'Psycho' wasn't supposed to be scary, Alfred Hitchcock said
Alfred Hitchcock always seemed to be kind of twisted, but a recently unearthed interview from 1964 takes it to another level. It seems that four years after releasing his classic Psycho, Hitchcock admitted on TV that he may not have meant for the movie to be scary. Wow, this is how you can tell no one had DVRs back then, because nobody remembers that part.
"The content was, I felt, rather amusing and it was a big joke. I was horrified to find some people took it seriously," he said on the English show Monitor, according to the Daily Mail. "It was intended to make people scream and yell and so forth –- but no more than screaming and yelling on a switchback railway (rollercoaster)."
The movie was based on the 1959 Robert Bloch novel Psycho, which was inspired by killer Ed Gein, who confessed to killing two women and was found guilty of killing and mutilating one, but was declared criminally insane in 1968 and died in a mental hospital in 1984. He's more famous for police finding awful stuff in his house like human heads, bowls made from skulls and a lampshade made from a human face, most made from corpses he had stolen from cemeteries. You know, hilarious source material. But hey, it's all a matter of degrees, Hitchcock said.
"I'm possibly in some respects the man who says in constructing it, 'How steep can we make the first dip?'" he said. "If you make the dip too deep, the screams will continue as the car goes over the edge and destroys everyone." You can hear the clip in a new audiobook called Alfred Hitchcock: In His Own Words, if you can stop yourself from laughing about a transvestite stabbing a naked, thieving girl in the shower long enough to listen.
"Hitchcock's true intentions for Psycho have been the center of debate since the '60s," a spokesperson for AudioGo told the Daily Mail. "This fascinating archive interview appears to suggest that Hitchcock had always intended Psycho to be comedic, rather than terrifying." Well, we don't know if that's exactly what he's saying -- it sounds as if he's saying he thought it was funny, and tried to make a thriller instead of a potboiler -- but we can agree, it'll sell a lot of audiobooks.
[Photo: 1960, Getty Images]