Psycho III (1986)

R | 93 mins | Horror | 2 July 1986

Director:

Anthony Perkins

Producer:

Hilton A. Green

Cinematographer:

Bruce Surtees

Editor:

David Blewitt

Production Designer:

Henry Bumstead

Production Company:

Universal Pictures
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HISTORY

A Mar 1986 Fangoria article reported that Anthony Perkins was first approached as an actor to be involved a sequel to Psycho II (1983, see entry). His wife believed that his experience as a stage director made him a perfect candidate to direct, and was the one who suggested that the job might open him up to audiences, who heavily associated Perkins with his character, "Norman Bates." When Universal Pictures was ready to do another sequel, the studio called Virginia Gregg to recreate the voice of “Mother.” Gregg had worked on many episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (CBS and ABC, 1955--1965), which was how she got the part in Psycho (1960, see entry), for which she spent an hour in the studio recording her lines. For Psycho III, Perkins requested her presence on set for a week to act the conversations between Norman Bates and his mother.
       A 19 May 1986 HR article stated that Perkins and director of photography Bruce Surtees paid homage to Hitchcock’s use of black and white in Psycho by choosing a minimal, high-contrast look for the film.
       A 26 Jun 1985 HR article and a 9 Jul 1985 HR production chart announced that principal photography began on 28 Jun 1985 in Los Angeles. The 19 May 1986 HR stated that the film’s budget was $8.4 million. According to a 13 Sep 1985 HR article, principal photography was completed 10 Sep 1985.
       As stated in a 19 Jan 1986 LAT article, makeup artist Michael Westmore designed a neck ... More Less

A Mar 1986 Fangoria article reported that Anthony Perkins was first approached as an actor to be involved a sequel to Psycho II (1983, see entry). His wife believed that his experience as a stage director made him a perfect candidate to direct, and was the one who suggested that the job might open him up to audiences, who heavily associated Perkins with his character, "Norman Bates." When Universal Pictures was ready to do another sequel, the studio called Virginia Gregg to recreate the voice of “Mother.” Gregg had worked on many episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents (CBS and ABC, 1955--1965), which was how she got the part in Psycho (1960, see entry), for which she spent an hour in the studio recording her lines. For Psycho III, Perkins requested her presence on set for a week to act the conversations between Norman Bates and his mother.
       A 19 May 1986 HR article stated that Perkins and director of photography Bruce Surtees paid homage to Hitchcock’s use of black and white in Psycho by choosing a minimal, high-contrast look for the film.
       A 26 Jun 1985 HR article and a 9 Jul 1985 HR production chart announced that principal photography began on 28 Jun 1985 in Los Angeles. The 19 May 1986 HR stated that the film’s budget was $8.4 million. According to a 13 Sep 1985 HR article, principal photography was completed 10 Sep 1985.
       As stated in a 19 Jan 1986 LAT article, makeup artist Michael Westmore designed a neck device that gushed fake blood when actress Katt Shea Ruben met her tragic end.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Fangoria
Mar 1986
p. 22-25, 68.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jun 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 1985.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 1985
p. 41.
Hollywood Reporter
19 May 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 1986
p. 3, 12.
Los Angeles Times
19 Jan 1986.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Jul 1986
p. 1.
New York Times
2 Jul 1986
p. 15.
Variety
2 Jul 1986
p. 13.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Universal Pictures presents
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Underwater photog
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Key grip
2d grip
Dolly grip
Company grip
Company grip
Company grip
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Prod illustrator
Prod illustrator
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Apprentice ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop master
Const coord
Leadman
Leadman
Leadman
Leadman
Drapery
Const foreman
Standby painter
COSTUMES
Cost supv
Set costumer
Set costumer
MUSIC
Supv mus ed
Pianist
Scoring mixer
Percussionist
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
ADR ed
Foley
Foley
Sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec visual eff for Illusion Arts, Inc.
Spec visual eff for Illusion Arts, Inc.
Titles & opt eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hairstylist
Spec makeup des and developed by
PRODUCTION MISC
Craft service
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Animal handler
Ombudsman
Prod coord
Auditor
Asst to Mr. Perkins & Mr.Green
Secy to Mr. Perkins
Secy to Mr. Green
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Pub coord
Loc mgr
Casting
New York casting
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Robert Bloch.
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Catherine Mary," music by Carter Burwell and Steve Bray, lyrics by Stanton-Miranda, lead vocal by Stanton-Miranda
"Dirty Street," music by Carter Burwell and Steve Bray, lyrics by Steve Bray and Stanton-Miranda
"Scream Of Love," music by Carter Burwell, Steve Bray and David Sanborn, saxophone on "Scream Of Love" by David Sandborn.
DETAILS
Series:
Release Date:
2 July 1986
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 2 July 1986
Production Date:
28 June--10 September 1985
Copyright Claimant:
Universal City Studios, Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 July 1986
Copyright Number:
PA293352
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo® in selected theaters
Color
Lenses
Panaflex® Camera and Lenses by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
93
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28111
SYNOPSIS

A novice named Maureen Coyle climbs to the bell tower of a convent and prepares to jump, declaring that there is no God. A nun pulls her from the ledge, but loses her grip, and plummets to her death. Another nun tells Maureen she will burn in hell. Maureen leaves the convent, hitching a ride on the Interstate with Duane Duke, driver of a beat-up sedan. Maureen Coyle frowns when she sees a plastic Virgin Mary statuette glued to the car dashboard, but Duane explains that it came with the used car when he bought it. He chatters about going to Los Angeles, California, to become a professional musician, but Maureen prefers not to reveal anything about herself. They run into a raging storm. Duane parks the car on the side of the road, and goes to sleep. Later, he tries to take advantage of Maureen, but she escapes. Duane throws her suitcase into a puddle, and drives off. At the dilapidated Bates Motel, owner Norman Bates finds some dead birds on the property, and preserves them with taxidermy. As he sews shut a sand-filled bird carcass, he remembers how he killed his birth mother, Emma Spool, using a shovel to deliver a blow to her head, and similarly sewed her body afterward. When one of birds springs back to life, Norman gently carries it outside, and releases it into the air. He hears Duane’s car horn, and makes his way to the motel office. There, Duane inquires about the assistant manager job, and Norman hires him on the spot. As Norman tells Duane his responsibilities, Duane explains he wants to earn enough money to repair ... +


A novice named Maureen Coyle climbs to the bell tower of a convent and prepares to jump, declaring that there is no God. A nun pulls her from the ledge, but loses her grip, and plummets to her death. Another nun tells Maureen she will burn in hell. Maureen leaves the convent, hitching a ride on the Interstate with Duane Duke, driver of a beat-up sedan. Maureen Coyle frowns when she sees a plastic Virgin Mary statuette glued to the car dashboard, but Duane explains that it came with the used car when he bought it. He chatters about going to Los Angeles, California, to become a professional musician, but Maureen prefers not to reveal anything about herself. They run into a raging storm. Duane parks the car on the side of the road, and goes to sleep. Later, he tries to take advantage of Maureen, but she escapes. Duane throws her suitcase into a puddle, and drives off. At the dilapidated Bates Motel, owner Norman Bates finds some dead birds on the property, and preserves them with taxidermy. As he sews shut a sand-filled bird carcass, he remembers how he killed his birth mother, Emma Spool, using a shovel to deliver a blow to her head, and similarly sewed her body afterward. When one of birds springs back to life, Norman gently carries it outside, and releases it into the air. He hears Duane’s car horn, and makes his way to the motel office. There, Duane inquires about the assistant manager job, and Norman hires him on the spot. As Norman tells Duane his responsibilities, Duane explains he wants to earn enough money to repair his brakes and drive to Los Angeles. At the local diner, a reporter named Tracy Venable announces she plans to do a story on Norman Bates. Sheriff Hunt warns her not to make trouble. Norman spent twenty years in prison, paying for the crime of murdering Marion Crane while impersonating his dead mother. After his release, he worked at the diner, now he again runs the motel, and just wants to be left alone. Norman arrives, orders some hamburgers to go. Tracy joins him and explains her article will explore the insanity defense used by mentally ill criminals at trial. She asks for his opinion regarding his experiences. As they talk, Norman notices Maureen get out of a truck and enter the diner. When she sits at the counter, her suitcase falls over. She gazes at Norman as she props up her luggage. Maureen’s short hair reminds him of Marion Crane. As he leaves, a poster taped to the diner door posts a photograph of missing waitress Emma Spool and asks for information regarding her whereabouts. Maureen reconnects with Duane when she checks into the Bates Motel. Norman is upset when Duane gives Maureen cabin 1, the room where Marion Crane was murdered. At his house, Norman refers to Emma Spool’s embalmed corpse as “Mother,” and tells her that the new girl has the same initials as Marion Crane on her suitcase. Mother responds that the dead do not come back. When Norman remarks that she returned, Mother claims she never left, and he cannot get rid of her. However, if the new girl upsets him, then he should get rid of her. When Norman refuses, Mother offers to do the deed. At night, Tracy Venable refuses Duane’s advances at a local bar until she realizes he works at the Bates Motel. She buys him a drink and they sit in a booth to talk. At home, Norman watches Maureen in the bathroom through a peephole in the wall. Mother enters Maureen’s bathroom, and discovers she has slashed her wrists in the bathtub. Maureen sees Mother and hallucinates that the Virgin Mary has come for her, and asks forgiveness. At the bar, Tracy explains Norman’s criminal past and agrees to pay Duane for any helpful information he supplies. Maureen awakens in the hospital where a psychiatrist, Father Brian, tells her that Norman saved her life. Maureen thanks Norman and he invites her to stay at the motel free of charge until she recovers. When she does not understand why he is being so kind, he tells her that she reminds him of somebody he once knew. Duane picks up a date at the bar and brings her back to the motel. After they make love, they fight. Duane gives her money for a taxi and throws her out of his room. As she uses a pay phone to make a call, Mother fatally attacks her with a knife. The next morning, Duane finds Norman scrubbing the phone booth. At the hospital, Maureen tells Father Brian that the closer she came to taking her vows, the stronger her sexual urges became. Father Brian says her behavior is normal, but other nuns told her she was bad. Nevertheless, Maureen felt compelled to stay to suffer for her religion. Norman brings Maureen home from the hospital. They arrive just as noisy revelers from a class reunion check into the motel. Norman spies Tracy Venable going up the steps to his house. She wants to speak with him, but he is not interested. Later, Tracy gets permission from the manager of Emma Spool’s building to search her apartment. She calls a telephone number written on a magazine, and hangs up when the Bates Motel answers. Norman takes Maureen Coyle to dinner at a nice restaurant. They return during a rainstorm. When lightning flashes, Maureen believes she sees a woman in the window of Norman’s house. Norman prefers not to comment. In Maureen’s room, Norman is about to kiss her but loses his nerve. She suggests they lie together on the bed. Later, Mother tells Norman that Maureen is a whore, and it is not right to let someone come between them. Norman protests that nothing happened, and retrieves a huge kitchen knife from a trunk at the foot of Mother’s bed. Downstairs, Maureen knocks on the front door, and Mother insists Norman bring Maureen to her. Norman drives the knife into Mother’s body but cuts himself in the process. He claims he had too much to drink, and pleads with Maureen to go back to her room and lock the door. Soon, a guest named Patsy Boyle uses the motel office bathroom, and Mother stabs her to death. Norman is horrified when he discovers the carnage. In the morning, Sheriff Hunt arrives to investigate a missing persons report filed by Patsy Boyle’s friends. Norman insists the sheriff and his deputy leave, but they show him a warrant. Norman runs to the bedroom looking for Mother, but she is gone. As the sheriff leaves, he fishes some ice cubes out of a large ice chest, but fails to see the protruding fingers of Patsy’s dead body. Tracy Venable protests that Norman should be taken to the station for questioning, but Maureen Coyle appears, claiming that Norman was with her until 6:00 a.m. However, Maureen takes her packed suitcase, and Tracy drives her to Father Brian’s. Norman walks through the house looking for Mother. He finds a note summoning him to cabin 2. There, Duane makes known his intent to blackmail Norman in return for his silence. Norman insists he does not have the means to pay, but Duane notes that Norman could sell some of his property. A fight erupts and Norman knocks Duane unconscious, declaring that no one can know about Mother. Meanwhile, Tracy interviews former diner owner Harvey Leach to find out more about Emma Spool. He reveals that Emma was locked up in an insane asylum for killing her husband. Tracy researches old newspapers to learn more about the case. As Norman drives to a hiding spot, Duane revives and attempts to strangle him. However, Norman drives Duane’s car into a lake, and escapes. Maureen tells Father Brian that her vision of the Virgin Mary was a sign she should return to Norman. Back at the motel grounds, Maureen searches for Norman in the house. At the top of the stairs, she tells Norman she accepts him for who he is. They clasp hands, but Norman believes he hears Mother calling. He pulls back. Maureen falls down the stairs and is impaled by an arrow on a statue of Cupid in the hallway. Later, Tracy returns to the motel carrying a tire iron, looking for Maureen. She hears voices coming from the house, and walks into the kitchen. She finds Maureen’s body on a sofa surrounded by votive candles. Mother appears and wonders why Tracy cannot leave Norman alone. Tracy drops the tire iron, and runs toward the door but finds it locked. She escapes upstairs, and informs Norman that Emma Spool was his aunt. Both Emma and Mother loved the same man, but Mother stole him away. Emma killed Norman’s father in a jealous rage and kidnapped him when he was a baby. Emma believed Norman was her child, the one she should have had with her lover, but she was declared crazy and locked up. Norman removes Mother’s clothes, although the voices in his head tell him to kill Tracy just as he killed the others. Instead, he repeatedly stabs Mother’s preserved body. Mother berates him for being inept while the sand drains from the corpse. When he is done, he rests his head against Mother. In the morning, Sheriff Hunt arrests Norman and declares he will never get out of prison. This time, Norman believes he is finally free. As they drive off, Norman pulls out Mother’s severed hand from a hiding place and caresses it as his face breaks into a sinister smile. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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