Psycho III (1986)

Norman Bates is back to normal. But Mother's off her rocker again!

Norman Bates is still running his little motel, and he has kept the dressed skeleton he calls 'mother'. One day a nosey journalist comes to see him to ask questions about his past.

Retreads the original, but with interesting additions
A month after the events of “Psycho II” (1983), a grief-stricken former nun (Diana Scarwid), a wannabe rock star (Jeff Fahey), a meddling reporter (Roberta Maxwell) and a bunch of football fans converge on the Bates Motel and the crazy world of Norman Bates (Anthony Hopkins).
Like the previous installment, “Psycho III” (1986) is a quality continuation of the iconic 1960 film, but more of a retread, which is why some call it a spiritual remake. I like it a little better than the prior sequel because it omits the contrived and confusing twists & turns of the second half. (But, if you seriously reflect on “Psycho II,” everything makes sense after the climatic reveal; you just have to put the pieces of the puzzle together).
Besides Scarwid, the film scores pretty well in the female department with comely redhead Juliette Cummins from “Friday the 13th Part V” (1985) and brunette Katt Shea. The film effectively contrasts lust and love. In addition, Fahey makes for an entertaining character and I like the addition of the celebratory football fanatics. There’s some atmospheric cinematography as well, directed by Perkins.
What’s great about the Psycho franchise is that it has its own story and Norman is a sympathetic character. It’s really a tragedy and not like the formulaic slasher where the killer is a zombie-like machine and all its victims are mostly partying teenagers.
The film runs 1 hour, 33 minutes and, like the other two films, was shot at the backlot of Universal Studios, Universal City, California.
GRADE: B

Universal Pictures by Anthony Perkins, Charles Edward Pogue, Robert Bloch.
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey, Roberta Maxwell.

Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Keywords: schizophrenia prostitute sex nun depression psychopath sequel murder gore blood slasher corpse mental illness crossdressing

06/27/1986

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