Classic Franchise Month – Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990)

Director: Mick Garris

Writer: Joseph Stefano (Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Henry Thomas, Olivia Hussey, CCH Pounder, Warren Frost, Donna Mitchell

 

Plot: Norman Bates recalls his childhood with his abusive mother while fearing his unborn child will inherit his split personality disorder.


Tagline – You’ve met Norman… now meet mother.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: When Sequels Are Bad, Go Prequel

 

Story: Psycho IV: The Beginning starts as Norman Bates (Perkins) listening to a local radio station which is having the discussion about children killing their mother’s. Norman gives us a backstory to his relationship with his mother Norma (Hussey) as teenager Norman (Thomas) commits his first murder.

As he reveals his story the shows rating increase, but when he says he is ready to kill again, it becomes clearly that Norman has been pushed over the edge once again.

 

Thoughts on Psycho IV: The Beginning

 

Characters – In the characters we have two different versions of Norman, the older one who has committed the crimes in the past and now telling his story after moving on with his life and the teenage one that is getting abused by his mother as he first starts out his killing spree, this one is more interesting to watch as seeing him on the edge makes it easier to understand his motivation for his actions. Norma Bates is Norman’s mother, in this film she is very much alive and we see just how she treated Norman when she wasn’t happy with the way his life was going, trying to force him into being a girl.

PerformancesAnthony Perkins mostly gives us the commentary of his characters past, he is a good story teller which is what he must do. Henry Thomas does work as a younger Norman which is good he handles the creepy side of the character well. Olivia Hussey makes for a great Norma Bates, she looks seductive and easily hits the strict level needed.

StoryThe story here takes us to the origin of what drove Norman to become the killer, we get these through a radio show where he tells the story and see the abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother. This works because the sequel line was getting boring after a while, showing us that we needed to go to the prequel line to learn more of the motivation. This however does cause problems for the most part because we jump all over the place in the timeline of creating him, while in the modern time Norman must face his own battle with his mind while telling the story again.

Horror/MysteryThe horror elements do seem to have come out of the film now, we do get the murders, but they never feel scary, the mystery of doing this as a prequel doesn’t help because we know where the film will end up going.

SettingsThe film gives us less time at the Bates Motel, making the scenes there being the highlights of the film, but away from it we lose that IT factor about the Norman character.

Special EffectsThe effects in the movie have improved, when it comes to the murders and the different styles Norman use we feel like they are real this time.


Scene of the Movie –
Young Norman doing the deed.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The confusion timeline in the flashback scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good addition to the Psycho franchise, you could skip over three and still end up in a good position with everything and how this film directs the story.

 

Overall: Nice addition.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Robocop 3 (1993)

casting card

 

Plot: Robocop saves the day once more. This time the half man/half robot takes on ruthless developers who want to evict some people on “their” land.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tidy Finish

 

Story: Robocop 3 starts as we see the city being redeveloped at the hands of Kanemitsu (Mako) and the CEO (Torn) who are rehoming all of the residents. We meet a resistance led by Bertha (Pounder) trying to take the company down from the inside and their newest partners in this are Robocop (Burke) and Lewis (Allen).

When Paul McDaggett (Castle) is leading the rehoming procedure kills Anne this drives Robocop on yet another one of his missions against the authority trying to clean up the streets.

Robocop 3 is a good finish to the series not on the Robocop himself side of the but on the battle for the city side. I did like how that if you were to watch all three the revolution we see happening brews up between the stories without it being just happening. When you watch this side of the story I did like the conclusion but on the Robocop side everything just puts him against a bigger enemy without really being tested. This is easy to watch like all three but never reaches the levels of the first.

 

Actor Review

 

Robert John Burke: Robocop is still loyal to Lewis and now he has started to make his own decisions going against orders, this leads him into joining the resistance against the CEO trying to take over the city. Robert does a solid job to fill in the for the exiting Peter Weller.

Nancy Allen: Anne Lewis is the partner of Robocop that will always stay by his side but this time it will be the end of her. Nancy is used for motivation this time around which is good but we don’t see enough of her.

Rip Torn: The CEO is trying to redevelop the city which means moving everyone out of their homes. He is answering to Kanemitsu which means you do anything wrong he will fire you. Rip becomes the solid villain in this film which works well enough.

John Castle: McDaggett is the man cleaning the streets one building at a time and not taking any prisoners in his hunt for anyone in the resistance. John is good in this role where we get to see a villain in a revolution.

Support Cast: Robocop 3 has the biggest supporting cast with members of the resistance, cops as well as the businessmen trying to bring the city down.

Director Review: Fred DekkerFred gives us a solid finish to the series where we get to see just how the city has got to the position is has with the Robocop side of the story almost just being a side part.

 

Action: Robocop 3 has standard action you would expect to see in this style of film.

Crime: Robocop 3 puts us in the middle of the crime world where all of the story is taking part in.

Sci-Fi: Robocop 3 has the robotic cops with this time adding in the robotic ninjas.

Settings: Robocop 3 keeps us in the same city that is now on a revolution.
Special Effects
: Robocop 3 doesn’t have the best special effects but they work enough for the film.

Suggestion: Robocop 3 is one you could watch to finish the series off nicely. (Finish the Franchise)

 

Best Part: Final showdown.

Worst Part: Killing off Anne seems cheap.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $23.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: He’s back to lay down the law.

Trivia: Was filmed in 1991, but was not released until end of 1993 due to production company Orion going bankrupt.

 

Overall: Easy to watch finish to the series.

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