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by Garon Cockrell
31 Days of Scream-O-Ween! - Psycho 3
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Oct. 23, 2013 5:16 p.m.

By David Massey<>
For those of
you that thought making a sequel to ‘Psycho’ was a disastrous, shark-jumping
moment in cinema history, you ain’t seen nothing’ yet. On Valentine’s Day,
1986, first-time director, Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates himself), released ‘Psycho
3’ and, at the time, no one cared. It’s a shame because, unlike ‘Psycho 2’ –
which spent a lot of time and energy reproducing and imitating Hitchcock - this
is a totally new and much darker take on a scenario that we already know quite
well. Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition Blu-ray puts it all in perspective
and garnishes the film with a hefty ensemble of bizarre features.<>
Psycho 3 <>
<> The Film:<>
<> If you
haven’t seen the previous ‘Psycho’ films, there are a number of sub-plots and
asides in ‘Psycho 3’ that will mean absolutely nothing to you. It is a film
that really hinges on all the previous elements and as careful as I was in my
‘Psycho 2’ review not to reveal all the twist and turns, it was all for not
because ‘Psycho 3’ defiantly unravels every one of them.<>
<> Much like
the original, the film starts with a woman running away. This time it’s a very
disturbed nun who has left her convent having lost her faith in God and her
will to live. Janet Leigh look-alike, Maureen Coyle (Diana Scarwid - ‘Mommie
Dearest’ / ‘Rumble Fish’) treks across the desert where she is picked up by a
very sleazy Jeff Fahey (‘The Lawnmower Man’ / ‘Body Parts’). The two wonderers
end up checking into the Bates Motel and, by now, you should have a hint at
what’s in store for them.<>
<> There are a
few attempts at building on the ‘Psycho’ mythology but there aren’t any big
surprises and there really isn’t one over-arching story (unless you take the
previous films into account). Here’s a rundown of the sub-plots tied in: 1.)
Maureen has lost all direction and Norman feels sorry for her so they go on a
date before she gets killed. 2.) Duke, Fahey’s character, is working his way
out to L.A. where he’s going to be a big rock star. He learns a bit more about
Norman than he should and tries to use this to his advantage. 3.) There’s a
reporter trying to discredit Norman’s sanity and disprove the truth about
Norman’s mother (one of the twists from ‘Psycho 2’). 4.) The Bates Motel is
full of guests for once and Norman has to sneak around killing them (for no
<> What’s so
different about this sequel? For starters, I’m not really sure who the main
character is. Unlike the previous sequel, Norman doesn’t seem to be conflicted
any longer; he’s back to taxidermy, he’s got ‘Mother’ back, he’s peeking
through holes in bathroom walls, and he’s quick to kill. Maureen barely has any
screen time and, though she is introduced as a possible heroin, her character
doesn’t really go anywhere (a la Marian Crane). Duke is too repellant to root
for (but gets more screen time than almost anyone). So, oddly enough, the
closest we’re given to a protagonist is Roberta Maxwell’s (‘Popeye’ /
‘Philadelphia’) reporter who is the least interesting character with the
biggest payoff. <>
<> All in all,
this is the most sequeley sequel you will ever see and that should be enough to
spark your curiosity.<>
The Disc:<>
<> From the
opening scenes, I was really shocked at how grainy this was. Fortunately, it
seems to smooth out a bit as the film progresses but not the best image.
There’s a fairly decent commentary with screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue (‘The
Fly’ / ‘DragonHeart’) so you have some sense of the script and the intention of
the many plot-points but he doesn’t seem to have been involved much in the
actual production of the film which makes his insights a bit lacking.<>
<> Where the
features really excel is with the interviews. It’s apparent that the leads in
the film (aside from Fahey) were unavailable (in one way or another) so we are
treated to unexpected insights from secondary characters, body-doubles, and
Makeup Effects Artist Michael Westmore (‘Raging Bull’ / ‘Rocky 2’).<>
  • Audio Commentary with Screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue
  • Interviews with Actors Katt Shea, Brinke Stevens, Jeff Fahey
  • Interview with Special Makeup Effects Artist Michael Westmore
  • Theatrical Trailer<>
    The Specs:
  • 1080p High-Definition Widescreen 1.85:1
  • DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0
  • English Only Audio & Subtitles
  • Original Release: 1986 (mislabeled as 1983 on the Blu-ray cover)
  • Runtime: 93 Minutes
  • Rating: R
    Story: C / Most of this we’ve seen
    before and what we haven’t is just trying to undo what we have.
    Presentation: C / The image is really
    uneven and there’s a barrel-scraping feel to the features.
    Scare Factor: B / This is much darker
    than either of the previous film.
    Gore Factor: B / There’s plenty of blood
    and a few cringe-worth moments but gone is the slasher ethic of Psycho 2.
    Repeat view-ability: C / For hardcore
    Norman fans only.
    Add Psycho
    3 to your collection, click HERE!<>
    Check out
    yesterday’s Scream Factory review, Psycho 2!<>

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