Psycho III (1986)
What’s This About: Norman Bates is BACK! All the burning questions we all had after the original Psycho II ended unsatisfactorily will now be answered! Will Norman kill again, or is there another psycho, too?
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Now that Psycho II is out of the way, we move on to the more memorable VHS box: Psycho III.
- A nun freaks out and accidentally pushes another nun down a bell tower and kills her. I hope she doesn’t kill any more nuns, then it would be a bad habit.
- She leaves the convent, I guess avoiding murder charges per Vatican law, and walks through the desert, and does not succumb to heatstroke or thirst.
- Oh directed by Anthony Perkins? I’m sure this will go well. And not at all a stipulation for coming back to play Norman one last time.
- It’s hard to believe there was a time when Jeff Fahey wasn’t a grizzled old man.
- Jeff Fahey tries to put the moves on the runaway nun after he picks her up but she’s having nun of it.
- Ah here’s Norman, taxidermying birds and still acting a little psycho. There’s a flashback to that awful twist from Psycho II when he replaces old mother with his real mother who is also old and dead.
- Jeff Fahey comes to the Bates Motel looking for a job, you know what, I bet the nun makes her way there too, unless the entire beginning was totally unrelated.
- Anthony Perkins’ acting has only deteriorated in the past 3 years. But hey, he has a big director’s chair to fill, and so far I’d say he’s far superior to Alfred Hitchcock.
- Hoo boy this is boring.
- Oh hey look the nun made her way to the motel.
- Her initials are MC, just like Marion Crane! Hoo boy…
- What kind of nun has their initials on a suitcase?
- Her initials are MC, just like Michael Cera! Hoo boy…
- At least this picture is about 20 minutes shorter than Psycho II.
- Norman’s back to his old peeping ways. They never really leave us…
- This is exactly the kind of underwear you’d expect a nun to wear.
- Hoo boy, she’s taking a shower…
- Norman comes in in the Mother costume but TWIST she’s already slit her wrists! And then she has visions of him as a Mother Superior statue.
- Subplot: A reporter is paying Fahey for information on Norman. Listen lady if you want a scoop just go to the Ice Cream Man! But he only deals in classified information.
- You know how I found the Jerry Goldsmith score for Psycho II pleasing and delightful? This score by Carter Burwell is the direct piss-soaked opposite of that.
- Maureen the nun lost a bathtub’s worth of blood but Norman gets her to the hospital on time. Holy hell.
- “We all go a little mad sometimes,” Norman says. What the hell are you talking about.
- There’s more nudity in the first half of this movie than the entirety of Rope.
- Why does this lot lizard care so much that her one night stand told her to leave this creepy motel?
- Mother stabs her in the phone booth. Not as good as a shower, but I’ll say this, Perkins really went for it with the gore. Especially compared to North by Northwest.
- They do that “Oh mother, blood!” Scene from the original again. With far superior results. FAR superior. Eat shit, Hitch.
- Norman is cleaning the booth the next morning, so that kind of kills any mystery if he was Mother this time.
- I could really do without the nun character. She just drags the whole god damn movie down.
- Has there ever been a good nun character who either wasn’t evil or a drag (no offense, Norman)? I can’t think of any at the top of my head. Leave your answers in the comments.
- Fahey finds a ripped five dollar bill he gave to the lot lizard in the Bates Motel till. The mystery deepens! Could the killer who has killed multiple people be the killer??
- This reporter bird is as much of a flatliner as the nun. This is why you shouldn’t put women in movies.
- I love that the only picture of Norman’s “real” mother is like a shot they obviously took on set in the last movie.
- I have a feeling this nun is going to replace Mother in the end? I can’t say I’m interested in that.
- If Norman doesn’t want anyone to know his mother is there why does he prop her corpse up by the window? If Bruce Springsteen is the icon of the working class why is he called The Boss?
- Now I remember the answer to my nun question: Nuns on the Run.
- I like that Mother even thinks the nun is a whore. There’s no limit to her whoremeter.
- Maureen is the nun’s name. I honestly don’t remember that from before. Of course, this is my second try watching and the first time was almost a week ago. We were going to have a category of how many tries it took to get through each movie but Brad deemed it incalculable.
- There’s a random female motel guest in her room alone, I wonder what will happen. We get a lovely scene of her peeing and then Mother stabs her.
- I guess it could be Fahey or the nun or the reporter doing this and Norman just thinks it’s Mother but that wouldn’t make much sense and that’s kind of what happened in the last movie.
- Norman hid the girl’s body in the ice machine? Good call, a motel full of people who like to drink alcohol (it’s alumni weekend, and Bates Motel is obviously the best place to stay) would never get ice.Norman finds a note that says, “Norman I’m in cabin 12 come see me mother.” That was either written by Mother, or whoever is setting Norman up, or a family-oriented pirate.
- So Fahey has Mother, and he’s crazy, and a much better actor than Anthony Perkins.
- Fahey is trying to extort money from Norman even though Norman has no money. Fahey says the house would be worth a lot but it’s an old shithole in which a bunch of murders have occurred.
- Norman busts Fahey over the head with a guitar, just like The Honky Tonk Man.
- Norman goes to drive Fahey and the frozen chick to the swamp but Fahey’s not dead, of course. Why would getting hit over the head with a guitar kill him? It didn’t kill the Randy Savage. But of course, he was the Macho Man.
- Norman drives the car into the swamp and Fahey drowns and Norman finds another woman’s body in the swamp and I have no idea who that was, were we supposed to?
- So the nun left because she was scared, but immediately comes back that night to forgive Norman. Well, she falls down the stairs and just like in the original impales her head on that cherub statue’s arrow. I told you that thing was dangerous.
- I’m still not clear on why this reporter wants to be so heavily involved with this Norman story. Hell I’m only watching this movie and I don’t want to be involved in any way.
- A lot of tension with the reporter in Norman’s house, or there would be if we gave a dead rat’s last turd about her.
- Good crazy Mother face by Norman there.
- So new Mother was really just Norman’s aunt who killed real Mother because she was in love with her husband? So Psycho II was pretty pointless then? I mean, yeah, it was.
- Norman stabs Mother to death! Well, his aunt, who was already dead and taxidermied. But still cathartic.
- The cops haul Norman away but he has Mother-Aunt’s arm. They wouldn’t have frisked him?
Was it Entertaining:
Any Good Gore: They may have dialed down the suspense and plot and everything else but they did dial up the gore. But why not dial them both up? Why are there only two dials? What kind of machine is this??
Any Nudity: Quite a bit of boob, and even some suggestive water sports.
Best Quote: “You just about scared the piss out of me.” – Girl who then gets murdered while on the toilet.
Best Scene: I guess the fight between Norman and Fahey? Mostly because it was well lit, and it was fun seeing Fahey go full psycho mode.
Worst Scene: Probably when the nun runs terrified of Norman then immediately has a revelation that she’s supposed to help him then immediately comes back to him and immediately dies. Although that last one isn’t bad.
Final Thoughts: This movie is one of the most unnecessary sequels of all time and… pretty bad. It’s not awful awful but where Psycho II was fairly well done and pretty interesting this one is just a dull slasher that happens to have Norman Bates in it and kind of undoes anything good from the previous movie, not to mention the original. It probably would have been better served having Norman be somewhere else instead of the same tired location with the same tired talking dead mother. Maybe that’s where they wanted to take this franchise but this movie kind of killed all hopes of that. Fortunately I don’t have to watch Psycho IV because it was made in 1990 and I’m only doing ’80s movies this month, plus it probably sucks worse than a five-dollar whore.
Score: 4.5 Honky Tonk Men (out of 10)