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Featured TV on DVD Review: The Psycho Legacy

October 17th, 2010

The Psycho Legacy - Buy from Amazon

It was 50 years ago this year that Psycho was released in theaters, and while it was originally a spring release, it is widely considered one of the greatest horror movies ever made. It makes sense it is being celebrated so close to Halloween. Not only is the film coming out on Blu-ray this week, but a documentary on the franchise, aptly named The Psycho Legacy, is being released on a Two-Disc DVD.

The Movie

The Psycho Legacy takes a look at all four movies in the Psycho franchise (the fourth was a TV movie). It starts with the Hitchcock original, but spends roughly even time on each movie. There's a good mix of talking heads, clips, still photographs, even some archival footage of Anthony Perkins discussing the franchise that made him famous. Much of the cast sit down to chat, as do a couple of the directors, screenwriters, etc. There are even a few filmmakers / fans who talk about how the films have inspired them. For fans of the franchise, it is certainly worth checking out. My only complaint is that at just 86 minutes long, there's not a whole lot of time to deal with any one movie in detail.

The Extras

While the main feature is only 86 minutes long, the extras are twice that in length. On disc one there are eight deleted scenes and nine extended interviews. They range in length from less than 1 minute to almost 15 minutes and total 78 minutes, which is almost as long as the movie itself.

Disc two starts with a 42-minute Q&A session with Anthony Perkins, some of which was featured in the film. This was obviously shot by a fan, so the camera work is not exactly steady. There are audio clips from a 2008 reunion, a short tour of the psycho house. There are two interview featurettes about Psycho II. There is a seven-minute interview with a Psycho collector. There is a 12 minute featurette on Robert Bloch, who wrote the original novel, on which the first film was based. There is a 4-minute look at the guy who runs Finally, there's a 12-minute look at "Serial Killer" art. There's just over two hours of material here.

The Verdict

If you are planning on grabbing Psycho on Blu-ray, then The Psycho Legacy is at least worth a rental. It doesn't focus on any one movie over the rest, so unless you are a hardcore fan of the franchise, you will likely learn a lot. If you are a more hardcore fan, then the DVD, which is loaded with extras, is worth picking up.

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