The Mother of All Drinking Games
We continue the movie classics binge we've been on lately with one of the most famous horror movies of all time, and probably the first movie you think of when you hear the name "Hitchcock." Psycho is such a diabolically good movie. Every second is so carefully plotted. Every beat is lived through. Not all that much actually happens during the movie, but every scene forwards the plot and builds an increasingly high level of intrigue and tension. And let's not forget the transformation the movie goes through at its halfway point, bringing audiences the most memorable and most often parodied twist cinema has ever seen.
You would think that knowing what's going to happen would make a movie LESS scary. Far from it; our apprehension only grew thicker. The alcohol managed to dull our senses, but it only sharpened our screams.
Yeah. Our neighbors hate us.
"(Get Away from Me, You Drunken) Psycho": The Rules
Dijan de Nero points out that you can also drink Bloody Marys. Fitting, because of one scene in particular.
1. Drink for title drops. That's every time someone says "Psycho".
2. Drink when they drink
3. Drink for daddy issues.
4. Drink every time someone asks a question.
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink for every thirty seconds that passes without a line of dialogue. That's ONE drink for EVERY thirty seconds.
All the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink whenever the main theme plays. It's not the screeching violins.
2. Drink for mommy issues.
Some Guy: Lost big time at Mumbledepeg (Medium)
Shirley Whiskas: Blames this movie for her unorthodox fantasies (Hard)
Dijan de Nero: Wonders if "Star Wars" would look as good in black and white (Hard)
Velma Jenkies: Had work in the morning (Hard)
Champjagne Austgin: Thought the dresses were actually brightly colored (Hard)
Levi: Proud to have had Anthony Perkins bat for his team (Hard)
Out of all the games we've made, this is the first one for a horror movie. I wish we'd done it sooner. There's no better mixer for any liquor than fear.
"Don't worry guys," Some Guy assured the rest of our group, "She doesn't mean drink for EVERY thirty seconds."
I explained to Some Guy that this was exactly what I meant.
"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?" he sputtered.
Watching this movie again made me realize just how good it is, and how difficult it is to make a game for. It's a seamless work of film that knows how to manage its time, which is very rare, especially in the horror genre. The characters all have motivation for what they do, and nothing extremely silly is repeated. This movie is a trope-MAKER, not a trope-user, and as such doesn't rely on established convention to move things along.
Furthermore, like Memento, this movie comes VERY close to not using any of the three base rules. The thing that gets us this time is the Daddy Issues rule; Marion's hunky boyfriend Sam is stuck paying off his father's debts, which makes him unable to take a wife, which makes Marion desperate, which causes her to steal $40,000. The whole movie happens because of Daddy Issues, so I can't give it a pass.
We got drunk very quickly. I started my timer right away at the very beginning of the movie. This segment gave us six drinks right off the bat.
"Krissy doesn't play fair," cautioned Big Moose. "Krissy plays drunk."
Damn straight, I do.
"Think about it," Big Moose sighed as Marion drove into the Bates Motel. "You're watching this for the first time and assuming SHE'S the psycho."
"Wait," put in Bumble C, "How is she NOT the psycho?"
We stopped talking. Bumble C had not seen this movie before, like most of us in the room. But somehow, some way, she was completely unaware of the major twist of this movie. The name Norman Bates meant nothing to her. She didn't associate anything with the sound of screeching violins. She just DIDN'T KNOW.
The rest of the movie became about keeping the rest of the plot from Bumble C. Of course she asked questions; we'd often squeal during inopportune moments, but refused to elaborate. We wanted things to unfold as naturally as possible. And when Norma Bates' corpse was finally revealed to the camera after everything we saw, the look on Bumble C's face was priceless. We came as close as we possibly could get to seeing a 1960 audience reaction shot.
Mind you, knowing the twist doesn't make this movie any less scary. Just ask Champjagne Austgin.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds
Most of us felt a vague sense of shame at our attraction to Bates. Not Shirley Whiskas. She didn't cite Bates' more fey qualities as the ones that turned her on, either.
"I like a man who's able to be dominant," she said dreamily.
"A man who dresses in his mother's clothes is not a Dom," Levil laughed.
"Velma," I called, "What are you doing?"
He poked his head through the doorway and replied, "I'm yelling at passerby."
Guys, remember to invite a friend like Velma to your house when you play these games. You won't regret it.
Drink every time a character is alone on screen.
Or at least every time a character THINKS they're alone. This rule pairs nicely with the thirty seconds of silence rule.
Drink every time a character asks a rhetorical question.
This softens the blow of the question rule. Or you could reverse it, and make it every question EXCEPT rhetorical ones. They'd probably end up evening out.
Drink for every scene in which no music is playing.
Suspense is the key ingredient for any horror flick. Usually music can help achieve this feeling, but Hitchcock proved that sometimes silence works just as well.
Thanks for playing with us, everyone! Next week we're watching another classic, starring a certain actor we've swooned over before.
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). Video footage is taken by Pooh Daddy (Vincent Graham) and edited by Seb (Amy Yourd). All "Psycho" images are owned by Paramount and Universal Pictures.