20 October 2014

PSYCHO II (1983)

113 min.
Directed by Richard Franklin.
With Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, Dennis Franz, Claudia Bryar, Hugh Gillin, Lee Garlington.
Surprise of all surprises!

Twenty three years after the original PSYCHO (1960), this followup proves itself to be quite the solid slasher number.

Managing a few stylish touches and mustering enough suspenseful moments, it stands on its own (or at least somewhere in the long shadow Hitchcock had cast).

Norman Bates (Perkins) is released from a mental asylum after a long rehabilitation.

Poor guy, he's been through hell, and it seems he just wants to put the fractured pieces of his life back together.

But unfortunately, he finds his mother's still kickin' after all these years.

Is Norman going insane (again)?

Or is someone trying to drive Norman off the deep end? If so, why, and who?

Whatever the answers, someone has begun killing those around Norman, one by one!

Director Richard Frankin (who gave us the 1978 Australian sleeper thriller Patrick) was given the daunting task of following up Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece, due in no small part to his excellent craftsmanship on 1981's Road Games.

Not surprisingly, the novelty and shock secrets of the 1960 original are gone here.

Nevertheless, Perkins as Norman is always a welcome sight, and original PSYCHO cast member Miles also jumps on board for some more bloody mayhem.

It's no classic, but it's admirably done fun.

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