10/14/17 – OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE PICK #14 – 78/52.

The last few years have been good to those of us horror movie nerds who love documentaries about either the effects of horror movies, the making of horror movies, or quite simply just horror movies in general. Each year they seem to get more and more specific in their scope. Well, this current one might be the absolute most specific of the bunch. It’s not just about one film; it’s about one scene. I’m talking about one of the most famous scenes in film history – the shower scene from Psycho. The film 78/52, which translates into the 78 seconds and 52 shots that compose the sequence, is the absolute definition of a deep dive. I was lucky enough to see this at Sundance this past year, and I enjoyed it to bits. Now you’re probably thinking, “How do they make an entire movies about one sequence in one film?” Well, the answer is kind of a cheat. The answer is, they don’t. Yes, most of this film is filled with an insane amount of details and interesting tidbits about the sequence itself. You will learn things you never even thought you needed to know. But the movie also fills the gaps with various Alfred Hitchcock anecdotes as well. Let’s be honest. This film is for movie nerds only. It’s mostly a talking head doc. And if you’re not into the material, it will more than likely bore you to tears. But since this is my wheelhouse, I enjoyed the hell out of it. Even the moments that were a little info-heavy and dry, the film-junky part of me was enthralled. I had the good fortune to work closely with Jamie Lee Curtis on a TV project years ago, and I would pick her brain about her mom and this movie, so it’s fun to see her on screen here too. On an additional side note, as a bonus for me, at Sundance the actress Marli Renfro attended the screening for a Q&A along with the director. Marli was Janet Leigh’s body double for the shower scene (it was mostly her you saw), and boy oh boy did she have some stories. Anyway, this is a specific horror doc for a specific crowd of people. But if you’re part of that crowd, you’re in for a treat.

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