My Funny Guys: Who is Norman Bates?

There is much to say about the relationship between fiction and reality, especially when it comes to a trope that has gained contemporary ‘popularity’: serial killers, or I guess more generally people, usually white men who commit serial acts of violence. Hitchcock’s classic that Vaughn reprised complexly reinforced that trope by Norman Bates being simultaneously glorified and fear by the general cinematic viewing public. In fact the story of Norman Bates, which is based on the actual serial murders of Ed Gein, has become an urban legend and is one of the first films to start a subgenre of ‘slasher films,’ which on A SLASH Above[1], currently have 590 flicks to choose from.

Women especially, if they are alone in a room with a man they don’t know,

even if he opens the door for her,

even if he seems nice and conversational,

even if he politely tries to ignore her because he doesn’t want her to feel nervous about being alone in a room with him,

even if he seems awkward and self-conscious in a way that makes her think, he can’t get a date, he’s harmless

—should be afraid. He could be the next Norman Bates.

[1] Luisito Joaquin Gonzalez, A SLASH Above. (WordPress: 2012),



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