With an opening sequence featuring the infamous "Psycho" shower scene, "Psycho II" appears at first to be nothing more than a rip-off of Alfred Hitchcock's classic. Happily, the sequel that begat an ongoing franchise is a worthy follow-up to the story of Norman Bates and his struggle with Mother.
It's been 22 years since psycho Norman Bates (the wonderful Anthony Perkins) offed wayward thief Marion Crane, donned his mother's dress, and hid his dead mother in the fruit cellar. Bates is released from a mental hospital and returns home to make amends with the demons of his past.
At his new job at the local diner, he meets Mary Samuels (Meg Tilly) and the two develop an odd friendship. Little does poor Norman know that Mary is actually the daughter of Lila Loomis (original "Psycho" actress Vera Miles), and together Mary and Lila are trying to put Norman back in the loony bin.
Director Richard Franklin pays numerous homages to the late Hitchcock...in fact, "Psycho II" features so many "Psycho" references that you'd think it was a remake. With a clever and twisty script from Tom Holland, "Psycho II" nicely expands the story of Norman.
Shout Factory continues to prove that they're the leader in the re-release of cult classic horror films: the Blu-ray presentation of "Psycho II" is flawless and it looks like the film was made last week. Screenwriter Tom Holland does a brand new audio commentary (hosted by Rob Galluzzo).
A vintage behind-the-scenes is also included featuring both Perkins and Miles. Hitchcock himself appears in classic "Psycho" footage, as does the late Janet Leigh, bringing the "Psycho II" Blu-ray full circle.