get some behind-the-scenes details of both projects, and some retrospective thoughts on them.
††† Galluzzo interviews a wide variety of participants, including many of Anthony Perkinsí co-stars, Psycho IV director Mick Garris, and a few Psycho enthusiasts. He also reaches into the vaults, digging up ancient video pieces with Richard Franklin and Anthony Perkins. Heartbreakingly, Franklin was slated to be interviewed in the early stages of the production (the project was announced in 2007), but the Australian filmmaker died before Galluzzo had the chance to get him in front of a camera. That is forgivable given the circumstances, but it is an issue that substantial airtime is given to a number of interviewees with no direct involvement in the films, and several key cast members are MIA. Indeed, itís a travesty that the likes of Meg Tilly and Roberta Maxwell are not on hand, as they would no doubt have provided more valuable insight. Psycho II cinematographer Dean Cundey does not even feature here, with all of his interview being relegated to a separate DVD extra.
††† The Psycho Legacy was released hot on the heels of the mind-bogglingly extensive, four-hour documentary about the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Never Sleep Again. By comparison, this 90-minute Psycho documentary is a bit of a letdown, and it is hampered to an extent by its unmistakably amateurish construction. There is simply not enough visual flair, with the movie wearing its fan-made origins on its sleeve. Furthermore, as stated previously, Galluzzo does use interviews with fans a bit too often. While they occasionally impart interesting trivia, for the most part itís stuff you can read on Wikipedia on IMDb, and they often discuss their admiration for scenes, characters, or pieces of music. As a result, The Psycho Legacy does often feel like a fan video rather than a definitive behind-the-scenes look.
††† Taken as a standalone motion picture, The Psycho Legacy comes up short, though it does have some interesting production anecdotes to impart. For viewers who have seen all four Psycho films, and enjoy at least one or two of them, this documentary is worth seeing for the discussion of the often overlooked sequels.
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††† Since this is a fan-made documentary, and it was produced before high definition video became so prevalent, one cannot expect much from DVD presentation. The Psycho Legacy is presented in...well, it differs - the interviews are full-frame 1.33:1, while film clips are non-anarmorphic 1.85:1, and the quality of the video does vary wildly. Thus, this is an inconsistent transfer, but one assumes most of the drawbacks are attributable to the source.
††† The big issue with this release is the ugly interlacing, which presumably comes as a result of the DVD being mastered in NTSC rather than Australian-standard PAL. Some displays might not suffer the problem, but on my computers, my LG 42Ē HD display, and the other Sony 42Ē HD TV in the house, the image is riddled with interlacing artefacts that makes it difficult to watch at times.
††† This aside, detail and sharpness is mediocre at best, though at least it does look on a par with a standard DVD, and is not VHS quality like 1987ís Bates Motel. Being a digital home-made documentary produced using consumer-standard equipment, the image doesnít stand up to close scrutiny either, with blockiness and even some moire patterns. Information about the documentaryís technical specs are hard to come by, but one assumes there was only so much that could be done.
††† The Psycho Legacy is watchable to a certain extent, more so on a smaller display, but it has dated quite substantially since its initial 2010 release. Itís also disappointing that there are no subtitles at all.
Video Ratings Summary
††† Nobody should expect much from The Psycho Legacy on the audio front. Itís encoded with a very basic Dolby Digital 2.0 mono track, which is very paint-by-numbers and humdrum. No surround activity, and the subwoofer is pretty inactive due to the documentaryís nature. Some of the audio fares better than others, with some interviews that sound a bit muffled due to ambient noise in the background. But again, Galluzzo didnít exactly have a lavish studio in which to conduct his interviews.
††† It is what it is.
Audio Ratings Summary
|Surround Channel Use|
††† Via Vision have ported over all of the supplemental material that was available on the Region 1 Shout! Factory DVD release of The Psycho Legacy. Itís pretty comprehensive, almost making up for how incomplete the documentary feels.
Deleted Scenes (SD) ††† A selection of deleted segments. Most of these are actually good value, and itís a mystery why some scenes were cut. These scenes can be played individually or via a ďPlay AllĒ function.
- The Psycho House (2:32) - A short segment about the iconic house. Not sure why this was excised.
- The Shovel Death (2:07) - This piece is concerned with the shovel death at the end of Psycho II. Also good, though too brief.
- Influence (00:35) - One of the interviewees explains his love for Psycho II, explaining that itís one of his primary cinematic influences.
- Style (1:00) - The visual style of Psycho III is discussed. Interesting.
- Inside Normanís Head (1:46) - The character study aspect of Psycho III is delved into.
- Red Sex Scene (1:49) - A sex scene from Psycho III is covered.
- Shock Ending (1:25) - More on Psycho III... This time, itís about the ending.
- Psycho Killer (1:25) - A segment on the song ďPsycho Killer,Ē which may or may not have been written about Perkins.
Extended Interviews (SD) ††† Some interview snippets which did not make the final cut. I found this material mostly worthwhile, particularly Pogueís idea for a Psycho IV, while Garrisí insight into Psycho IV could be a standalone Psycho IV extra in itself. Itís definitely worth going through these. The interviews can be watched individually, or via a ďPlay AllĒ function.
- Hilton Green (1:27)
- Tom Holland (4:14)
- Diana Scarwid (8:26)
- Charles Edward Pogue (8:25)
- Jeff Fahey (7:06)
- Katt Shea (7:14)
- Henry Thomas (8:18)
- Mick Garris (14:36)
- Olivia Hussey (5:56)
Anthony Perkins Q&A (SD; 42:00) ††† This is an absolute gem. Sound-bytes and video clips were used from this in the documentary itself, but this is the full thing, and itís extremely worthwhile. Filmed sometime in the late-Ď80s, before Psycho IV, Perkins stands in a crowded room answering questions and talking about aspects of his career. Naturally, the video quality is horrendous, as it was filmed with an Ď80s-era camcorder, and the composition is subpar, but itís nevertheless easy to hear everything that Perkins says. At a daunting 42 minutes, itís packed with information, including Perkinsí blunt opinion on the Bates Motel TV movie. Any Psycho fan should be glad to have this on the DVD, and should absolutely set aside the time to watch it.
Psycho Reunion Panel (SD; 6:37) ††† A short selection of sound-bytes from a 2008 Psycho reunion panel, set to images presumably taken from said panel. Not much of this stuff is new, but I wonít complain too much.
The Bates Motel Tour (SD; 2:33) ††† This was actually a MySpace video (yeah, remember MySpace?). This is much too short and the camerawork is often horrendous, but itís still a nice recent glimpse of the location.
Revisiting Psycho II (SD; 15:30) ††† This is a treat. Galluzzo sits down with writer Tom Holland and editor Andrew London to talk about Psycho II. Galluzzo has a big box of production items, including a copy of the script and a few posters, and his guests recall their memories of the movieís production, including auditions and the premiere. Thereís plenty of worthwhile insight here, making this a no-brainer for fans.
Shooting Psycho II (SD; 19:06) ††† Despite the decidedly amateurish presentation (including inconsistent audio and even the interview ostensibly ending at one stage), this extra is one of the real highlights of the set. This is a conversation with Dean Cundey (who is not featured in the Psycho Legacy documentary), the cinematographer on Psycho II. He speaks at length about pre-production and planning, before moving onto actual shooting and his thinking behind several impressive shots. Cundey is a master behind the camera, and itís a pleasure to hear him speak about his work.
A Visit with Psycho Memorabilia Collector Guy Thorpe (SD; 6:49) ††† Galluzzo visits Guy Thorpe, a die-hard Psycho memorabilia collector. His house is full of Psycho-related things, from posters to autographs to a piece of the Psycho house, and even the Mother prop from Psycho II. Thorpe also talks about how he came into possession of a number of the more notable items.
Norman Bates In Print: Robert Bloch Author of Psycho (SD; 12:28) ††† Essentially an extension of the documentary, this is a segment dedicated to Robert Bloch, with several interviewees discussing his works and the legacy that he left. Itís particularly interesting to hear about Blochís Psycho 2 novel.
Psycho On The Web (SD; 3:44) ††† A brief interview with Jay Allentoff, who runs thepsychomovies.com. This is an unexpectedly cool piece, with Allentoff talking about how the site got started, the positive reception it received, and the correspondence he has had with several cast and crew members from the Psycho series.
The Hyaena Gallery Presents Serial-Killer-Inspired Art (SD; 12:00) ††† This is a very niche segment to top off the package. Twelve minutes of interviews with artists whose artworks were inspired by serial killers.
R4 vs R1
NOTE: To view
non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually
also NTSC compatible.
† † The Psycho Legacy has been released on DVD in the United States by Shout! Factory, and our set is a direct port, with all the same extras. However, the documentary has seen a Blu-ray release over in Germany, flaunting a 1080i video presentation and DTS-HD 5.1 audio tracks in both German and English. Reviews are hard to come by, but reportedly the video is a SD upscale, so itís probably not worth the import. Draw.
††† The Psycho Legacy is not skilful enough to emerge as anything other than an informative minor extra that compliments the original Psycho, and the 94-minute documentary on the making of the Psycho. The DVD set itself is an essential buy for any Psycho fans, with a wealth of additional interviews and segments, as well as featurettes which serve as an extension of the documentary. It's definitely worthwhile, and it will take some time to chomp through.
© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
|DVD||PlayStation 4, using HDMI output|
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|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.
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|Speakers||LG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W|