Norman Bates is still running Bates motel, and he has kept the dressed skeleton he calls mother. One of his guests is a young girl who has left the convent where she lived. To get some help he employs a young man. One day a nosey journalist comes to see him to ask questions about his past.
With the success of “Psycho II” it was inevitable that the studio would make another, luckily for us they decided to try and not change it up and decided to stick with the same format.
The film continues one month after the events of “Psycho II”, Norman Bates is recovering from the escapades that happened and is soon to be put under more pressure about his past in more than one way.
With this instalment Anthony Perkins made his directorial debut, I thought he did a fantastic job but unfortunately he didn’t (In an interview just before his death, Perkins said he felt he was not up to the task of directing the film, feeling his technical knowledge to be too limited.) No, It’s not be the best directing I’ve seen but he managed to take the franchise forward and modernise it without ruining it’s legacy.
I love the storyline of the film, Bates being harassed by an annoying, snooping reporter badgering him about his past and an encounter with a woman who reminds him of Lila Crane he is on the verge of breaking down.We also see Bates take on a member of staff. Duane, a drifting musician who loves his women. The 2 characters make for great contrast and the dialogue between them is very entertaining.
The suspense in the film is as great as ever, the previous films were not known for being gory, focusing more on the suspense , this addition dies have a few gory scenes but doesn’t take away from it at all. Like I said earlier, Perkins managed to take the franchise forward and modernise it without ruining it’s legacy. This was the era of the slasher so it had high competition, it certainly gave them a good fight.
“Psycho III” may not be the greatest sequel made but it’s great entertainment and a good addition to the franchise, at-least it stays faithful to it’s fanbase. We have seen a-lot worse made.
Miscellaneous facts about the film:
Mary’s book from Psycho II (called “In the Belly of the Beast”) is seen laying in the dirt, by Norman’s house.
The original script had Duane as the killer emulating Norman Bates’s crimes.
Anthony Perkins originally suggested the film be shot in black and white as a homage to the original 1960 Hitchcock film but Universal opposed it.
After completion, Universal felt the film needed a better ending with more of a twist, so Anthony Perkins was called back to shoot the final scene.
Stuntman Kurt Paul played “Mother”, except for when we actually see Anthony Perkins dressed up as “Mother” at the end (it was the second time Perkins dressed up as mother since the original film). That’s why we never get to see Mother’s face on screen – “her” face is always blacked out or hidden in the shadows.
Screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue revealed the plot of his original script. In this version, it was Duane who was the killer and had intentionally come to the Bates Motel because he was obsessed with Norman. Maureen was a neurotic psychologist who had come to the motel to replace Dr. Raymond from the previous film — Pogue had intended to cast original victim Janet Leigh in the role. Universal rejected these ideas, arguing that Bates had to be the killer and Leigh was wrong for the film. However, Maureen’s actions remained virtually unchanged, her character was merely changed to a young nun.
Diana Scarwid’s bare bottom nude scene was performed by Brinke Stevens.
During filming of this movie, Anthony Perkins was diagnosed as HIV-positive when he went to a clinic for routine medical examination.
The ice box Patsy’s corpse is placed in had real ice in it. Katt Shea’s blue complexion wasn’t make-up; she was genuinely freezing during the shooting of this scene.
The reporter Tracy Venable was originally supposed to be younger. However when Roberta Maxwell was cast, the character became older.
When filming the scene where Norman is hitting Duke with the guitar, Anthony Perkins actually hit Jeff Fahey so hard that it cut his head open and he had to get six stitches.
The famous opening line “There is no God!” was improvised by actress Diana Scarwid on the set.
Actress Juliette Cummins was nearly fired by director Anthony Perkins after making an unintentional joke about his homosexuality.
When the film went into pre-production, Anthony Perkins asked Psycho II director Richard Franklin to co-direct the film with him; however Franklin declined.
Despite this being Anthony Perkins directorial debut, the cast and crew have stated that they enjoyed working with him throughout the production.
Writer Charles Edward Pogue claims that Perkins would get so many off beat ideas for the film that he would often call him late at night to pitch them.
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