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Jeffrey Niesel

Related: taxidermy - horror films

When Norman Bates tells an unsuspecting Marion that taxidermy is a "hobby" of his in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, he uses an appropriate term to describe an activity which he considers commonplace. Hobbies are usually regarded as innocent activities of casual interest, designed to help pass the time. And indeed, "stuffing things," as Norman refers to taxidermy, has been a dominant part of American culture since the turn-of-the-century when world exhibitions and the construction of museums necessitated the need for dioramas and displays. The trophies on the wall behind Norman are really not so horrific. They can be found in the room of any American "sportsman" or in the display windows of any department store. Why then does taxidermy become such a specious activity not only in Psycho but also in horror films such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 and The Silence of Lambs?--Jeffrey Niesel [1]

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