PSYCHO 2. 1983. BASED ON THE ORIGINAL NOVEL BY ROBERT BLOCH AND THE ORIGINAL MOVIE BY ALFRED HITCHCOCK. DIRECTED BY RICHARD FRANKLIN. ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE BY JERRY GOLDSMITH. STARRING ANTHONY PERKINS, VERA MILES, ROBERT LOGGIA, DENNIS FRANZ, CLAUDIA BRYAR AND MEG TILLY. REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
Oh my God oh my God oh my God oh my God!!! This is the most excited I’ve ever been about a sequel to any horror movie. To any movie, full stop. Or period, as my lovely American buddies would say. The original PSYCHO (1960) is widely regarded as one of director Alfred Hitchcock’s finest movies. It’s widely regarded by me personally as the film that scared the living daylights out of me when I was eighteen and that’s literally haunted my nightmares ever since. It’s easily the one film that I’d single out as having had the most profound effect on me. I doubt if you’d get such results from, say, a film like HOT TUB TIME-MACHINE. (No offence to fans of that particular movie.)
I wouldn’t dare to say that PSYCHO 2 is even better than its predecessor for fear of being killed by outraged Hitchcock fans, but I’ll venture to say that it might possibly be more fun. It’s a glorious Technicolor romp from beginning to end. It has everything you could ever want from a horror film. Here’s what it’s got:
A protagonist deeply damaged by traumas in his earlier life and who still has trouble telling fantasy from reality. A dead mother whose deceased status is always slightly in doubt. That house, oh God, that house, that marvellously, wonderfully, splendidly menacing house with evil lurking behind every doorway and spyhole! The house is the real star of PSYCHO 2. We didn’t get to see half as much of the Bates house in the first film but we’re surely being compensated for it in this sequel.
Norman Bates is out of the mental institution and back living in the creepy house on the hill, by the way. Apparently, he’s served his time and is now deemed fit to re-enter normal society. God alone knows how the medics came to their conclusions but how-and-ever, Normie’s back, he’s looking good, if a bit strained, and he’s trying hard to pick up the pieces of his shattered life.
He’s got a job in a diner and a nice young female lodger called Mary and things are slowly looking up. Except for one thing. He has reason to believe that a certain special lady might be back in the picture. That’s right, it’s Mother and this time, she won’t rest until she’s driven Norman clean out of his mind and back into the insane asylum…
Dennis Franz (NYPD BLUE, PORTRAIT OF AN ASS-GRABBER-THE SIMPSONS…!) is terrific as the tubby and obnoxious temporary manager of the Bates motel in Normie’s absence. Robert Loggia shines as Norman’s head-shrink from the asylum. Vera Miles famously reprises her role as Marion Crane’s sister Lila, and guess what desperate hussy’s only gone and married her poor dead sister’s man? I’m just saying, is all. Her presence lends an authenticity to an already brilliant film, and she’s looking terrific too. Well-preserved and trim with a still-shapely ankle, haha. I sound like Mr. Burns from THE SIMPSONS there.
The film opens with a recap of Lila’s sister’s death-agonies from the first film, by the way. It’s a great scary way to open a great scary film that’s positively loaded with spooky scenes and shocks and twists and great scary scares. And, again, the house…! We’re in and out of that fruit-cellar like a Jack-In-The-Box. Every time the camera made its way down to the basement again, I hid behind the TV Guide. It left smudgy black ink all over my face and you could read the times of the late-night news-and-weather report and the late-night film off my forehead.
Favourite scenes…? The two dopey teens breaking into the fruit-cellar, of all places, to smoke dope and have sex and, instead, meeting an unexpected destiny. The fruit-cellar…! No force on earth would induce me to set foot in it. I love it too when we think it’s all over and then the sturdy figure of Mrs. Bates in her black dress and stern iron-grey hairstyle can be seen climbing the steps from the motel to the house against the backdrop of the night sky. Is she real? Is she un-real? We shall soon see…
The ending is terrific and it neatly paves the way for another sequel. There are more twists and turns in this film than there were in the first one and zooming from one twist to the next is better than any roller-coaster ride. God, I love this film! After you see it, you’ll surely go to sleep with the figure of Mother outlined in her bedroom window imprinted on your mind. What…? What’s that you say, Mother? You want me to kill all my readers…? But… But, Mother, I can’t! I love them both…! ;)
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based performance poet, novelist, film blogger, sex blogger and short story writer. She has given more than 200 performances of her comedy sex-and-relationship poems in different venues around Dublin, including The Irish Writers’ Centre, The International Bar, Toners’ Pub (Ireland’s Most Literary Pub), the Ha’penny Inn, Le Dernier Paradis at the Trinity Inn and The Strokestown Poetry Festival.
Her articles, short stories and poems have appeared in The Metro-Herald newspaper, Ireland’s Big Issues magazine, The Irish Daily Star, The Irish Daily Sun and The Boyne Berries literary journal. In August 2014, she won the ONE LOVELY BLOG award for her (lovely!) horror film review blog. She is addicted to buying books and has been known to bring home rain-washed tomes she finds on the street and give them a home.
She is the proud possessor of a pair of unfeasibly large bosoms. They have given her- and the people around her- infinite pleasure over the years. She adores the horror genre in all its forms and will swap you anything you like for Hammer Horror or JAWS memorabilia. She would also be a great person to chat to about the differences between the Director’s Cut and the Theatrical Cut of The Wicker Man. You can contact her at:
1) ‘… BY A WOMAN WALKING HER DOG…’
2) A WRITER’S JOURNEY
3) ANNA MEETS COUNT DRACULA
4) ANOTHER FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
5) CANCER BALLS
6) CATCH OF THE DAY
7) FIFTY FILTHY-DIRTY SEX-POEMS YOU MUST READ BEFORE I DIE.
8) FIFTY REALLY RANDOM HORROR FILM REVIEWS TO DIE FOR…
9) THE DEVIANTS
10) VISITING DAY