Review: 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene

78/52 refers to the 78 shots and 52 edits in the stunning 45-second shower scene from Psycho.  Yes, it’s an entire documentary about a single scene from the infamous film.

It took Hitchcock an obsessive week to shoot the sequence for his 1960 masterpiece where movie star Janet Leigh’s character is brutally killed in the first third of the film. It stunned audiences the world over much like Gen X lost it when Drew Barrymore bit it early on in Scream.

What? Really. It was a big deal in 1996 and, naturally, an homage.

I am a Hitchcock fan, but I do not, generally, enjoy the horror genre. So I could have skipped a 93-minute post-mortem of a violent, on-film attack. Even a profoundly geeky one. In spite of the nerd-love, 78/52 offers mostly gushy observations with little depth from an odd mix of film pros (Jamie Lee Curtis, Oz Perkins, Peter Bogdanovich) and some random guys (Elijah Wood?) they found on the lot that day. Did I mention that 78/52 is in black and white and shot on the Bates Motel set at Universal Studios? That was probably intended to be cool, but it just comes off as trying very hard to be very cool.

Really, really short review: Even for the buffiest of film buffs, 78/52 is a bit dull.

78/52 is available on demand.



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