"It's not so
It is important for people to note that not every guy living
with his dead mother is a nutjob. Some people live with a dead
parent because they need the social security check to cover the
big-ass ring that Mrs. Filthy demands as a dowry, and because
work on their first erotic novel prevents them from full-time
employment. That's just some people, though. Normal friggin'
Norman Bates isn't normal. He's a wacko, and I wish certain
wives would stop comparing their husbands to him. You know who
you are, whenever you get done watching your "stories."
Is Norman Bates wacko enough to justify a remake of "Psycho?"
Eh, not really. But that's a different question than whether
or not the new "Psycho" is worth seeing. To that I
say, eh, not really. It's not a bad movie, because it's an exact
copy of a really fucking good movie. The problem is it's as pointless
as brushing your teeth with piss. There is no way to improve
upon a great original by imitating it. I know this because I
have never heard anyone say the Van cocksucking Gogh I did for
our living room is better than the real thing. And I painted
my masterpiece exactly like the numbers said.
Famous lesbian Anne Heche plays Marion Crane, an aspiring
embezzler, who steals 400 large from her employer and gets the
fuck out of Dodge. She wants to pay off her hillbilly boyfriend's
debts and move him out of his shanty above the hardware store.
In her escape, she drives until she's sleepy, and pulls off the
road. The next morning, a cop rousts her. Since the one thing
Heche does well is act unconvincingly, her nervousness is apparent
to him and he suspects some funny business. And I don't mean
Heche panics and to throw the pig off, she buys a new car
with some of her hot do-re-mi, but the nosy-ass cop even sees
this. Still in a lather, she drives right into a bitch of a rainstorm.
When it gets to be too much for her girly little eyes, she checks
into the Bates Motel, and immediately refers to Norman (Vince
Vaughn) as "Mr. Bates." Next time I go on a vacation
I'll be sure to call the desk clerk Mr. Motel 6.
Then all hell breaks loose. Heche overhears Norman fighting
with his mother. Next thing you know, she's stabbed to death
in the shower by some cheap blondie. Norman knows his mother
did it, and to save her ass, he sinks Heche, her car, and, unknowingly,
the moolah in the swamp. Before long a private investigator,
played by William H. Macy, comes snooping around and is slaughtered
by the same blondie.
Finally, Heche's sister, played by the booby-exposing Julianne
Moore (she doesn't show them here, but I got the memory of an
elephant for that shit) gets on the case with Heche's dopey boyfriend.
Like Shag and Scoob, they unravel the whole Goddamn mystery.
Turns out "Mother" has been dead and Vaughn gets a
kick out of hauling her decomposing ass all over the house and
pretending she's still alive. He also puts on a blonde wig and
kills whoever he thinks she wouldn't like, which is anybody who
comes near the dump.
No surprises there. In fact, if I just spoiled this movie
for you, you really should try to take your head out of your
ass more than once every thirty years. When I pay good money
to see a suspense movie, I expect a little bit of Goddamn suspense.
Some movies might work as a shot-for-shot remake. Imagine "The
Bodyguard" with Mariah Carey instead of that sweaty cow
Whitney Houston. That story wouldn't be ruined because you know
she'll wind up in love with hairless Kevin Costner. But knowing
Norman Bates' mother is actually Norman Bates makes the surprise
revelation that Norman Bates' mother is actually Norman Bates
a hell of a lot less frightening.
Having fewer scares than "Leprechaun 2: The Secret of
Lucky Charms," all Psycho can hope to do is look cool, be
well acted and show us some tits. One and a half out of three
ain't bad, but too bad it's the critical titty category where
"Psycho" comes up empty-handed. While there are a few
shots that would have never made it past the prudes in Hitchcock's
day, they mostly seem unappetizing and awkward.
Vince Vaughn's candy-munching Norman is a more convincing
crackpot than even my neighbor who thinks the birds are listening
to his phone calls. Unlike the rest of the stiffs in this movie,
who ape the original actors instead of playing their characters,
he really fills the shoes of Norman Bates, not Tony Perkins.
In fact, I bet Vaughn understands all too well what it's like
to share a house with a corpse that argues with him. Vaughn is
either a fucking wiz of an actor or one hell of a scary guy.
Heche, on the other hand, stinks up the screen like a long-dead,
sun-baked carp. She can't even do the simple things, like look
sleepy. The broad should stop spending so much time worrying
about the public thinking badly of her, and spend a little learning
how to act. And no I'm not picking on her because she's gay,
the truth is I'm a huge supporter of the lesbian community, at
least the red-hot two girl action part of it, anyway.
That leaves looking cool, the one thing it does very well.
Director Gus Van Sant makes a timeless warp, with the movie taking
place in the present, but smoothly blending in touches of 1960.
Bates' big old creepy house still looks out-of-place enough to
give the willies to anyone walking up its steps. And some of
Hitchcock's old camera tricks still look pretty swell, proving
that Van Sant spent the time to copy a master properly.
If "Psycho" didn't rip off such a great story it
would be a pretty shitty movie with only the look and Vaughn
to save it. Even still, this barely three finger production
probably is no reason to rush to the mall. You're better off
saving your money for Mariah Carey's "Bodyguard." And
remember, Hollywood, I thought of it first.