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George At 

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Psycho III


Watching this second sequel to Hitchcock's classic, I wondered if Anthony Perkins had watched Leonard Nimoy say he'd only come back for 'Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" if he could direct the film.

Perkins has grabbed the director's chair this time and he shows some visual flair in 1986'S PSYCHO III, the continuing saga of the worst motel owner in the world, Norman Bates.

The film picks up after the events of the surprisingly good sequel "Psycho II".

Norman has let the motel take a nosedive into disrepair, but he's about to get some interesting guests.

Perkins best scenes as a director are the opening sequence, with Diana Scarwid as Maureen, a troubled nun with the worst luck in a bell tower since Scottie in "Vertigo".

Maureen's trek across the desert, encounter with LA bound musician Duane Duke (80's stalwart Jeff Fahey) and eventual arrival at the Bates Motel are staged well, keep your interest and set up our story.

Disappointingly, things get a lot more predictable once they check in and meet Norman.

Norman falls for the damaged Maureen, Mother ain't happy.

Roberta Maxwell (The Postman, The Changeling) is a reporter determined to finish her story on serial killers by nailing down an in depth interview with Norman. Not a great career move when Mother is lurking in the shadows.

Scarwid (Mommie Dearest, Silkwood) is better than the material as Maureen, her ad-libbed scream of "There is no God!" line that opens the film over a dark screen sets an ominous tone.

Hugh Gillin (Back to the Future III) is terrific in his down home role as the local sheriff who always defends Norman, with diminishing results.

Perkins doesn't hold back, offering fans both obvious and subtle throwbacks to the earlier films. They're clever and entertaining, but in its second half, the film descends into stereotypical slasher territory.

After the brilliant original and the very good sequel, Norman outstayed his welcome by one film. PSYCHO III gets a C.


Don't laugh at me Mother! Don't laugh at me!!

Mother's voice still creeps me out.....

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