Review: The Psycho Collection Limited Edition 4K UHD
Psycho, one of the most famous films of modern times, what can you say about it that hasn’t already been said a million times? Well actually, nothing, because the 4K check discs we were sent to review didn’t include this film as Arrow were only responsible for the 4K restorations of Psycho II, Psycho III and Psycho IV from the original camera negatives (It IS included in the box set!).
22 years after being arrested for multiple murders, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is released from prison after being found mentally competent. His most famous victim, Marion Crane’s sister Lila (Vera Miles), appears at the hearing and demands he’s not set free as he’s still a danger to people.
Dr Raymond (Robert Loggia) accompanies Norman as he moves to his old home, yes that famous house, behind the Bates Motel. He starts a new job, being given a ‘second chance’ by Emma Spool.
He then meets a young waitress Mary (Meg Tilly) and… no spoilers.
This is actually a lot better than you think it’s going to be, with Perkins hamming it up nearly as much as hysterical Vera Miles. It’s a ‘fun’ story with a mid-twist that you don’t really see coming, and an ending that will floor you (boom boom).
Takeing place a month after Psycho 2, where Norman Bates is running the Bates Motel with the corpse of ‘Mother’ (Emma Spool from film 2) still sitting up in the house. This film is pretty bonkers, where Norman meets a suicidal nun on the run from a convent, and falls in love with her. Mainly because she sort of looks like Marion Crane. The nun hitches a ride with Duane Duke – who tries to rape her, dumps her, then gets a job at Bates motel just before she arrives there.
All that to contend with, plus a reporter also tries to solve the mysterious disappearance of Mrs. Spool as someone begins another murder spree. Perkins directed this and it’s definitely a bit of a vanity project. It’s got a confusing story and even now I’m not sure who did all the killings.
Psycho 4 (Or “They really should have left it at #2).
Norman, despite the many people he’s killed, is now cured and living with his wife, who was also his psychiatrist (really), who is pregnant. Will Norman become unhinged in the fear that his murderous genes will come out in a baby?
During a late night talk show about men who kill their mothers, Norman rings in and tells the host the story of how he became a murderer. This film actually hammers the mother/son incest thing and sexual frustration leading to.. umm.. killing nubile girls who want to shag him. Again Perkins hams it up and who can blame him? It’s now become a parody of itself with all the tropes in the right place, we even get a young Norman dressing up as Mother for the first time.
But unfortunately, as with many franchises, the first 2 are always the best.
This new 4K transfer from Arrow is pin sharp, but mmm I dunno, I think there are a lot more films out there that deserve a restoration more than Psycho 2 ,3 and 4. It’s a shame we didn’t get the first film in the set as all the great extras are on it too.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS
- 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (2160p) presentations of all four films
- New 4K restorations of Psycho II, Psycho III and Psycho IV from the original camera negatives
- Original lossless mono and 5.1 audio options for Psycho, stereo and 5.1 options for Psycho II and Psycho III, and stereo audio options for Psycho IV
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Reversible sleeves featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
- Double-sided posters for each film featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin
- 9 postcard sized reproduction art cards
- 120-page perfect bound collector’s book featuring new writing by film critics John-Paul Checkett and Johnny Mains plus select archival material
Disc 1 – PSYCHO (4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY)
- Audio Commentary with Stephen Rebello, author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho
- The Making of Psycho documentary
- In the Master’s Shadow, Hitchcock’s Legacy featurette
- Hitchcock / Truffaut audio interview with scenes from the movie
- Newsreel Footage: The Release of Psycho featurette
- The Shower Scene: With & Without Music featurette
- The Shower Sequence, storyboards by Saul Bass image gallery
- Psycho Sound featurette
- The Psycho Archives image gallery
- Posters and Psycho Ads image gallery
- Lobby Cards image gallery
- Behind the Scenes Photographs image gallery
- Publicity Shots image gallery
- Theatrical trailer
- Re-Release trailers
Disc 2 – PSYCHO II (4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY)
- New audio commentary by film critics Michael Brooke and Johnny Mains
- Archival audio commentary by screenwriter Tom Holland
- Behind the Curtain: The Masters of Horror on Psycho, panel discussion with screenwriter Tom Holland and Psycho IV director Mick Garris moderated by Robert V. Galluzzo
- Giving Bloch His Due, interview with Chet Williams, author of Psycho: Sanitarium on the legacy of Norman Bates’ creator, author Robert Bloch
- Anthony Perkins TV interview
- Anthony Perkins audio interview
- Richard Franklin audio interview
- Richard Franklin On Set featurette
- Richard Franklin scene commentary
- A sequel to a Classic featurette
- The House on the Hill featurette
- Personality Profile: Anthony Perkins featurette
- Personality Profile: Richard Franklin featurette
- Still Crazy After all these Years
- Behind the scenes featurette
- Anthony Perkins interview
- Vera Miles interview
- Janet Leigh interview
- Jerry Goldsmith demo
- Trailers & TV spots
- Image gallery
- Audio press kit/promotional record
- Record gallery
Disc 3 – PSYCHO III (4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY)
- New Commentary by film critics Michael Brooke and Johnny Mains
- Archival audio commentary by screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue
- Carnival of the Heart, a new visual essay by film scholar Alexandra Heller Nicholas
- Scream of Love, a new interview with composer Carter Burwell
- Watch the Guitar, archival interview with actor Jeff Fahey
- Patsy’s Last Night, archival interview with actor Katt Shea
- Mother’s Maker, archival interview with special make-up effects artist Michael Westmore
- Body Double, archival interview with actress Brinke Stevens
- Original electronic press kit
- Alternate opening
- Theatrical trailer
- TV spot
- Image gallery
Disc 4 – PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING (4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY)
- 4K (2160p) Ultra HD presentation of the film in director’s preferred 1.78:1 aspect ratio
- Archival audio commentary with director Mick Garris, actor Henry Thomas, and actress Olivia Hussey
- Death by Strings, new visual essay by author and critic Guy Adams on music across the franchise
- The Making of Mother, an archival interview with make-up effects artist Tony Gardner
- Behind-the-scenes footage
- A Look at the Scoring of Psycho IV, archival featurette
Disc 5 – PSYCHO IV TV Aspect Ratio (4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY – LIMITED EDITION EXCLUSIVE)
- 4K (2160p) Ultra HD presentation of the film in 1.33:1 TV aspect ratio
Released 25th September.
Review by Tina from discs kindly supplied by Arrow Films via Fetch Publicity.