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PSYCHO - It began in Weyauwega

October 2, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PSYCHO. In 1957, Robert Bloch was a struggling author with a family to support living in Weyauwega, Wisconsin. In November of that year, Ed Gein was arrested in the nearby town of Plainfield. Gein’s outrageous acts of serial grave robbing, murder and creative taxidermy captured worldwide headlines and shattered the everything-is-just-fine image of America in the 1950’s. At the time of Gein’s arrest, Bloch had just written a rough draft of a new novel whose main character – an odd outsider living alone with a domineering, puritanical mother in a rural setting - was oddly similar to Gein in many ways. The novel, completed in 1959, was PSYCHO. In Hollywood, Alfred Hitchock (the great director was completely obsessed with Gein) bought the rights to the book and quickly produced a film. Released in 1960, PSYCHO was a massive hit. It was the first slasher film, it broke down long standing censorship walls and changed the way Hollywood did business. Robert Bloch moved his family to California where he thrived as a television and film writer, working continually until his death in 1994. Ed Gein inspired many more films, including SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. He died in 1984 at the Mendota Mental Health Institution in Madison. PSYCHO, having spawned many sequels and a highly regarded series, became a major entertainment franchise. -Frank Anderson