Psycho III

Psycho III (1986)
Universal Home Video
Cast: Anthony Perkins, Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey, Roberta Maxwell, Hugh Gillin
Extras: Theatrical Trailer

Picking up almost immediately where "Psycho II" left off, Anthony Perkins is at the helm as he makes his directorial debut with "Psycho III", the third and slightly more disturbing chapter in the ever increasing "Psycho" franchise.

This time Norman Bates is joined by a nun named Maureen (Diana Scarwid), with almost as many skeletons in her closet as Norman, who has abandoned her faith in God and leaves her church in search of a better life. Heading out on the open road, with suitcase in hand, Maureen winds up in the company of a lonely drifter named Duane Duke (Jeff Fahey). The two abruptly part ways, and shortly after, their paths cross once more, this time at the Bates Motel. Awaiting the two is Norman Bates, who offers Duane a job to run the day shift at the motel and offers his help and assistance, as well as companionship to the pretty, yet naïve Maureen. As things seem to be turning around in Norman's life, nosy reporter Tracy Venable (Roberta Maxwell) turns up in town, and will stop at nothing to get the scoop on Norman and his violent past. Mounting urges from Norman's past help to propel him on a dangerous path with an attempted relationship with Maureen, murder, lies and accusations and the increasing pressures of his "mother's" control.

Once again, Universal Home Video has delivered. With the re-release of an all-new anamorphic presentation of "Psycho III" that has not looked this good since its theatrical presentation, some twenty years ago. Blacks were rich and deep providing an awesome presentation exposing every visual detail of the sun drenched California desert backdrop. Color was equally impressive, as the saturation was fittingly reproduced to provide natural appearing flesh tones. There was minor compression evident, in the form of grain, but this was minimal at best as the overall transfer shows no signs of dust or debris. The transfer of this film is sure to please, another job well done job on Universal's part.

The soundtrack for "Psycho III" was mixed as a Dolby Digital 2.0 presentation, which managed to provide a decent balance between all available channels. For not being a full 5.1 mix, which would have let this film truly shine, the available mix still manages to please, providing good bass and naturally sounding vocals that never appear dated. I felt the overall sound mix was appropriate, even managing to capture the hesitant quirkiness of Norman's dialogue.

Similar to the anamorphic re-release of its predecessor "Psycho II", this presentation of "Psycho III" comes to DVD with the inclusion of its theatrical trailer only. I am a bit surprised that these two films were released this way as I'm sure fans would have appreciated more content, in the form of added value material, but the presentations alone will do a good job of pleasing overall.

I would also like to point out that Universal will be re-releasing a fully re-mastered anamorphic presentation of Hitchcock's original "Psycho" that will make a nice addition to completing your "Psycho" collection on DVD. Now, if only "Psycho IV" would get similar treatment on DVD, fans of this franchise, including myself, would be set.