Janet Leigh

31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge, so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis: A small northern California town celebrates its centennial, but when a thick, mysterious fog envelops the town the residents discover their history may not be one worth celebrating. Elizabeth (Jamie Lee Curtis) is just passing through when the nightmare begins, but she’s quickly drawn into a fight for her life alongside the studly Nick Castle (Tom Atkins), suspiciously guilty priest (Hal Holbrook) and sexy-voiced DJ Stevie (Adrienne Barbeau). Something is in the fog, and it’s armed with sharp-edged weapons.



Whenever an iconic actor takes on an iconic real-life figure as their next role, the film that they do it in tends to be guaranteed a certain amount of hype. Questions of how much they were made to look like them and how much they ended up sounding like them are the first things that cross everyone’s minds, so we all run out and gobble up those initial trailers. That’s likely to be the case for this new trailer for Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock, as well, because it features acting legend Anthony Hopkins portraying directing legend Alfred Hitchcock. How is Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock? Is he doing an impression of him, or kind of doing his own thing? Does his jowl makeup look believable? Luckily for us, the answers to all of these questions are contained here in this trailer, so our curiosity can be sated. When Hopkins is in the makeup, yes, he looks quite a bit like Hitchcock. He seems to be mimicking his mannerisms pretty broadly, but there’s also quite a bit of his own voice coming through in his performance. In a movie like this, where one celebrity plays another celebrity, complete with makeup and wardrobe, there’s always the possibility that after a while the whole thing will start to feel like an overly long SNL sketch and get ridiculous, but Hitchcock passes the initial sniff test.


Since we first heard about director Sacha Gervasi’s (Anvil!: The Story of Anvil) upcoming look at the life and work of legendary filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock, quite a bit of important casting has seemingly gone down. Variety reports that not only are age-old rumblings of Anthony Hopkins being attached to play the title character still holding up, but also that Helen Mirren has signed on to play Hitchcock’s wife, Alma. That’s a lot of pedigree for one movie to have, both in cast and subject matter, but the news doesn’t stop there. Apparently the sweetest role in the pic is that of Janet Leigh, Hitchcock’s Psycho leading lady. Inside sources are saying that this is the sort of role that’s going to be grubbing for awards attention, like Michelle Williams’ turn as Marilyn Monroe did last year, and whoever lands it is bound to see their career get an uptick. So who’s getting the chance to play such a choice part? An actress who already has little trouble getting attention on her own, Scarlett Johansson.


If you pay attention to these things, you’d know that June 16th was the 51st anniversary of the release of Psycho – a movie that changed one man’s legacy, the fate of a genre, and the creation of a new subgenre. So why didn’t I post the trailer then? Probably the same reason I didn’t post anything at all yesterday: we all go a little crazy sometime. In this phenomenal, long-form teaser trailer, Alfred Hitchcock takes us on a tour around the Bates Motel as well as the house on the hill where he explains that a few horrific events have taken place. It’s a promise that we’ll get to see those events when the movie hits theaters. Yet, no one will be allowed in after the movie starts. (Another thing this movie changed forever.) If you dig this trailer (you will) and the movie (you do), you’ll enjoy this coming Wednesday’s episode of Reject Radio where I’ll be discussing Psycho‘s production and legacy with expert Stephen Rebello. Tune in and find out what Janet Leigh did to John Gavin on the bedroom set. For now, just enjoy Hitch’s soothing voice:


“Bye Bye Birdie is all about that certain something that excites young people when they reach that certain age.” It’s sex. They’re talking about sex. This movie is percolating with it even if they never even say the word. It’s got Dick Van Dyke and Janet Leigh comparing pajamas, Ann-Margret putting on pants, and the entire thing revolves around the marketing of a kiss. After all, you have to make the publicity count when you’re about to go off to war. This parody on the real-life drafting of Elvis Presley was the first feature film for Van Dyke, and even though the focus is supposed to be on Elvis, the name their spoofing is Conway Twitty’s. Because it’s far, far funnier.


Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. Orson Welles is unrecognizable onscreen here, but his directing touch is absolutely all over it. Somehow, Charlton Heston as a Mexican is all over it too. With a stellar cast, this taut noir-ish drama has got everything sizzling in a border town that’s just waiting for a lit match. So why is everyone always smoking? Check out the trailer for yourself:


Psycho Alfred Hitchcock 50 Years

In 1999, I was suffering from the early waves of insomnia. Almost every night, I would try to count sheep or hum softly, but on most nights I succumbed to turning on my television to see what might lull me into sleep. Fortunately, my insomnia lasted well into the Fall when I ended up turning on the television one particular night and catching a black and white film that would change my life.

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