Psycho III (1986)

Psycho III (1986)

Taglines: Norman Bates back home with Mother again.

Norman Bates is back again running his “quiet” little motel a month after the events in Psycho II. Norman meets three new people, one being a beautiful young nun with whom his budding relationship is beginning to make his “Mother” jealous. He also hires a young man in need of a job to take care of the motel. A snooping reporter is showing interest in Norman’s case. What will these new friends do for Norman?

Psycho III is a 1986 American psychological horror film. It is the second sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, and the third film in the Psycho series. It stars Anthony Perkins reprising the role of Norman Bates, who also directs the film, and co-stars Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey and Roberta Maxwell.

The screenplay is written by Charles Edward Pogue. The original electronic music score is composed and performed by Carter Burwell in one of his earliest projects. The film was a financial failure, becoming the lowest grossing film in the Psycho series. It was followed by the television film Psycho IV: The Beginning. Psycho III is unrelated to Robert Bloch’s third Psycho novel, Psycho House, which was released in 1990.

The film takes place one month after the events of Psycho II, Norman Bates is still running the Bates Motel with the corpse of Emma Spool still sitting up in the house. A suicidal nun, whom Norman falls in love with, comes to the motel along with a drifter named Duane Duke and a reporter who is trying to solve the mysterious disappearance of Mrs. Spool.

Psycho III (1986)

About the Story

In 1982, Norman Bates works at the Bates Motel and lives with the preserved corpse of his mother, Emma Spool. Local law enforcement and Norman’s ex-boss, Ralph Statler, are concerned because Mrs. Spool has been missing for over a month. Duane Duke, a sleazy musician desperate for money, is offered the job of assistant motel manager to replace the late Warren Toomey who was fired by Norman. Maureen Coyle, a mentally unstable young nun, is a long-term tenant at the Bates Motel.

Tracy Venable, a journalist from Los Angeles, is working on an article about serial killers being released. She believes Norman is killing again, so when Norman appears at the diner, Tracy attempts to talk with him. Unaware of her ulterior motives, Norman opens up to her but is distracted when Maureen enters. He is startled because she resembles his former victim, Marion Crane. Seeing the initials “M.C.” on her suitcase, Norman panics and leaves the diner.

After a conversation with “Mother”, Norman spies on Maureen as she undresses to take a shower. Soon after, “Mother” enters Maureen’s room to find that Maureen has attempted suicide by cutting her wrists, which causes Norman to reassert his personality. Maureen mistakes Norman, dressed up as “Mother” and holding a knife, for the Virgin Mary holding a silver crucifix. Norman brings Maureen to a hospital. After she is released they begin a romantic relationship.

Duane picks up a girl named Red at a bar. They go to Bates Cabin 12 and have sex. Red makes it clear she wants more than just a fling and calls Duane a pig when he refuses. Duane, infuriated, throws her out. Red tries to call a cab, but “Mother” shatters the phone booth door and stabs Red to death.

Psycho III (1986)

Tourists arrive at the motel, where they plan to watch a local football game. Norman and Maureen go to a restaurant while Tracy searches Mrs. Spool’s apartment. She discovers the Bates Motel’s phone number written on a magazine cover. Norman and Maureen return to the motel to find most of the other guests in a drunken stupor. Norman and Maureen fall asleep in each other’s arms.

Patsy Boyle, the only sober guest, is murdered by “Mother”. Norman discovers Patsy’s body and buries her in the motel’s ice chest outside the office. The next morning, Sheriff Hunt and Deputy Leo appear to investigate Patsy’s disappearance. Norman tries to prevent Hunt from entering his mother’s bedroom, when he discovers that “Mother”/Mrs. Spool has disappeared.

Tracy tells Maureen about Norman’s past, causing Maureen to stay with Father Brian, who took care of her at the hospital. Norman searches for his mother, finding a note from her stating that she is in Cabin 12. He learns it was Duane who took “Mother”/Mrs. Spool. Duane demands a large sum of money to keep quiet or else he will turn Norman over to the police. They fight and Norman hits Duane several times with his guitar.

Tracy talks to Statler and Myrna about Mrs. Spool and discovers she was working at the diner before Statler bought it from Harvey Leach. Tracy meets with Leach, a resident at an assisted living facility, and is informed that Mrs. Spool had also been institutionalized for murder.

Norman drives Duane’s car to the swamp with Duane and Patsy’s bodies in it. Duane regains consciousness and attacks Norman, who accidentally drives into the swamp. Norman escapes the car while Duane drowns.

Maureen convinces herself that Norman is her true love and returns to the motel. Norman and Maureen share a tender moment at the top of the staircase when “Mother” shouts furiously at Norman, startling him. He loses his grip on Maureen’s hands. She falls down the stairs and is killed. Norman promises “Mother” that he will get her for this.

Psycho III Movie Poster (1986)

Psycho III (1986)

Directed by: Anthony Perkins
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey, Roberta Maxwell, Lee Garlington, Robert Alan Browne, Patience Cleveland, Juliette Cummins
Screenplay by: Charles Edward Pogue, Robert Bloch
Production Design by: Henry Bumstead
Cinematography by: Bruce Surtees
Film Editing by: David E. Blewitt
Costume Design by: Peter V. Saldutti, Marla Denise Schlom
Set Decoration by: Mickey S. Michaels
Music by: Carter Burwell
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Release Date: July 2, 1986