by: The HORROR Man
The Horror Man has a nice chat with director Robert Galluzzo about his latest project, The Psycho Legacy.
If you are a fan of horror, then Rob G’s The Psycho Legacy is a must see. The film covers all of the Psycho films and goes super in depth as to how each film was made and the challenges involved. I had the chance to pick his brain about all things Psycho and how, as a fan, this movie was a major labor of love.
Horror Man: What made you want to make a Psycho documentary in the first place?
Robert Galluzzo: “The simple answer is the lack of one. I thought about this idea maybe two to three years ago. When Universal released Psycho II and III, there were no actual special features for these releases. Around the same time a documentary came out about the Halloween franchise and I noticed how many younger horror fans have forgotten about Psycho or the fact there were sequels to it. With documentary’s coming out about Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday The 13th and so on, I thought Psycho deserves better, its the gran daddy of all slasher films. So I called my friend John Torrani who happens to be my camera man and I started booking interviews with people associated with the Psycho films. Another reason I did it was for the fact that nobody else would! I figured it was now or never.”
HM: May I just say that as a fan of Psycho this movie is amazing and thank you for doing it.
RG: “As a fan, I hope The Psycho Legacy will round out your Psycho collection as a whole.” I’m glad you approve (laughs).
HM: Universal as of late has not really released to much supplemental material for the original Psycho. I like how you use the material that is given about Psycho as a springboard into the other films. Was this the original idea of how you would use the material given?
RG: ” Ya that was always the plan. The fact of the matter is this, Psycho has so much material out there about it. There are literally dozens of books based on it, there’s even a book that just focuses on the shower scene. There is already a documentary by Laurent Bouzereau, about Psycho on the DVD special edition that came out threw Universal that is fantastic. I didn’t want to be repetitive, so I used what was already out there as a springboard into the other films. If you watch the Psycho documentary and The Psycho Legacy together there a great double feature.”
HM: This documentary is a labor of love for you right? I mean, three years running trying to get this thing released. Was there any moment where you thought “This is never going to get finished”.
RG: “There was one point during editing, and this is going back at least two years, that myself and my editor John Maus that we didn’t have any equipment of our own and basically used his schools equipment. We were editing at all hours of the morning. I just remembered thinking were never going to finish this. We did this for months. I think back to that moment and am surprised about how great it turned out. True to his word, John Maus stuck with me and we got this thing made. It’s very rewarding to know we made this film from scratch. A friend brought this out to me, that were now apart of Psycho history by completing this documentary.”
HM: Originally you said that you only had a few interviews lined up, but then things snowballed and you got more. Was there a interview that was hard to get?
RG: “No interview was really hard to get but some did take along time to finalize. A lot of back and forth through emails and talking with publicists.”
HM: In the documentary, you spend a lot of time with Tom Holland(writer of Psycho II), as a fan how as that?
RG: “It was amazing, Tom was our first interview for the documentary. The footage you see of us talking to Tom is about two years old. Since that time, we have actually become really good friends. I’m friends with a lot of young up and coming directors and it sort of surprised him to learn that he influenced them. I invited Tom and his wife to an event and he was showered with praise from all these young directors. I think after that he realized just how influential he is. Our interview sparked a really great friendship.”
HM: Fans of the genre know that John Carpenters Halloween is majorly influenced by Psycho. Did you reach out to Carpenter?
RG: “Ya I reached out to John like three times. The first time he refused and back during that time he wasn’t doing any type of interviews. I tried to reach him one last time right before we wrapped production. There was a small window of opportunity that could have lead to a interview but by this time he was about to begin shooting The Ward so it didn’t pan out. I really tried to get Quentin Tarantino also because he’s a big fan of the Psycho sequels. He talks a lot about Richard Franklin the director of Psycho II on a film called Not Quite Hollywood. In fact on the extended interviews with Jeff Fahey, he mentions how Quentin and Robert Rodriquez just quoted dialog from Psycho III while filming Grindhouse.”
HM: Why is Psycho and its sequels still relevant today?
RG: “Well Psycho changed the way, not only how films were made, but how horror was perceived. Up until Psycho horror was sort of about giant bugs or fantastical monsters. Psycho brought horror to you and made the killer someone you know and can relate to. It added character to horror movies. I also think it will be almost impossible to find a fit the way Anthony Perkins portrayed Norman Bates with any other actor. All four films are based in reality, they could happen. There has been so many serial killers in movies but none really make the viewer care about them the way Norman did.”
HM: Ya there’s moments in the films where you really feel bad for Norman.
RG: “Right, and also you want him to get away with murder sometimes. Or you want him to end up with Maureen in Psycho III or Meg Tilly in Psycho II. I wanted Norman to have a girlfriend finally”. (Laughs)
HM: Speaking of Meg Tilly, was it sort of shocking to find out Anthony Perkins didn’t really care for her to much?
RG: “Yes and no. I heard rumors about it but we walked a very thin line in bringing that up to people but it is mentioned in the documentary. It’s shocking in the sense that the chemistry between Meg Tilly and Anthony Perkins in Psycho II is so good you can’t tell there was tension at all.”
HM: We see in the documentary that you interview a lot of younger actors and film makers was that easy for you to get most of them to talk about Psycho? Was there anything they brought to the film that you think makes it more relevant?
RG: “Oh yeah, (laughs) I’ve been getting a lot of flack from early reviews regarding there inclusion in the film. Quite frankly, you have to remember I started this documentary before His Name was Jason and Never Sleep Again even existed. What happened was, since I’m friends with these guys we would start talking over beers about the Psycho films. Immediately I realized these guys were my voice, they feel exactly the same way I do about these films. Since I am camera shy it made sense to have them talk about what we went over during our conversations. It balances the film. You get the younger guys talking about what was cool about a certain film juxtapose with people who actually worked on the film and how those films were for them. If a fan of Adam Green’s checks out the documentary because hes in it and then goes and sees the Psycho films…mission accomplished. The main goal is to have people see and not forget about the Psycho films.”
Check out what Rob means with this clip of Adam Green discussing the importance of Psycho.
HM: Is there anything else you would like to add to the interview before we wrap it up?
RG: “I would like to give credit to two or three people really quick. If people like the documentary and since I’m a fan I really have to give credit to my editor John Maus. He was amazing, his usage of visual effects and angles were outstanding. I just gave him a basic idea of what I wanted and he ran with it. He always made it ten times better. We had a great working relationship and I credit him for the documentary for being the way it is. I also have to give credit to Jermaine Stegall who did the score for the film. It was a daunting task and we realized it would be really expensive to get the original music from the films. The segment to Psycho IV is all original score by Jermaine. I wanted something that was very melancholy and sorrowful for mother because we learn that Norman loved her so much he killed her. Jermaine really made it his own and I couldn’t have asked for better. I’m so glad he did this and its such a beautiful piece. If I can point out Jermaine’s talent to other film makers that’s what I would want because I think everyone should work with him to be honest. The last thing I would like to add is I showed the documentary to some friends before the actual intro was complete. That was added on late, I wanted someone who had a cool voice to do the intro and I’m friends with Paul Elhlers . His claim to fame was he played Mad Man Mars in the 1980 slasher classic MadMan. He has the coolest voice on the planet and I thought it would be cool for fans out there to know that Mad Man Mars did the narration for the opening of the film.”
HM: Well thanks again for doing this interview with me and we’ll talk to you soon.
RG: “Thank you, and I’m glad we had this time to chat and thanks for a fun interview.”
Well there you have it kiddies, my chat with Robert V. Galluzzo, director of The Psycho Legacy. The film is being released October 19th threw Shout! Factory. I would like to thank again, Rob G for an awesome interview and a great time. Another big thank you goes to Tom Chen from Shout! Factory who set up this interview.
Check out the official website for The Psycho Legacy at http://www.thepsycholegacy.com and on Facebook at
Here are a few clips from The Psycho Legacy.