Friday, October 31, 2008
I get to dress up and be someone completely different. I get to eat candy and drink smoking liquid from a cauldron. Talk of ghost and goblins is nothing out of the ordinary. And it's completely acceptable to act like a child again.
This year I'm in Texas visiting Liza for Halloween and I'm not sure I could have picked a better spot. The weather is perfect, even for the skimpiest costume. The people are friendly and in good spirits(no pun intended). And with a touch of Dia de Los Muertos, it's an amazing backdrop. We wandered the grave yards from the Mexico-American and Civil War.
I dressed in my best Mortisha dress and hooded cloak and wandered the cemetery and chatted quietly, nodding hello to the random passerby. It was peaceful, yet cheerful but still dignified.
Tonight there will no doubt be more festivities and I'll be there. Candle in hand. Candy in the other.
Next year? Salem. I feel the need for fancy dress and masquerades.
Happy Halloween everyone!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
I had never heard of such a things until 1994. I somehow snuck into a rated R movie in the small town I was living in at the time. We sat down in the very back and for the first time I watched The Crow.
I'm sure you have seen it. If you love movies, you have seen this movie. It's incredible dark and violent and not meant for kids but even as a child, I fell in love. (I was an odd child.)
Among those who love it, it's a hot debate to this day. I won't try to analyze it. I won't pick it apart until there is nothing left. I only wish to share this with you. (so no angry emails please...)
Our movie begins with Eric and Shelly are to be wed the following day (Halloween) when a band of evil bastards break into their place, rape and pummel Shelly and kill Eric by shooting him and tossing him out the window. (and all to get the apartment they were living in they could tear the building down. McGuffin anyone?) On the anniversary of their death, Erik is brought back to revenge the injustice with the help of his "spirit guide", a crow.
It was shot with such vision. The design and cinematography was so different for the time. It was nothing like I had ever seen before. Toss in an amazing soundtrack and some damn fine acting, you got yourself something special.
As I'm sure you know, The Crow was Brandon Lee's last film. He had been in 3 other films previously, kinda crappy films, but this was to be his big hit. And it was. His performance was everything the film needed. He was perfect.
Michael Massee who played Funboy, as well many other character you are sure to know, fired the fatal shot. Can you imagine the guilt of something so big yet is not your fault? All the things that had to happen in order for Brandon to be shot fatally was so great is was almost as if it was meant to be.
The barrel of the gun was accidentally plugged with a blank cartridge from the previous shot. The arms master would usually check this, but he had left for the day. (jerk) Instead of shooting in the direction slightly past Brandon (which is customary if shooting blanks as they can still cause harm), Michael was off balance and accidentally shot him right in the chest. It was a minute or two before anyone knew he was seriously hurt because everyone was still doing the scene.
Stranger than all that, everything I just wrote is contradicted in many other writings. With so many people on the set, so many different factors involved, people can't seem to get the story straight. The only thing anyone can be sure of is that there was a shot and Brandon went down and died.
Much like the lovers in the film, Brandon and his finance Eliza were due to be married two weeks after the film wrapped. The film is dedicated to them. The pain she must have felt and still feels...
So as I lay here on All Hallow's Eve, Devil's Night, I think about Brandon, Eliza, Bruce, and I think of Eric and Shelly and how it can't rain all the time.
Massee talks about the accident here:
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tippy Hedron from The Birds. Ain't I cute? Too bad you can't see my face; I looked much more shocked than the lovely Tippy. Unfortunately, I lost the bird that was on my wig half way through the night. But at least he's flying free, pecking the eyes out of someone else. (they grow up so fast!)
I'm not really afraid of bird mutiny. A flock of seagull pecking at me is frightening but less likely to happen. There are tons of other kinds of groups of animals that I find much more frightening. Elephants are the first that come to mind. I've been doing some light research about the plight of elephants since last week when I saw some old footage (When Animals Attack! ...thanks Fox network...) of an elephant killing her trainer at a Hawaiian circus. It's shocking and horrifying for some many different reasons. These incredibly emotional creature have a great capacity to love and to rage. (You can blame the rage on us wacky human, pouching, torturing and killing them... an elephant really never forgets.) Sure, you mess with a baby, Mama is gonna whoop your ass. But it's more than that. Now and for the last decade or so, elephants have been terrorizing people. They have been found to be more aggressive and even attack without any provocation, crushing villages to the ground in the middle of the night. Some researchers have stated that this new generation of elephants are the product of our mistreatment and that they suffer from a kind of PTSD. There is a whole generation of kids subjected to watching their parents and families poached, hunted, tortured, kidnapped and killed. After this trauma, they are troubled and act out, especially where humans are involved.
Elephant crushing, a way of training wild elephant for preforming, has been condemned by dozens of organization. Poaching, although still going on, has been reduced since the 80's and early 90's due to strict patrol and tougher laws. But it's probably too little too late. Check out the links for more on these amazing creatures.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Dora had the same girlfriends for 50 years and they all met for coffee every Friday morning at the Peaks Cafe on 54th. The day was rainy and foggy. Marge was running late, like always and the other women had started without her. It was one of those mornings over a biscuit and coffee that she told the girls what had happened to Terry.
Of course, they all knew what the lier and cheater had done to her. After 30 years of marriage, he took up with the first skinny thing that walked by and continued to sneak behind Dora's back for almost a year. He bought that girl, who was half his age, diamonds and furs. Dora ate at home alone. They went all over town, in front of God and everyone, without a care if anyone they knew saw them.
But then Dora had a cancer scare. He went with her to the hospital and for all the tests. He held her hand in the waiting room. Dora was ok in the end, but it was then that he remembered how much he loved her and had missed her. What a fool he had been! This was his wife, the woman he had loved all these years. So he stopped seeing that girl.
But that girl wouldn't stop seeing him. She called and wrote and sent packages but nothing got through to Terry. That is, until one day she showed up at their home. She was screaming and throwing things at the house. Rocks. Jewelry. Clothes. The girl tried to cut her wrists on Dora's lawn. Terry came out and stopped her.
And with that, Terry moved out. Dora thought that she could look past his indiscretions. She knew he would find his way back home, eventually. But this humiliation she could not sweep under the rug. It was all too much.
In the divorce, he gave Dora everything. Perhaps he thought she deserved it after all he had put her through. Or maybe he was trying to get in her good graces again. But regardless of why, the day she turned 50, she quite her job at the hospital and retired.
But they all knew that story. Dora pulled a small envelope out and placed in on the table. "Terry died yesterday." The women stopped chatting amongst themselves and stared at her. His tiny apartment had caught fire while he had slept. She had had a knock on her door very early this morning. The police had given her a small box of smoky smelling objects, many singed. But this this envelope was untouched. She pulled the photograph out. Their first date. The women were stunned. A single tear rolled down Dora's lovely cheek.
She smiled a sad little smile and touched the picture lightly. It was here that Dora said goodbye to Terry, in the coffee shop on 54th.
If you love postsecret.com or overheardinnewyork.com, hustle on down to foundmagazine.com. That's where I got the photo of the couple. There was no other information about them except that it was found in an abandoned burnt out building in Detroit in 1982.
Monday, October 27, 2008
I was sitting at the local coffee shop in South Carolina a week or two ago, reading my annotated Pride and Prejudice. The sun was warm and a cool breeze was slowly cooling off my toasted bagel. Bing Crosby was quite unexpected. Doooon't fence me in...
People make fun and laugh. They think about cowboys and the Alamo and the fact that it has the highest rate of execution in the USA. (And don’t get me started on the Bushs’) And sure, I make fun too. But that’s not what I really think of.
There is something very special about Texas that most of the time I can’t put my finger on. I only lived there for a few years, but it made an impression.
Today, while drinking my coffee, instead of leaving for work like I should have been, a vision passed my eyes. It was so vivid and huge I almost cried for missing it.
The heat of the day finally breaks. It’s about an hour away from sunset but that last hour drags out what seems like forever. The light is still good but limited due to the clouds in the far distance. A batch of blackness looms in the far, far distance. (The Texas sky is so big you can see that far.) The storm is coming. You can smell it. Then a small flash off in the distance. Yep. Big one.
Bright blue sky to your left, blackness to your right and yet the bright of the day still all around. And the wind starts to pick up. You can see it coming from over the plains. The taller grasses sway, then whip over and starts a wave of grass headed toward you. It hits you and it’s cool. A delicacy for a day as hot as today. The grass starts to collect the moisture in the air. It’s that time of year before it gets burnt by the sun but is long due to a kind spring. And even though you’ll get chigers (little bugs in the grass) itching your skin, you’ll roll around, lie in the grass because it’s so thick and comfortable and beautiful.
You’ll lie there and watch the giant white clouds pass by waiting for the storm clouds to stomp out their more beautiful brothers.
And in those moments, the world is so big. You could run into those empty fields and run and run and feel like it would never end.
But then the rain would start. Grab your things and start moving towards the safety of home.
As a young girl, I always wished I would meet a boy in the rain and take cover under one of the enormous trees in the county, trees that were there even before Texas was part of the Union, and kiss until the rain stopped. (Not even considering how stupid being under a large tree during a lightening storm really is…)
So now I find myself looking out the window, as I should be entering meaningless data into the spreadsheet. And it’s snowing. The dirt in the air is picked up by the snow, making it a sickly color that snow should not be. And everything is dead except these pine trees. And the horizon is barely visible through the snow and smog. There is no wind. And it never rains here, not really, no like there. And the sky is so little, if you can imagine such a thing. This basin the city sits in makes me claustrophobic. Even out hiking and being in the outdoors you are surrounded by rocks.
Texas is not a perfect place. There is pollution. There is crime and there are people who are cruel and mean. There are animal abusers and contractors who walk out on their jobs. People who chew with their mouth open and litter on the highways. And the allergies are icky. But that’s everywhere right?
Give me green grass and thick leafy trees, room to breath and rain. Warmth without the sun burning through the ozone. Skin that doesn’t shrink and shrivel in a city without moisture. (I'll be so glad to head back home soon, even if that place isn't Texas.)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
He's taking some time away to get his head on straight and figure out this little thing called life. We will still be us and he will come back. Yet, the journey will be hard. There is so much work to be done, I worry for him. But after much time and unhappiness, I know now that I can not help him anymore than he could have helped me when I was going through something similar. Some journey's are meant to be traveled alone. I just hope he's up for it.
Fall is here. Change. We all have to change. It's impossible not to, for me at least. Now I worry, what if I change into someone whom doesn't fit into his life? Vise versa?
Ain't that a bitch.
...you know what though... it's all gonna be ok. I know that. Deep breath. Happy face.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
That's what my friend Mike says.
I want to punch him in the face.
I love fashion. It's art that can be touched and experienced. You can live in it and exude it. Clothing has power but only if you let it. It's like being in your favorite painting or the muse of your favorite song. You are a part of it.
What is more artful than John Galliano? His work is so big and he has such vision. It's crazy and bold and he apologizes for nothing. He doesn't fuck around. That's why I like him. It's what I want to rule the world in, the benevolent sorceress.
Alexander McQueen is another favorite of mine. His work is like a dream, a fairy tale. He wraps you in tulle and black and feathers and your safe and beautiful. It's what I want to get married in.
I know, I know, it's all so dramatic. There is something to be said about a little subtly, for which there is always a time and a place. A little Chanel with a touch of lace. That classic Calvin Klein dress.
But it's not all about who your wearing; art can be created by anyone. Some of my favorite pieces are thrift shop finds. (and I feel those are more satisfying because you have to work to find it!) And not to mention that there are many labels, that I won't mention, that I find uninspired and even downright ugly, yet somehow their bags and clothes are going for thousands of dollars. I don't get it...
It's not about the too skinny models or who went to what show. It's not about the catfights backstage or how much the line is going for. It's about the art. Period.
I love art. I love fashion. Screw you for thinking I'm elitist, shallow and stuck up. No, not you. Mike. Screw you Mike.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I have accepted that this is a disagreement that will not be won by either party. I will never be convinced that we need something that we already have and he will not be convinced that it's a needless purchase. I have accepted this and steered away from the conversation or tell him that, yes, feel free to buy that new TV but I don't agree with you. Yet, he continues to bring it up. He continues to believe that he can convince me.
I feel I have accepted that there are certain things that men and women will never understand about each other. It might still infuriate me but in the end, there is nothing I can do about it. (For example, boys and their toys will not be separated. Or for me at least, if I have the funds, I will never stop buying shoes, even though I have a bunch.) But now I find myself in quite the predicament. Said man, The Chief, is moving in and he wants it his way, as he should because it will be his house too.
I understand he needs his cave, that is very important for a guy, but I feel it's impeding my creative space. The way the house is set up... I'm going to have to move my art studio somewhere else. (the laundry room) This is not how I imagined moving in would be. I guess I have seen too many movies.
But live and learn. It's just going to be mighty cold this winter... Maybe I should just pack up everything and store it until I get my next house. That makes me a little sad and a kind of defeated feeling...
Sometimes I think seeing a woman would be easier. But then I remember women are fucking crazy. That's why I don't have many women friends. We don't always see eye to eye. My other option is being alone, unless you count the dozens of cats. Or I'll have to go to G-d and ask for a third option. I don't see that going well.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I travel extensively, I speak several languages (some more poorly than others), I volunteer, I work, I play. I'm independent. I have my degree and have more than one fascinating job. I do the things most 'modern' women do.
But I have a dirty little secret. I love to craft.
Knitting, sewing, origami, painting, sculpting, cooking and just creating. Those activities that are so often associated with "woman's work" but to me that has nothing to do with it. (Do I have to mention the tons of guys out there that love to knit?)
There is a sense of grand satisfaction that comes with creating something from almost nothing. This feeling connects you to all other creators too because they feel the exact same thing. The woman on the prairie making a quilt or baking a pie. The soon to be grandma knitting booties for her daughter's daughter. Or me, sewing a chew toy for my doggy in the shape of a monster with a long skinny neck and pink pointy teeth. Making duct tape roses for my brother's grave; the roses that never die. Silk screening a picture of a chicken on a tshirt for my friend Brian's birthday present.
It makes me so happy to give my little projects to people, even to people I don't know very well. My favorite thing is to take a duct tape rose and tie a little note to it. "This rose is for you, whomever you are. You are so special and loved. Take me and remember that always." I like to leave them at the library. (Probably because there has been times when I have been sad, wandering the stacks restlessly. Those little surprises are everything.)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Well, everything is strange but what I'm about tell you about strikes me as odd. I never wanted to grow up. I never daydreamed about driving or going to work or having a boyfriend. I knew exactly how awesome it was to be a kid. (I guess I'm actually kinda lucky like that.)
My little cousin has some issues. She is highly intelligent and funny and goofy and sweet but also highly sensitive, awkward and, at times, fragile. She has a hard time making friends and the school work can overwhelm her. I see her get upset and cry about homework and therapy and tests and all I can see is myself. She told me, why are they forcing me to be like a grown up? I'm just a kid.
I didn't start driving until I was 17, mostly because I didn't need to go anywhere. I could walk to my job and I usually took the school bus to high school. I didn't see the reason why kids ran out the day they turned 15 to get their permit. When people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up I would usually give them a stock answer so they would leave me alone. (doctor, teacher, etc) To be honest, I didn't even think about it. (And I still don't know, so don't ask me!)
Although I liked the party and presents, I didn't like birthdays. Going to middle school was a dreaded and traumatic event. No more recess! 7 different classrooms everyday! And none of my friends were in any of my classes... Why couldn't I just stay little forever? My elementary teachers would encourage me to make friends and play nice together. I could fill an afternoon with a board game or at the park playing Lava Monster without feeling guilty about 'not getting anything accomplished'. Coloring is encouraged. So is physical activity. Once you grow up, these things change.
Image via WikipediaSure, you say, that was nice but being a kid was awful! No one listens to kids! Agreed. I think it's all too common kids are ignored. It's an awful feeling that you have no control over the decisions in your life; your parents, teachers, councilors, etc decide things for you. But, to be brutally honest, as an adult, there are many times that I still feel this way. I'm in the same spot I was when I was 5. I can't take a weekend in Vegas cause the boss needs me here at work. The insurance company won't cover my new medical expenses so no new art supplies for a while. There are still plenty of people telling me what to do.
So what's so great about being grown up? It's lonely. I remember being sad and running to mom for a hug. She wouldn't question or even speak, just hold me and kiss my head. Do you have anyone in your life that will do that? I hope you do.
There are bullies, stretch marks, cruel boys and that harsh and pointy world out there. What is that compared to home and love and friends?
I never wanted to grow up. I wanted those long summer vacations, best friends and bath time to last forever. They couldn't of course. Talking to a friend, he told me how he imagined growing up, driving a nice car and being a therapist and getting married one day far away. He's the one that sounded like a freak. What 10 year old thinks like that? He said, every kids thinks like that... Hmm.
Don't you think that's weird?
Monday, October 13, 2008
Everyone knows that. You don't mess with bear cubs in front of mama bear. You don't touch baby birds without losing an eye. Hell, a family friend of mine lost an arm because she accidentally stepped between a mama tapir and her babies while putting food in their habitat at the zoo where she was working. A Tapir! Don't fuck with moms.
Christine Collins was a mother. She was just the average woman living in LA in the late 1920's. Her son was Walter Collins and at the time of the fateful events in 1928, he was 9 years old. Christine went to work and came home to a different world. Her son had disappeared.
She was frantic, no doubt. There was an exhaustive search for the little boy. Task forces, search teams and newspaper articles. It was big news.
Meanwhile, Arthur Huchins, a runaway from Illinois, decided he wanted a free trip to California and posed as the missing boy. With great fanfair, he was brought to LA and shoved into Christine's arms. I guess the LAPD thought that she would just go along with it... but the difficult woman wouldn't accept this child that wasn't hers. What a bitch!
So when the mouthy, uppity broad wouldn't shut up about them bring her the wrong child, they institutionalized her. Yep. When a woman gets in your way, just call her crazy and lock her up. (witch! burn her!) ...What? Who said that?
As it turns out, over in Wineville, Ca, there was this highly unbalanced young man by the name of Godon Northcott who liked little boys. Well, he liked to kidnap, rape, torture, kill and dismember little boys, so I don't think he actually liked them... This sick bastard may have killed as many as 20 kids but I don't think we will ever truly know how many little boys suffered.
Gordon Northcott was hanged on October 2, 1930 for killing 2 brothers (age 10 and 12) and another unidentified young boy. His mother later confessed to killing Walter (most believed her son forced her to do it) and she spent the rest of her life in prison. But they never found Walter's body.
Christine never gave up hope. Years after Northcott's death, a boy he had said he had killed was found alive and well. (Gordon wasn't only a raping, kidnapping, murdering asshole, he was also a fibber.) She always hoped to find Walter. What mother wouldn't? The last info I could find about poor Ms. Collins was a court battle against JJ Jones, ex police captain in Walter's case.
In the happy corner in my head, I image how the rest of Christine's life played out. She never gave up on Walter but neither did she dwell. She got remarried to a nice man who loved her and had a little girl. She liked to garden and sew. She had grandchildren and lived in a little house LA until she passed away in her bed surrounded by her loving family. I am probably wrong but I hope I'm sort of close.
With a new movie coming out based on this story (directed by the most wonderful, Clint Eastwood) I'm sure more history will be stirred up. Check back for updates. In the meantime, I'm going to go see The Changeling.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I usually make my costumes. I am a pretty good seamstress and love to create. But this year I am smack dab in the middle of moving to my beautiful new house and i can't even tell you where my sewing machine is. So I hopped online to find something to buy. I come away from this experience shaken and disturbed.
I am a woman. I have breasts and long legs and a vagina. That doesn't mean that I am a slut. "But oh contraire!" says the costume makers! Slutty nurse, slutty bumble bee, slutty nun! Really? Oye.
I refuse to give in. I'm not saying that I won't show a bit more skin that I might on a normal day, but I will not become a characture of myself. I will be able to bend over without showing my Va-jay-jay. I will be able to lean forward without my breasts falling out. I will be able to dance without my dress splitting open.
Now I just have to figure what that will be. I like the idea of a pirate queen but are pirates played out completely? Maybe the Queen of Hearts? (I think the irony is too much to bear.) The Wicked Witch? Too close to the real thing, I think. Circus ringmaster? I got nothing.
I better think fast. The spirits tell me their hour is approaching and I must be in attendance. Any clever ideas?
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I was visiting my friend Laura at her work in the ghetto, standing in front of the floor to ceiling glass window, when a woman in a white minivan hits my lovely. My baby was defiled by a minivan!
Laura was looking over my shoulder and I started to get mad because she wasn't paying attention to my story about the time Don Cornelius hit one me and then I heard BAM. Violated car.
At first, I was steaming. "Crazy old bat" came out of my mouth before I even got outside. But then I took a breath and looked at the damage. It wasn't awful. And the little old lady was very kind. Off her rocker a bit but sweet.
After I took that breath, I was fine. I really don't let things get to my like they used to. Sure, I vent about the silly things that annoy me or cause my stress but in the long run, nothing can effect me because I will always be me. I'm there for myself. I've got a friend in me. ...hmm, what other lame sayings can I throw in here? Nah, I think that's just fine.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
If you have never seen Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho", get off your ass and go watch it right now! If you HAVE seen Gus Van Sant's "Psycho", I'm just sorry.
Psycho was one my very first Hitchcock movie when I was 8 or 9 years old. In retrospect, I was probably too young. Not because of the violence or implications of sex or nudity, but because I couldn't fully appreciate how masterful the movie was. The lighting is so frightening and beautiful at the same time. His choice of using black and white might have been a fluke (It was said that he was trying to save money and to use a style used in many poular B movies like "House on Haunted Hill" and "Les Diaboliques" It would be his last b&w film.) but it would have been so so wrong in color. Rounded out by Bernard Hermann's amazing score, played all with strings, is so mood-setting and creepy and beautiful!
The story, at first, is centered around Marion Crane who steals $40,000 from her boss. She runs off and unfortunately, ends up at the Bates Motel where she is quickly dispatched in a scene that made movie history. And this also brought the word "McGuffin" (not to be confused with a McMuffin...) to our vocabulary. A McGuffin is a plot device that moves the story along but ultimately has nothing to do with where the story ends up. With Marion gone, we enter the sad, twisted world of Norman Bates and Mother.
Image via WikipediaNorman Bates is such a sad character. Even when you know he's a killer and seriously fucking twisted, you can't help feeling bad for the guy. Marion Crane was a hussy thief so you're not devastated by her death. (or at least I wasn't) But you know it was wrong and Norman deserves to be in jail but still... There is much debate but I feel that most men (and a few woman) aren't born like this. True, they may be born with something that opens a door to the possibility but it takes a few good shoves over a lifetime to create a monster. In Norman's case, it was his mother who did the shoving.
If you watched the other Psycho movies, you learn why. (By the way, I don't recommend this. They are mostly awful and are really only to be watched for obtaining a back story. If you're in the mood for a silly slasher, watch 2 or 3.) Norman's mother was one sick bitch. Not quite the kind woman Norman always painted her as, she was abusive in every way. She would make him wear dresses, slut around with strange men, and even get a bit too cozy with Norman. Ew. That would fuck me up too... Although, I don't think it would make me stab a ton of people. Thankfully, I'll never have to find out.
The last shot of Norman, one of my favorites, he is sitting quietly, not even harming a fly, smiling at us. Just as there is a cross-fade to the police pulling up Marion's car, you can see the superimposed image of a skull over his face. Uber creepy and unexpected. (at least it was for me, before I had seen a million different ripe offs...)
Sadly Anthony Perkins was pretty tortured himself. Born in New York, he fell in love with acting. Before Psycho, he was nominated for a Tony, an Oscar and won a Golden Globe. He even had three albums he released to moderate success. But after Psycho, he found himself typecast. He escaped to Europe where he found great success on stage. But he remained haunted. Anthony was gay. (Others say he was bi, having gay relationships until he got therapy that "cured" him and he then married his wife, Berry. Either way, he undoubtedly had internal struggle and grief over the whole matter.) Struggling with his sexuality, as well as drug problems, he managed to always find some kind of work. He took on Psycho 2 and 3 after a dry spell of work and getting the chance to have more creative control. He learned he was positive for the AIDS virus in the least dignifying way possible: a headline on The National Inquirer. Buncha heartless pricks, they are. He released a statement afterward, part of which said,
"There are many who believe this disease is God's vengeance. But I believe it was sent to teach people how to love and understand and have compassion for each other. I have learned more about love, selflessness and human understanding from people I have met in this great adventure in the world of AIDS, than I ever did in the cutthroat, competitive world in which I spent my life."Well said. He died at age 60 in 1992.
Image via WikipediaThe book that the film is based on was purchased by Hitchcock for a mere 9,000 bucks. It was loosely based on the killings in Wisconsin by Ed Gein. Gein was a shy, quiet man who lived on his rural farm with his mother. His childhood was plagued by his alcoholic father and overbearing mother. She would not allow Gein or his brother off the farm except for school. She would regularly read from the bible (lots of fire and brimstone) and instilled her belief that all women, even herself, were evil, sinful creatures. She was often verbally abusive. Gein was discouraged from having any friends and only had his brother to speak to. After his father died of a heart attack, his brother mysteriously dieing in a fire, it was just him and mother, but not for long. After a series of strokes, she was gone. In a span of 5 years, his whole family had died and he was alone. And what does one do in this situation? Start digging up corpses and playing with their parts of course! But soon , that wasn't enough. When police came to his house to investigate the disappearance of a local woman, they found said woman, hanging up in the barn, gutted like an animal without a head. In the house, they found human skin lampshades, a belt made of human nipples, skull caps used as soup bowls, a vest from a woman's torso, and perhaps the most disturbing, at least to me, is a box of vulvas... that he admitted to wearing. Yep. Box o' vulvas. After his mother's death, he decided he wanted to be a woman so he had fashioned a 'woman suit' from actual woman. (He picked corpses that looked like his mother... yep. Gross.) He was found incompetant to stand trial and was housed in a mental institution until 1968 when he was found to be sane. (They must have had some miracle drugs or something...) It only took a week to be found guilty. But because he was insane at the time of the murders, he was sent back to the institution where he would die of cancer in 1984. His actions would inspire tons of people to write stories about murder and mayhem. (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Silence of the Lambs, etc)
Image via WikipediaHitchcock was a strange guy. But he wasn't stupid. He knew this was a good story. He made the film for 800,000 by using his crew from his TV series to save money (and he was sick of big budget, 'Hollywood' movies). He didn't recieve a salary, instead he got 60% of the film's net which added up to over 15 million. In 1962, he traded the rights to the film for a giant block of stock from MCA, becoming one of their largest stock holders. He also was moving from Paramount to Universal, much of the movie being filmed on Universal's back lots. (This is why you see the 'Bates Motel', or what's left of it, during the back lot tour at Universal Studios, even though the Paramount logo is at the beginning of the film) At Universal, he did The Birds, Marney and Frenzy, to name a few.
Image via WikipediaI love this movie. I could never pick a favorite but Psycho would defiantly be on my top 20. When I took the lot tour at Universal, seeing the motel was so amazing. (and strange, to see it in color.) I was tempted to jump out and run inside, even though it would probably collapse on me. Perhaps this movie was the beginning of my love of old creepy buildings? Hmmm...
Would you stop and stay at a roadside motel on a rainy night? Maybe the soft spoken young man behind the counter would offer you dinner. Maybe he enjoyed stuffing birds and other dead things. And maybe you took a nice hot shower before bedtime... What could happen right?
Would I stay at the Bates Motel? Hell yeah, just not in Room #2. And no showers.