Anthony Perkins in ‘Psycho’-Courtesy of Universal
2. Psycho (1960)
Going back to the days of black and white horror movies, Psycho was perhaps the very best of the era. As one of the greatest works of legendary director Alfred Hitchcock, the classic film told the story of an innkeeper with mommy issues named Norman Bates, who apparently can’t keep a lid on his crazy mother’s violent behavior.
The twist at the end of the movie is (SPOILER ALERT) Norman is revealed to be dressing up like his mother and committing these horrific murders himself. Keeping his mom’s corpse around as a keepsake, Norman converses and even argues with it, having gone completely mad following her death.
If you know Gein’s story, then you can already see the parallels. Gein didn’t actually keep his mother’s corpse at home, but he did lose his mind and turn to murder after her death. If Gein had lived at a remote motel instead of a farm, maybe some of the very same things might have happened. His influence on the character of Norman Bates is uncanny.
Norman’s character was explored even further in the ongoing TV series Bates Motel, which wouldn’t be on the air right now if Ed Gein hadn’t gone crazy in the 1950s.
Next: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre