Taking place 22 years after the events of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho – Psycho II tells the tale of Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) as he is deemed mentally suitable to return society and return to the Bates Motel.
Through the help of his doctor (Robert Loggia) and some nice Christian folk, he gets a job at a local diner and things appear to going well when he befriends a young waitress called Mary (Meg Tully). Then Norman receives a phone call from his mother…
Psycho falls into that category of films like JAWS, the first film is that stunning and iconic – you forget that they made a series of sequels franchising these famous figures. This primarily is the reason why I had never seen Psycho II, I never knew there was one until I started properly researching the original film.
It’s pretty hard not to love this film. Films from the eighties are always a weakness to me, but Norman Bates is such a vulnerable character I loved getting the chance to peep in on him again and see if the world welcomes him open arms! Oh boy do they not!
Richard Franklin along with writer/director Tom Holland, deliver a wonderful feature which mixes your 80’s slasher genre with great tension, a ghostly score and subtle dashes of dark humour that I think will appeal to many new viewers.
Anthony Perkins! Even though there is twenty years between these films, Perkins does not skip a beat! Acting as Bates as easy as slipping comfortable pair of slippers (or his mammys dress), flawless performance – makes a cracker of a sandwich as well, I loved that final scene. Perkins is so well suited in the role, you will find Bates to be a surprisingly likeable character. Yes, I know he’s our protagonist in this story, we want him to get better and may stab the occasional sleazeball!
The supporting cast is stellar, whilst they weren’t well known names to me, Robert Loggia, Dennis Franz and Meg Tully were excellent characters. Tully especially was a little psycho in the making, she had a great look, starry eyes and jet black hair. All those long stares off into the distance – her character was perfect crutch for the newly reformed Norman Bates.
Dennis Franz is a noticeable face (Die Hard II) and gets a choice role in this film. Playing the role of Mr. Toomey, the sleazyball who took over the Bates Motel whilst Norman was away. Upon Bates return Toomey is set straight and he doesn’t like Norman, the two have an amusing little argument.
Jerry Goldsmith needs to get a nod of recognition also, his score to this film was top notch. Whilst not replaying the famous score from the original, Goldsmith sets a mysterious and intriguing lullaby laced throughout the subtlest scenes snagging your attention, keeping you on the edge of your seat.
Arrow Video Blu-Ray release of this feature is choked full of special features! Outside of the standard; Trailers, TV Spots and Still Gallery, we are treated to a newly recorded Audio commentary with writer Tom Holland, Never-before-heard audio interview with director Richard Franklin, Archive Interview with star Anthony Perkins and Vintage interviews with cast and crew.
Overall – Psycho II is a excellent sequel perfectly in the eighties – the classic eighties slasher genre is a comfortable fit for a film such as this. Directing, acting, story and score – I cannot fault it. Definitely worth seeking out. Now, are you sure you won’t have a sandwich?
Psycho II is out on Blu-Ray from 31st July 2017.