Psycho III (1986)

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Released 18-Nov-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 88:57
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Anthony Perkins

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Anthony Perkins
Diana Scarwid
Jeff Fahey
Roberta Maxwell
Hugh Gillin
Lee Garlington
Robert Alan Browne
Gary Bayer
Patience Cleveland
Juliette Cummins
Steve Guevara
Kay Heberle
Donovan Scott
Case ?
RPI Box Music Stephen Bray
Carter Burwell
D. Stanton Miranda

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Psycho III is the poor and totally unnecessary sequel to one film classic (Psycho), and one reasonable movie (Psycho II). Directed by Anthony Perkins, the Psycho franchise degenerates into a crude, 80s teenage-slasher-flick with this entry, which insults the memory and the integrity of the original film masterpiece.

    "We all go a little mad sometimes".

    We return to sunny Fairvale, California in Psycho III, to find that the twitching Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) has been released from prison, and is back managing his infamous Bates Motel.

    Following an opening homage to Vertigo, a suicidal novice (and Marion Crane look-alike), Maureen (Diana Scarwid), winds up running from her past and staying in Cabin One of the Bates Motel. After an interesting twist on the famous shower scene, Maureen becomes attracted to the cross-dressing, knife-wielding Norman. Meanwhile, Norman takes a butcher's knife out of a kitchen drawer when the greedy Bates Motel Assistant Manager Duke (Jeff Fahey) plots an easy score of cash at Norman's expense (sometimes firing someone is just not enough).

    Also getting on Norman's nerves is an investigative journalist, Tracy (Roberta Maxwell), who has started to snoop around the old house. I suppose any town that continues to let a mass-murderer run a motel (where he murdered his victims) must have inhabitants that are pretty stupid. Of course the audience is not that dumb, so most of this movie appears stupid and even silly.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is grainy and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, non-16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness is acceptable, but the shadow detail is poor. For example, consider the complete lack of detail at 22:08. The colour is harsh and often appears to be overly red or green. I'm not sure if this was intentional.

    In regard to MPEG artefacts, as with Psycho II, the entire movie appears both grainy and pixelated. Film-to-video artefacts appear as some slight aliasing, such as the shimmer on the blinds at 43:40. Small film artefacts appear throughout. There is also some noticeable edge enhancement.

    There are sixteen sets of subtitles present, and the English ones are simplified but accurate. This is a single-layered disc.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio sounds thin and even tinny at times.

    There are five audio options on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s), German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are acceptable.

    The original musical score is credited to no less than four composers, Stephen Bray, Carter Burwell, D. Stanton Miranda, and David Sanborn. It is a very different score to Bernard Herrmann's classic work for Psycho, but still very atmospheric and interesting.

    This is no demo disc. The surround mix is limited and a little flat. However, the rears carry both the score and some ambience throughout. I also noticed the subwoofer come to life at times, such as during the rain and thunder at 51:34.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are no extras.


    A very simple menu which is static and silent.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Psycho III was released on DVD in Region 1 in September, 1999.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    It seems that the R4 disc is the winner here, as I'd pick 5.1 audio over a trailer any day.


    Crudely written and poorly directed by Perkins, this unnecessary, gross, and blood-splattered sequel would have the old Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, spinning in his grave. Failing to entertain or even shock, nothing in this movie has any point, except for Norman's knife.

    The video quality is disappointing.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Friday, January 09, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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