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COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Scream Factory’s Psycho II & Psycho III Collector’s Edition Review

Updated: 09/24/2013 11:27 AM
Created: 09/24/2013 8:35 AM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

It’s been a while since I’ve reviewed a film from Shout Factory, and I am very excited to tell you about two amazing new releases in Shout Factory’s Scream Factory collection.

This week “Psycho II” and “Psycho III” will be released for the first time on Blu-Ray. 

It has been quite a while since I’d seen “Psycho II” and “Psycho III,” so I was pretty excited when I received my review copies. 

I was extremely impressed and was amazed at how good both films looked.  The video quality is excellent and the sound was superb.

I never got the opportunity to watch either movie in the theater and only saw them on VHS or on television, so it was like watching the films for the first time, and that was exciting.

I do not know how Shout Factory/Scream Factory does it, but the extras are amazing and worth the price of the Blu-Rays alone.  You get audio commentaries, trailers, TV spots, and cast interviews.

One thing that I really think is great about all of the Scream Factory DVD’s and Blu-rays are their menu screens.  They just keep getting better and better with each release, and the menu screens for “Psycho II” and “Psycho III” are really cool.  You see Norman Bates standing in front of his iconic house and the menu selections are located under a “Bates Motel” sign.  Both Blu-Rays have this menu, and it looks so great. 

Psycho II
“Psycho II” was released in 1983 and was directed by Richard Franklin. 

It stars Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly, and Robert Loggia.

“Psycho II” takes place 22 years after the original “Psycho.”  Norman Bates is released from the mental hospital that he was locked up in and is trying to start to live a normal life again.  When he goes back to his house and motel, he discovers that someone hired by the state is running it. The hotel is now a sleazy, disgusting place.  He fires the manager and takes over once again.  Not long after Norman moves back home he starts to see things that are not really there, and he also starts to hear his mother’s voice again. 

I really liked the story and thought that it was very suspenseful and well written.  I also liked the fact that you didn’t know what was really going on.  The film made you wonder if Norman was once again dressing up like his mother and killing people.

The acting was fabulous.  Anthony Perkins is amazing as Norman Bates.  Nobody could play that role but him.

The extras were great and fun to watch.  The bonus features include:
 - All new audio commentary with screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue
 - Vintage interviews with cast and crew including Anthony Perkins and director Richard Franklin
 - Vintage audio interviews with cast and crew
  - TV Spots
 - Original Trailer

Psycho III
“Psycho III” was released in 1986 and was directed by Anthony Perkins who plays Norman Bates.

It stars Anthony Perkins, Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey, and Roberta Maxwell.

“Psycho III” takes place one month after “Psycho II” and Norman is still running the motel.  A woman who just recently leaves a convent comes to the Bates Motel and Norman tries to help her out.  The drifter looking for work is soon hired by Norman to help run the hotel, and a reporter is snooping around looking for a missing woman who may have been at the Bates Motel.

Once again strange things start happening at the Bates Motel and Norman is dressing up as mother and continuing to murder people.  You must watch and find out what is really going on.  You will not believe it.

I really thought the story was pretty good.  It was very suspenseful and it made sense.  It was a great sequel, and I liked the fact that it took place right after “Psycho II.”

The bonus features are amazing and very entertaining to watch.  They include:
 - New audio commentary with Screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue
 - “Watch The Guitar” – New interview with actor Jeff Fahey
 - “Patsy’s Last Night” – New interview with actress Katt Shea
 - “Mother’s Maker” – Interview with Special Make-Up Effects Creator Michael Westmore
 - “Body Double” – Interview with Brinke Stevens
 - Original Theatrical Trailer

I know I am repeating myself, but I just do not know how Shout Factory does it.  They seem to find the most exciting and interesting bonus features for just about every film they release on DVD and Blu-Ray.  Not only do you get an awesome film that looks amazing, but also some of the coolest bonus features to watch along with them that will leave you speechless.

Overall I really enjoyed Shout Factory/Scream Factory’s “Psycho II” and “Psycho III” Collector’s Editions on Blu-Ray.  The movies looked amazing and the special features were very entertaining.  These two films are a must have for people who are fans of “Psycho.”  If you are looking for two movies that are terrifying and very suspenseful, then I would highly recommend “Psycho II” and “Psycho III.”

Aaron Chalich is a columnist with KSTP.com writing about entertainment news.

Photo courtesy of Shout Factory

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