October 25, 2016

Top Billing for Ten Seconds of Screen Time: Psycho

Sometimes the bait-and-switch of billing of a star isn't to sell you on a movie that is otherwise horrible, sometimes it sets the bar for every horror movie that comes after it...

Janet Leigh was featured on all the posters for Psycho, listed in all the promotional materials, stars in the first act, and then [DECADES OLD SPOILER] is killed 20 mins into the movie. The decision to feature Leigh was likely to lull the audience into believing that nothing could happen to her character. Her star power coupled with the focus of the first act squarely on her character would have only added to the shock value of her murder. That creative decision would set the tone for countless horror movies that came after (a couple we'll touch on this month) but this movie's restraint in the gore department was a crack in the gore dam that Herschell Gordon Lewis would break open with Blood Feast only 3 years later.

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