Festival of Fiendishness: NORMAN BATES
You know I’ve been trying to be good so long, I forgot what it was like to be bad. I was trying to keep the hot side hot and cool side cool (If you were born after 1982, you have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?)—trying to make sure I was playing nice with ALL the kids that I forgot that I actually don’t like ALL the kids. I like some. You’re cool. That girl over there, the one with the big booty, she’s straight. That kid in the corduroys? Come on, who can be cool in corduroys? You zzziipp when you walk…
Anyway, I got my good friend and neighbor/serial killer/basket case Norman Bates to keep me company as our guest in the Festival. You remember Normie, doncha? Clean cut, ran a hotel with his mom, had a thing for cross-dressing and pretty girls…and murder.
You guys know this story don’t you—you do, don’t you? Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho? Not the Vince Vaughn piece of shit—the original Anthony Perkins-Janet Leigh movie? OK, look, if you haven’t actually seen this movie, get off my blog and go watch it. Right. Now. OK, now that the riff raff’s gone—you remember the story, right? Janet Leigh steals a bunch of money from her employer, tries to drive the getaway, and brings her pretty tail to the Bates Motel with its lovely Vacancy sign. Norman is all “aw shucks” and helpful, gives her a room, invites her to dinner. Nice guy, right? Except that he argues with his mother. Who no longer exists. Your girl goes back to her room, tries to take a shower. And takes the last one of her life.
Norman, starring as Captain Helpful, cleans up the mess, then shoves her body into the back of car and drives it into the lake.
And then goes back to being normal.
When Janet Leigh’s sister (I can’t remember her name) comes looking for missing sister—AKA the chick at the bottom of the lake—Norman loses his shit. FYI, that’s my new saying—saw it on Newsroom the other night, made me laugh. Anyway, Norman handles the PI assigned to find the missing money, tries to kill a cop and chases after the sister.
And then we see Norman’s mom. That chick has been dead for 10 years. She’s in the basement, all slender and nasty, mummified and Norman’s been moonlighting as his mom for a while.
My man has problems, right?
He’s a regular dude who is decidedly insane. He found his mom’s and cannot bear to see her gone so he becomes her. Embodies her enough that he can have full-blown conversations WITH HIMSELF! You get that right? This MF has such a split personality that he can have an argument with himself—in front of people! This is what makes Norman Bates so iconic: his descent into madness is slow and controlled and visible for us onscreen. And more than 50 years later, we can’t see Anthony Perkins as anything else.
Tomorrow, I’ll be back! The Terminator is coming!