Forgotten Classic(s): Psycho II and III

What? There's a sequel to Psycho. Yes! In fact there are three (Five if you count the TV Pilot and Remake). The excellent and under-rated second and third attempts are today's forgotten classics. The legendary Anthony Perkins reprises his iconic role of Norman Bates in these two excellent sequels.

Psycho II
This is set 22 years after Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece - in that time Norman Bates has been incarceration in a mental asylum but now he's served his time and deemed fit to go home by his psychologist (Robert Loggia), despite mass campaigning from Lila Loomis (Vera Miles), sister of Marion Crane. The bitch has even taken Marion's husband Sam! Norman's adjustment back into 'normal society' seems to be going well until Mother starts to make unwelcome appearances.

Psycho III
Directed by Anthony Perkins, so the series was in capable hands, goes down the route of an 80s slasher flick. Norman is still running the Bates Motel smoothly until a nun with an uncanny resemblance to Marion, a troublesome drifter (Jeff Fahey) and a over curious reporter all show up - oh and did I mention it's Spring Break. Wooo party!

Both films may sound pretty bad, but Perkins is still on top form and you can tell he's having a ball playing the part. And surely Norman Bates is too iconic a character to feature in just one film? The Psycho sequels are also a nice experiment into seeing how the horror genre has changed and how a classic story can be adapted to fit the new world of horror. They're both great fun and worth a watch.

Psycho IV, once again featuring Perkins, but more of a prequel has it's redeeming moments but is a step down from the previous films. Bates Motel (TV Pilot) is appalling and should be forgotten about. Gus Van Sant's remake has countless problems but is still an interesting watch - despite the terrible casting of Vince Vaughn.
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