Study Guide

Psycho Fandoms


After more than half a century, fandoms tend to have arthritis and bad backs and less energy than they used to. Psycho was very popular when it came out, but that was over fifty years ago. Instead of shipping Sam and Norman, the fandoms just close that computer and turn over on their fandom side for a nap.

But while there isn't traditional Psycho fan fiction clotting up the internet, you could argue that movie screens are filled with Psycho fan fiction that, like Norman, is thinly disguised.

Psycho was an enormously, crazily, almost unbelievably influential film. It generated numerous sequels, including an A&E series about Norman Bates' childhood, Bates Motel, in the 2010's.

Besides the sequels, though, Psycho is a touchstone for the entire slasher movie genre, including the Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween series, and on up to recent torture porn films like Hostel (2013). There are numerous direct film tributes to Psycho, too, including Brian DePalma's Dressed to Kill (1980), Douglas Gordon's 24 Hour Psycho (1993) and Dario Argento's The Stendahl Syndrome (1996.)

Psycho's biggest fandom, in other words, may be other filmmakers—who keep obsessively making, remaking, and drooling over the original film.

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