The “Psycho“-saga continues with part three. This time, Anthony Perkins personally directed the film, his very first. Although he originally wanted to shoot the film in b/w, the studio insisted on shooting in colour.
Heavy spoilers for this movie and “Psycho II”
Are you my mother?
At the end of “Psycho II”, Norman Bates learned that the person he once had called “mother” wasn’t his real one. His real mother was a woman called Mrs Spool, the sister of Norma Bates, who had to give the child away due to some mental issues. After the revelation, Norman killed her in order to have his mother back…
Norman Bates’ quiet life gets disturbed when wannabe musician Duke (Jeff Fahey) comes to his motel and starts working for Bates. shortly after, disturbed ex-nun Maureen, who bears a striking resemblance to Marion Crane, also moves in. While having troubles containing his dark other side, a reporter is investigating the disappearance of Mrs Spool and also Norman’s rehabilitation.
Review – A spoilish look through the peephole
Like the second movie, “Psycho III” also concentrates on Bates’ most famous murder victim Marion Crane and the shower scene. Some short clips of this scene are also featured. The most notable reference to the first movie is Diana Scarwigs resemblance of Janet Lee, which is even referenced in the dialogue. The other big reference is quite an interesting take on the shower scene, as they remade it with a big twist, as the murderer finds his victim already in a state of dying.
There are scenes that are meant to be taken seriously, but ended up becoming unintentionally hilarious (e.g a weird foreplay scene involving desk lamps). Also, it is quite clear that the character od Duke was supposed to be the true villain in earlier drafts. That would have made a good twist and variation on the “Psycho”-formula. Sadly, the studio has insisted on something more conventional.
As this movie big twist, they retconned the second movie’s twist ending by making norma Bates Noman’s true mother again, and Mrs Spool was just delusional. So, the state of normality is restored as Norman Bates finally gets captured (again) with the promise, that he won’t get out ever again.
“Psycho III” tries to do a lot right, but manages it only a few times. The inverted shower scene is quite nice, and some visuals are quite striking, but except for the twist at the end, the movie is quite forgettable (and laughable).