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Psycho II (1983) Review - 80's Slasher22:00

Psycho II (1983) Review - 80's Slasher

Title: Psycho II

Tagline: "It's 22 years later, and Norman Bates is coming home."

Release Date: June 3rd, 1983

Budget: $5 million

Psycho II takes place 22 years after the first film, Norman Bates is released from the mental institution and returns to the house and Bates Motel to continue a normal life. However, it soon becomes apparent that his past is going to continue to haunt him.

PlotEdit

Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is released from a mental institution after spending 22 years in confinement. Lila Loomis (Vera Miles), sister of Marion Crane, vehemently protests with a petition that she has been circulating with signatures of 743 people, including the relatives of the seven people Norman killed prior to his incarceration, but her plea is dismissed. Norman is taken to his old home, the Bates Motel, with the house behind it on the hill, by Dr. Bill Raymond (Robert Loggia), who assures him everything will be fine.

Norman is introduced to the motel's new manager, Warren Toomey (Dennis Franz). The following day, Norman reports to a prearranged job as a dishwasher and busboy at a nearby diner, run by a kindly old lady named Emma Spool (Claudia Bryar). One of his co-workers there is Mary Samuels (Meg Tilly), a young waitress. After work, Mary claims she has been thrown out of her boyfriend's place and needs a place to stay. Norman offers to let her stay at the motel, then extends the offer to his home when he discovers that Toomey has turned what had been a shabby but respectable establishment before Norman was committed into a sleazy adult motel.

Norman's adjustment back into society appears to be going along well until "Mother" begins to make her presence known. Norman gets mysterious notes from "Mother" at the house and diner. Phone calls come from someone claiming to be Norman's mother. The next day, a drunk Toomey picks a fight at the diner after Norman fires him. Later, a figure in a black dress stabs Toomey to death with a kitchen knife as he is packing to leave the motel. As Norman begins to reconstruct his motel, he begins to doubt his sanity when he begins hearing voices in the house. He enters his mother's bedroom to find it looks exactly as it did 22 years ago. A sound lures him to the attic, where he is locked in.

At the same time, a teenage couple, believing the house to be abandoned, sneaks in through the cellar window. They notice a female figure pacing in the next room. As they try to climb out, the boy is stabbed to death. The girl escapes and alerts the police. Mary eventually finds Norman in the attic. Minutes later, the sheriff arrives and questions them about the boy's murder. He finds the cellar neat and orderly. Norman is about to admit that something suspicious is going on, but Mary claims that she has cleaned up the basement herself. After the sheriff leaves, Norman asks Mary why she lied. She explains that she had to save him from being arrested. Norman collapses into the chair with his head in his hands and moans, "It's starting again!" Norman is aware that he is slipping into insanity again.

That evening, Mary is startled when she discovers someone looking at her through a peephole in the bathroom wall. She calls out to Norman, who is downstairs and out of reach. The two are horrified to find a bloody cloth that has been stuffed down the toilet. Norman appears confused and believes he may have committed another murder. Mary goes down to check the motel. In the parlor she is surprised by Lila, who reveals herself to be Mary's mother. She has been calling Norman claiming to be his mother, even going so far as to dress up as her and allowing him to see her in the window. Mary has been helping her. She was responsible for restoring Mother's room at the house and locking Norman in the attic. All of this was an attempt to drive Norman insane again and have him recommitted. Mary's growing feelings for Norman, however, have been preying on her conscience leaving her to reconsider her actions. Meanwhile, Dr. Raymond discovers Mary's identity as Lila's daughter and informs Norman. He also orders the corpse of Norma Bates (which was buried in a proper grave after the events of the original film) to be exhumed, to prove that Norman is not being haunted by his mother. Mary admits to Norman that she has been part of Lila's ruse, and that while she now refuses to continue, Lila will not stop. Mary goes to Lila's hotel and their argument is overheard by a desk clerk. Later, Lila drives over to Norman's house, unaware that Dr. Raymond is watching her from the Bates Motel as she sneaks into the cellar.

While removing her "Mother" costume from a loose stone in the floor, another figure dressed as "Mother" steps out of the shadows and murders her. Dr. Raymond runs up to the house. Lila's body is not in the cellar and the "Mother" figure is gone. Meanwhile, Mary discovers that a car has been retrieved from the swamp, with Toomey's body in the trunk. Realizing the police will shortly arrive to arrest Norman, Mary returns to warn him. The phone rings in the house, Norman answers, and starts speaking to his "mother". Mary listens in and discovers that nobody is on the line with Norman. Terrified that Norman has slipped back into insanity, Mary runs downstairs into the cellar and quickly dresses up as Mother to confront Norman and arms herself with a butcher knife. Someone grabs her from behind as she is on the stairs and she plunges the butcher knife into Dr. Raymond, who has sneaked back into the house. A stunned Mary runs downstairs and is confronted by a completely deranged Norman, who promises to cover up for "Mother." Mary tries to keep him away, repeatedly stabbing him in the hands and chest. He backs Mary into the fruit cellar to hide and slips on a pile of coal, which avalanches away from the wall, revealing Lila's body hidden behind it. Mary is now convinced that Norman had been committing the murders. Norman denies doing any of the killings and thinks "Mother" committed them. She raises her knife to stab him and is shot to death by the incoming police. The sheriff inaccuratetely believes Mary committed all the murders. That evening, a woman walks up the steps to the Bates' mansion. Bandaged from his injuries, Norman has set a place for dinner when he hears a knock at the door. It is Emma Spool, the kindly woman from the diner.

Norman gives her a cup of tea. Ms. Spool tells him that she is his real mother, that Mrs. Bates was her sister, who adopted Norman as an infant while Ms. Spool was institutionalized. She further reveals that she was the murderer, having killed anybody who tried to harm her son. As she sips the tea, Norman kills her with a sudden blow to the head with a shovel. Norman is now completely insane again. He carries Ms. Spool's body upstairs to Mother's room and we hear Mother's voice warn Norman not to play with "filthy girls". Norman reopens the Bates Motel and stands in front of the house, waiting for new customers as Mother watches from the window upstairs.

NotesEdit

VillainEdit

One of the most notorious slasher icons of all-time. Anthony Perkins originally turned down the offer to reprise the role of Norman Bates, but when the studio became interested in others (including Christopher Walken), Perkins quickly accepted.


ReviewEdit

Psycho II is, without a doubt, the greatest sequel of all time. Having to make a follow-up to a film as unique and wonderful as Psycho seems like an impossible task, but director Richard Franklin and brilliant writer Tom Holland knew how to pull it off. This isn't a rip-off of the original like some sequels are; this really stands on its own. It's unpredictable, chilling, gruesome, exciting, interesting, and surprisingly touching.

With Psycho II, we are able to see exactly what kind of man Norman is. We get such a clear feeling of how he thinks and feels, and we realize what a fascinating character he really is. He is no longer the villain here, and instead, we just wish that everyone could leave the man alone. Anthony Perkins' performance is too good for words, and the other actors shine as well, especially Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, and Dennis Franz.

The only real misfire in this movie is that they showed the shower scene from the original Psycho at the very beginning. It doesn't serve any real purpose, especially since there is so much more to Psycho than that one famous scene. However, it recovers quickly during the opening credits when we see the sun set upon Norman's creepy house, making it look lovely. One of the best things about this movie is the music. Jerry Goldsmith contributes some really lovely scores, and they are used perfectly throughout the movie. I honestly can't get enough of the main score; it's beautiful.

Try to avoid seeing this on TV. USA does a lot of editing, and they completely cut out a couple really special parts, in my opinion. The parts they cut out are the most sensitive/sentimental parts of the movie, so try and rent Psycho II instead!!!

- Nathan Charles Tolle (rainysky13@aol.com) from Portland, Oregon 20 April 2001

Credits & CastEdit

Directed by Richard Franklin
Produced by Hilton A. Green

Bernard Schwartz

Written by Tom Holland
Starring Anthony Perkins

Vera Miles Robert Loggia Meg Tilly

Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Edited by Andrew London
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) *June 3, 1983
Running time 113 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$5 million[2]
Box office US$34,725,000

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