The first time I watched Psycho IV I laughed. It was on HBO and it had been released on a few years earlier. I was not taken with it, but my sisters both seemed interest in the psychological profile of Norman Bates. I think they love Olivia Hussey. I wouldn't fall her for her until watching the adaptation of Stephen King's It which started a love affair with her that would lead me to Black Christmas among other movies. I laughed off the fourth installment as a cheap attempt to cash in on the original. There was something about the radio broadcast vehicle for telling the story that didn't seem serious to me.
This time around, the first time I had given the film a chance since that viewing on HBO, was a much better experience. I still think there's a bit of cheese in the radio DJ format that allows us access to Norman Bates, but the flashback scenes detailing the evolution of Norman and the reveal of his troubled relationship with his mother is horrifying. All performances are solid but especially Henry Thomas' portrayal of young Norman Bates he gives Freddie Highmore a run for his money. Interesting enough I also didn't realize that Thomas played Elliot in E.T. Olivia Hussey does crazy as only crazy can. Her beauty has always stunned me but especially when balanced with true madness that is balanced with a mother's love that has hints of homicidal tendencies and incest on top.
The commentary track has Hussey, Thomas and Horror director extraordinaire Mick Garris and Garris also gives a behind the scenes interview. The disc isn't overly filled with extra content, but it has a few choice gems to provide back story and perspective on the release. It has a good looking transfer.
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From Scream Factory:
Before The Terror Can End, See How It All Began
Anthony Perkins, Henry Thomas and Olivia Hussey star in this chilling prequel to the classic Hitchcock thriller.
A seemingly rehabilitated Norman Bates (Perkins) is drawn to a late night radio show where the host (CCH Pounder, Tales From The Crypt Presents: Demon Knight) encourages him to share his views on the topic of matricide. Reliving his childhood, Norman recounts his trials of a young boy (Thomas, Ouija 2) living with his widowed schizophrenic mother (Hussey, the original Black Christmas). These haunting memories are more than just disturbing visions of the past; they threaten to rekindle his killing urge in this spine-tingling thriller directed by Mick Garris (The Stand, Masters of Horror).
NEW Audio Commentary With Director Mick Garris, Actors Henry Thomas And Olivia Hussey
NEW The Making Of Mother – An Interview With Make-up Effects Artist Tony Gardner
Rare Behind-The-Scenes Footage From Director Mick Garris
Photo Gallery Of Rare Photos From Mick Garris