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Psycho III (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray]
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 19, 2004
Format: DVD
Picking up where Psycho 2 left off, Norman Bates is a free man living in his old home behind the Bates Motel, his new stuffed mother his only roommate. He lives a quiet life managing the less than successful business, spending most of his time practicing taxidermy on the local birds that eat from his poisoned feeder. But things get all shook up again when Maureen Coyle, a young, runaway nun, enters his world. Maureen's short, blonde hair reminds Norman far too much of his most unforgettable victim, Marion Crane, causing a myriad of conflicting feelings to well up within him. But Norman is not the only one who is disturbed and confused. Maureen has left the Church because she has so lost her faith that she recently attempted suicide and caused the death of a fellow nun who attempted to stop her. With her feelings of hopelessness and guilt, Maureen still hasn't given up on the idea of taking her own life. And Maureen is not Norman's only problem. Duane Duke, a pretty boy, would-be singing star with a dark side on his way to L.A., has come by the Bates Motel looking for a job. Norman immediately makes him Assistant Manager in charge of the day shift. But while Norman should be keeping a close eye on Duane's improper interests and activities, it's Duane who's keeping a sharp eye on him. And Duane isn't the only one. A nosy reporter has turned up in town and is asking questions about Norman, who wants nothing but to be left alone to TRY to have a normal life. Things aren't looking good for Norman at all. It's hard enough for him to battle off his mother's urges while he attempts to start a relationship with Maureen, without having to deal with all the watching eyes springing up around him. When Duane's nocturnal sextivities and a group of anxious young sports fans eventually result in an abundance of "sluts" at the usually peaceful motel, it quickly becomes more than Norman, or Mother, can stand.
Anthony Perkins' directorial debut is an excellent example of how not all sequels, even number threes, have to stink. In fact, except for the Bates Motel series pilot "movie" that didn't have Perkins in it at all, I'd have to say all the Psycho films are pretty darn good. None of the sequels make any attempt to be Hitchcockian, yet they all keep the stories and characters intact and a step above the usual slasher fair. The duality of the Norman Bates character that Hitchcock presented so well in the original is clearly what gives the sequels so much to work with. This man's entire life is interesting and worth chronicling, not just that first major incident in the 60s. Of course, as with the other sequels, this film is in color, and quite gory and sexual, unlike the original classic film. But this just helps to provide a nice separation for those who dislike sequels and feel the Hitchcock Masterpiece should have been left alone. For the rest of us, this film is an excellent addition to Norman Bates' legacy, with plenty of moments that keep you guessing about what will happen next.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2000
Format: DVD
I just thought I would shed some light on the quality of the DVD disc technically speaking. Out of the entire presentation I was extremely surprised by the quality of the audio. The Dolby Surround track is well used, mostly by Carter Burwells unique score. All the speakers are used occasionally adding to the dark mood that some of the scenes convey. The sound is always clear and noise free. The dialogue driven scenes stay close to the center channel and move only from time to time. The video print seems to have aged well and doesn't show any large amount of dust or scratches. Colors are saturated very naturally and there doesn't appear to be any distracting pixelation. Some of the titles do appear to slightly shimmer, but it looks as if it was just the old fashioned techique used to make them. The letterboxed picture feels wider than the 1.85 ratio stated on the case, but only slightly. Overall a very nice DVD by itself. The added theatrical trailer does feel dated, both in quality and design, but it is added treat for a value priced disc. A good buy for a decent price if you're a fan of the series.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 17, 2005
Format: DVD
It's about time Universal got around to releasing a decent disc of Psycho 3. The film, directed by star Anthony Perkins and released theatrically in 1986, has widely been regarded as a marked decline in quality for the Psycho series. And I admit, I once regarded it the same way. Unlike the relatively tame Psycho 2, the third film in the series ups the sex & violence level considerably. This was probably a conscious attempt to compete with films of its time...remember, "splatter" films were big in the mid-80's.

But, like Hithcock's original masterpiece, there's more going on here than meets the eye. Perkins the Director appears to have studied not only Hitchcock (the opening scene is straight out of VERTIGO), but other contemporary filmmakers like John Carpenter and Dario Argento. Psycho 3 is almost equal parts fright film and black comedy...a combination that certainly describes many of Hitchcock's most successful films.

Though hardly a perfect film, Psycho 3 is a worthy successor to its predecessors and a delighfuly twisted horror film in its own right. Give it another look, and I hope you'll agree.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
3.5 stars - Reasonably well done second sequel to Hitchcock's masterpiece marks Anthony Perkins' directorial debut. This one plays it tongue in cheek at times- Eg: The sherrif on the lookout for a missing girl helps himself to some ice cubes from Normans motel freezer neglecting to notice that they are bloodied - the girls corpse lies underneath!!. Film is as competent as Psycho's 2 and 4 - just a differing style. Much better than the Psycho remake (1998). If Psycho's 1-4 aren't enough for you, check out Robert Blochs interesting novel 'Psycho House' which was never filmed and is available in paperback from Amazon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2009
Format: DVD
Recently, I saw this movie for the very first time and enjoyed it tremendously. It is dramatic, over-the-top, suspenseful and perhaps even comical in certain parts. Anthony Perkins (may he rest in peace) plays the classic role that he made famous more than 25 years prior as Norman Bates. Mr. Perkins gives a first-rate performance as everyone's favorite kook because he is believable and there is almost a sad quality to this pathetic creature, Norman Bates. Rounding out the cast is Jeff Fahey portraying Norman's skirt-hungry motel manager and b-movie queen Diana Scarwid, playing the harried excommunicated nun who finds solace in a welcoming Norman. What I enjoyed most about this movie is that we really got to know the characters. It wasn't a bloody horror picture, instead "Psycho 3" is a finely crafted work of cinema.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2001
Format: DVD
Out of the 3 Psycho sequels, this one had the most humor.
The fight scene between Duke (Jeff Fahey) and Norman
(Anthony Perkins) was hilarious. Especially when they
zoom into Mrs. Spool's middle finger that Duke stuck up.
The scene where Norman spreads peanut butter on his
cracker with the same spoon he stuffed the bird with
sawdust with was both mildly nauseating and funny.
Norman finally finds a companion in Maureen (Diana Scarwid), but she unfortunately
has the same fate as every other female that has crossed Norman: Death. Quite a delight.
Good for a Halloween party or any other occasion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 19, 2004
Format: DVD
Picking up where Psycho 2 left off, Norman Bates is a free man living in his old home behind the Bates Motel, his new stuffed mother his only roommate. He lives a quiet life managing the less than successful business, spending most of his time practicing taxidermy on the local birds that eat from his poisoned feeder. But things get all shook up again when Maureen Coyle, a young, runaway nun, enters his world. Maureen's short, blonde hair reminds Norman far too much of his most unforgettable victim, Marion Crane, causing a myriad of conflicting feelings to well up within him. But Norman is not the only one who is disturbed and confused. Maureen has left the Church because she has so lost her faith that she recently attempted suicide and caused the death of a fellow nun who attempted to stop her. With her feelings of hopelessness and guilt, Maureen still hasn't given up on the idea of taking her own life. And Maureen is not Norman's only problem. Duane Duke, a pretty boy, would-be singing star with a dark side on his way to L.A., has come by the Bates Motel looking for a job. Norman immediately makes him Assistant Manager in charge of the day shift. But while Norman should be keeping a close eye on Duane's improper interests and activities, it's Duane who's keeping a sharp eye on him. And Duane isn't the only one. A nosy reporter has turned up in town and is asking questions about Norman, who wants nothing but to be left alone to TRY to have a normal life. Things aren't looking good for Norman at all. It's hard enough for him to battle off his mother's urges while he attempts to start a relationship with Maureen, without having to deal with all the watching eyes springing up around him. When Duane's nocturnal sextivities and a group of anxious young sports fans eventually result in an abundance of "sluts" at the usually peaceful motel, it quickly becomes more than Norman, or Mother, can stand.
Anthony Perkins' directorial debut is an excellent example of how not all sequels, even number threes, have to stink. In fact, except for the Bates Motel series pilot "movie" that didn't have Perkins in it at all, I'd have to say all the Psycho films are pretty darn good. None of the sequels make any attempt to be Hitchcockian, yet they all keep the stories and characters intact and a step above the usual slasher fair. The duality of the Norman Bates character that Hitchcock presented so well in the original is clearly what gives the sequels so much to work with. This man's entire life is interesting and worth chronicling, not just that first major incident in the 60s. Of course, as with the other sequels, this film is in color, and quite gory and sexual, unlike the original classic film. But this just helps to provide a nice separation for those who dislike sequels and feel the Hitchcock Masterpiece should have been left alone. For the rest of us, this film is an excellent addition to Norman Bates' legacy, with plenty of moments that keep you guessing about what will happen next.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
It's hard to imagine a sequel ever coming close to matching the greatness of its originator, but Psycho III in many ways, is better than Psycho. Now, before you stone me to death, read a little further.

Anyone who watches Psycho today can't help but notice how the film feels dated, like it was created in an era where sexual discussion and other issues were considered taboo. Don't get me wrong, Psycho is definitely a classic, but where Psycho III excels is in piercing those taboos and reveling in them. It's very obvious that Anthony Perkins, who not only stars as Norman Bates, but directed the film as well, feels a very personal attachment to the story. Many of us know that Perkins was homosexual and died of AIDS, and in this film, one can see him struggling with his own identity and with the forces in our culture that drive homosexuals to remain hidden. There is a very strong religious angle to the film and Perkins makes no qualm about his (seeming) disapproval of how close-minded religion can be. Now, if that isn't breaking a taboo, I don't know what is.

Psycho III also deals with sex in a very frank manner, showing us both the perverse side (the scene with Duane in his room) and the tender side (the scene with Norman and Maureen in her room). Again, Perkins tackles the issue head-on and allows us to make up our own minds. Psycho III is also the most violent of the films in the series (maybe not in terms of blood, but definitely psychologically), beginning with Norman's opening scene where he poisons a bird to his killing of several hotel guests. Perkins films the killings in a more realistic manner, making them feel more gruesome and increasing their impact.

But where Psycho III excels, and definitely surpasses Psycho, is in the creation of a fully realized Norman Bates. Perkins' performance is a wonder to behold, Norman is funny, sweet, charming, chivalrous and insane, all at the same time. And we can't help but root for him, even when he's at his craziest. Also, Norman's struggle with "mother" is given added dimension by being shown as more of a give and take relationship, with mother both helping and hurting Norman (previously, mother was simply a nag and a burden).

In closing, I must praise Perkins as a director. His placement of the camera, his use of imagery, the attention to performance, all come together to create a film that is truly original and a worthy sequel to Hitchcock's Psycho.

Thank you, Mr. Perkins, you gave us all a film truly worthwhile.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2009
Format: DVD
I love this movie. The best in the series. It delivers a scare and is humoring in a few scenese as well. The plot thickens as Norman, hires a new helper, and gets a new guest in his hotel. All a little to much for him, or should I say, Mother to handle. The movie also has a nice musical score in it as well. Anthony Perkins delivers an excellent performance, as well as Jeff Fahey, and Diana Scarwid. Of course who could forget, Ms. Venible?? "I wouldn't just go and pick out a silverware pattern just yet sheriff."
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2005
Format: DVD
Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) continues to struggle with his inner demons in this film, set only a few weeks after the conclusion of "Psycho II." New visitors to the Bates motel include a suicidal ex-nun (Diana Scarwid), a sinister musician (Jeff Fahey), an investigative reporter (Roberta Maxwell), and a horde of rowdy party-goers. Perkins's performance as Bates is always the best reason to watch any of the "Psycho" sequels, and in this one he steps behind the camera as well. He does a good job. There is a sense of atmosphere and a nightmarish frenzy to several sequences that places it several notches above the previous film. The script (by Charles Edward Pogue) is better, too, although these continuations continue to make the mistake of trying to "deepen" Bates's character by giving him a more convoluted backstory. (Wait, his aunt loved his father who married his mother so he got kidnapped, then someone got murdered...)
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