The Cinema Museum, London

Queer Horror Nights presents The Psycho Sequels

Sun 24 Jul 2022 @ 18:30 · Events

Psycho II and III postersQueer Horror Nights is proud to present a double dose of Psycho sequels, Richard Franklin’s acclaimed follow-on Psycho II (1983) and Anthony Perkins’ own attempt at sticking a knife in the heart of the franchise that would forever define him, Psycho III (1986).

Psycho II (1983/1hr 53min)
“It’s 22 years later, and Norman Bates is coming home.”
Directed by Richard Franklin and starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly and Robert Loggia. Rated 18.

Psycho III (1986/1hr 33min)
“Norman Bates is back to normal. But Mother’s off her rocker again.”
Directed by Anthony Perkins and starring Anthony Perkins, Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey, Roberta Maxwell and Hugh Gillin. Rated 15.

We won’t have time to show TV movie Psycho IV (1990), but we’ll certainly be talking about it!

Alfred Hitchcock’s newly restored and uncut Psycho (1960) is possibly one of the most influential horror films of all time, a low budget, black and white masterpiece that is now synonymous with the word fear. But we’re taking a path less well travelled… what Norman Bates did next.

The sequels tell a near-continuous tale of Norman’s misadventures after 22 years in the asylum. Franklin’s film is a well-crafted chiller that brings its own dark humour to proceedings. As Kim Newman puts it, “The wittiest dark joke is that the entire world wants Norman to be mad, and ‘normality’ can only be restored if he’s got a mummified mother in the window” (Empire).

But it’s down to star Anthony Perkins to really turn the dial on the franchise, collaborating with the Coen Brother’s noted tunesmith Carter Burwell (right after Blood Simple (1984)), to bring a sweaty, overheated atmosphere to the swamp that borders on southern fried melodrama. With Diana Scarwid’s suicidal nun, Norman’s peanut butter taxidermy, Jeff Fahey’s seduction by lamplight, and ‘mother’s’ severed limb on the backseat, there’s an awful lot here to be enjoyed. Just don’t ask for ice…

We’re showing the Psycho Sequels as part of our Q-RATED! season, a celebration of horror films made by out/queer directors. Whilst we can’t speak for Mr Franklin, Anthony Perkins is much more our cup of tea (& sympathy!). Famed for his ambiguous roles, stuttering delivery, and film star/teen idol/sex symbol good looks, Perkins was undeniably gay (boyfriends include Tab Hunter and Grover Dale), attempted conversion therapy, married a woman (Berry Berenson) and had two children (Oz and Elvis Perkins), before dying of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1992. According to Wikipedia “His urn, inscribed ‘Don’t Fence Me In’, is in an altar on the terrace of his former home in the Hollywood Hills”. Which we love. And we think Norman would too.

The Psycho Sequels will be presented with introductions by your horror hosts and with an interval between them.

Queer Horror Nights is a film club devoted to queer, cult and classic horror cinema. Follow your co-hosts @tokenhomo x @lastframeclub #QueerHorrorNights for all the gory details.

Programme supported by Film Hub London, managed by Film London. Proud to be a partner of the BFI Film Audience Network, funded by the National Lottery.

Refreshments will be available in our licensed cafe/bar.


Tickets £12.

Advance tickets may be purchased from Ticketlab, or direct from the Museum by calling 020 7840 2200 in office hours.

Psycho III