The creator of and uber-Hitchcock fan, Colin Needham, stays true to the thriller original

By Beth Pinsker
Updated June 11, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Colin Needham still disdains Gus Van Sant’s Psycho. Needham, 32, founder and managing director of the Internet Movie Database, is a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock. And though the IMDb — now an website that’s hit 50 million times a month for info on almost 200,000 movies — grew out of some early ’90s chat groups that mostly discussed attractive actresses and their bodies of work, Needham says his completist impulse was sparked on a dark night in Manchester, England, 20 years ago, when he got the Cadburys scared out of him watching Janet Leigh get hacked. ”If you talk to film buffs, they can point to films that changed the way they look at all things,” he notes. ”It’s my obsession with Hitchcock which led to the IMDb.”

Now, as fellow debtor Van Sant’s lockstep homage comes to tape and DVD June 8, Needham isn’t budging. ”I’m not at all interested in ever seeing it,” he says — not that he has anything against Van Sant. Needham considers underestimating the original the fatal misstep. ”The last time I saw it in a theater, two years ago, people were still screaming, and that was 37 years after its release. The movie has not lost its power at all.” Maybe with other remakes ”the original script doesn’t feel right or the actors are irrelevant. With Psycho, that’s abundantly not true.” Besides, the Van Sant rendition’s IMDb rating is just 5.8 out of 10. Hitch’s registers 8.3.

Psycho (Movie - 1998)

  • Movie
  • R
  • 105 minutes
  • Gus Van Sant