This chapter discusses the other serial killers in the cinema before Hannibal Lecter. In 1959, the writer Robert Bloch was inspired by the gruesome case of the Wisconsin mass murderer Ed Gein, with his keepsakes of bones and human skin. He transmuted elements of the Gein case into the phenomenally successful Psycho (published 1959), reconfiguring the real-life Gein as the chubby, unprepossessing mother's boy Norman Bates, who dispatches a variety of victims in gruesome fashion. Subsequently, Alfred Hitchcock's adaptation of the novel (1960) laid down the parameters for a variety of genres: the serial killer movie, the slasher film, and the modern big-budget horror film which utilises above-the-title stars rather than the journeyman actors who had populated such fare previously. But above all else, Hitchcock and his talented screenwriter Joseph Stefano created a template for the intelligent, richly developed, and charismatic fictional serial killer in their version of Norman Bates. Hitchcock's film was to influence a generation of film-makers and writers; among them Thomas Harris.
Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.