Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Witchboard (1986)

Reviewed By: Billy

There is a performance in Witchboard that is so surprising, so multi-faceted, and so spellbinding that it should go down in history as one of the best ever in horror films.  Early in the movie, the character appears to be controlled and tightly-wound; but watch closely, and you’ll see that at any moment, things are going to unravel.  As the film trudges on, the performance becomes wilder and wilder, bigger beyond belief, until you can’t keep your eyes off of anything else on the screen.

Ladies and gentlemen…for your consideration as the most overlooked horror performance in history: Tawny Kitaen’s hair.
When the most compelling element of a movie is sitting atop the leading lady’s head, you know you’ve got a winner on your hands.  And, my friends, Witchboard is a winner in a BIG way.  From sets that look like they were constructed in someone’s garage to a plot that literally revolves around a piece of cardboard, this movie should be required viewing for any film student itching to make a scary movie.  With almost nothing to work with, director Kevin Tenney somehow gets everything right, and turns out a horror movie that is not only hysterical to watch, but actually manages some brilliant jump-scares in the process.  Will you love this movie?  All signs point to…
So…the plot.  Well, Tawny Kitaen and her wild hair are living with Todd Allen and his equally-mesmerizing unmovable face, and there’s this Ouija Board, and…okay, well, the plot’s kind of involved and requires too much typing to summarize.  Suffice it to say that Tawny becomes obsessed and then possessed by an evil spirit.  Oh, and there’s a love-triangle that’s kind of important, between Tawny, Todd, and soap star Stephen Nichols, sporting a pretty impressive blonde "business-mullet" himself. 
Of course, we don’t care about the plot here. We are about the scares. And this is where Witchboard comes off as a masterpiece. Here’s a little anecdote to prove my point: imagine…a cold Indiana night, JM and Billy sitting on the living room floor and their parents laying on the couch. JM and Billy finally convinced their parents to rent Witchboard from DJ Video – the best VHS rental store in history – and now the family is watching it. Hey – don’t judge – this is the family that watched The Exorcist while eating dinner on TV trays. Anyway, JM and Billy have a very grumpy father who can’t lay on the couch in front of a movie without dozing off about five minutes after it starts. But every three minutes in Witchboard, there’s a jump-scare. You know…

(BANG!) A hatchet suddenly flies by the screen…

(BANG!) A phone suddenly rings…

(BANG!) An Ouija Board suddenly explodes into the air…

Some might call them “cheap” scares…but nothing’s too cheap here at Tower Farm. So, Witchboard’s jump-scares are so effective that JM, Billy, and their mother are literally levitating off the floor every three minutes until Dad, his nap interrupted, yells out, “WHAT IS THIS S&*%???” and storms out of the room. It is a classic moment in Tower Farm history, and forever endeared Witchboard to our hearts.

Of course…with the great comes the not-so-great, and to that end you have to sit through Kathleen Wilhoite’s performance as the valley-girl psychic.  But, you can’t help but fall in love with everyone else on the screen – especially tobacoo-stained, whisky-voiced Rose Marie, in a thankless role as the landlady. 
Like the Hasbro toy it’s based around, now available at a Toys ‘R Us near you, this movie is just way too fun to not like.  In fact, it’s damned near perfect…which is what makes Witchboard 2: The Devil's Doorway all the more incredible…it’s actually better.  So make it a double feature…and when you’re screaming out “WHAT IS THIS S&*%???”…don’t say you weren’t warned!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Howling V: The Rebirth (1989)

Reviewed By: Billy

When it comes to horror franchises, my brother JM and I are usually on the same page as to which installments are the best.  Friday the 13th?  Easy.  Part 6 (also known in these parts as Jason Takes The Family Channel) hands down.  Halloween?  Again…easy.  Forget anything starring Jamie Lee Curtis.  Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 is the clear winner. 

But get down to the Howling series (which, let’s face it, is stretching the definition of a cohesive “franchise” as it is) and we’ve got a big problem.  JM, as you can all probably guess, loves this one…and how can we blame him?  Any movie that randomly builds a final credit sequence around Sybil Danning taking her top off is, by default, brilliant.  But personally, I prefer the quiet elegance of Howling V: The Rebirth.  And by quiet elegance, I mean a movie so cheap that the closest look we get at a werewolf comes with this silhouette, which appears to be an actor draped in my great-grandmother’s furry bathroom rug:
As you probably know, the Howling series has suffered through more re-inventions than Madonna’s career – and if Your Sister Is A Werewolf is the equivalent of Madonna going off the deep end and making that sex coffee table book, then The Rebirth is when Madonna suddenly became British and started saying words like “bullocks” and “full-stop.”  You see, this movie takes a page from one of the greatest mystery books of all time, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.  Oh, hell, it takes more than a page…it takes the whole plot.  A group of people gather together at an old house, only to die off one by one…killed at the hands of a…ahem…. “werewolf”  (man in furry bathroom rug).

The victims here are so generic that you’ll spend most of the movie trying to remember which one is which.  However, is it just me…or does this actress seem to show up in every werewolf movie from the 80s?
The other notable character here is the young heroine who inexplicably survives the movie (though almost none of the proceeding 100 minutes has focused on her).  She does give us a nude-from-the-back scene (sorry, straight guys, that’s about all you get)…but is most memorable in that she looks/acts so much like Linnea Quigley that you wonder why filmmakers just didn’t get Linnea for the role:
In another bizarre piece of evidence that I create the world, Howling V manages to also use a little bit of the plot of the classic Parker Brothers Clue VCR Game in their script…namely a subplot involving an oddly-shaped birthmark that runs in the family (in this case a triangle in the crook of the elbow that looks more like an infected track mark).  Sidenote...in case you’ve never heard of said game…I order you to go to Ebay NOW and start bidding.  Clue VCR was a wonderful, short-lived 80s phenomenon in which players would view scenes from a shot-on-camcorder, live action play featuring Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, and the rest of the gang, and then play a card game based on the clues given in the video.  Though it boasts the production values of a pre-school talent show and acting worthy of the most half-assed Indiana community theatre production, I was – and still am – completely obsessed with Clue VCR…thus owning 3 copies of it and watching the videos at least once a month. 
Oh, and speaking of pre-school production values…did I mention that the exterior shots of the remote castle in the snow in this movie are…umm…animated?
Anyway, I love this movie.  JM and I have really never given the Howling series any credit though, when you think about it, it’s really made for Tower Farm.  What began as a semi-respected werewolf movie starring Dee Wallace Stone quickly crumbled into a succession of increasingly stupid straight-to-video installments featuring plots including kangaroo-werewolf hybrids, ancient Budapest-ian family curses, circus sideshows, and…of course…Stirba the Werewolf Queen.   Perhaps only the Hellraiser movies rival the Howlings in the courage of taking a well-liked original and completely screwing up any hope for a respectable legacy.  And just for being part of that, Howling V easily rates…


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

by JM

I’m not going to lie to you.  I have been having a hard time lately getting really excited about writing a review.  My stack of movies has been collecting dust for about a month.  Recently, I wrote an entire review for the (great) movie Infestation, read it, and deleted it.  The write up was a total piece of crap.

Well, today the excitement returned as The Slumber Party Collection arrived in the mail (along with a collectable bloody pillowcase—no kidding).

I have been a HUGE fan of these movies since before I was a teenager.  I can still clearly remember looking at the VHS covers to these movies at Marsh Supermarket while waiting for my Mom to finish her grocery shopping.  I would ogle the scantily clad women on the covers like… well, like a young sex offender to be perfectly honest.  In a world before the internet, this was about a titillating as things got for a twerpy kid in Muncie, IN.

When I finally was old enough to start renting these films, they actually lived up to my steep expectations.  Nothing about these movies has ever let me down.

It all kicked off in 1982, with the release of The Slumber Party Massacre.   Penned by feminist author Rita Mae Brown (who Billy briefly met this year… and FAILED to ask her about this movie!), this is a movie for women and about female empowerment.

Okay, that is not 100% accurate.  It is about a serial killer that uses a drill to kill his victims and the group of teen girls that he is stalking.  And I gotta say, it is a rare and brave movie that casts a middle-aged guy as the killer.  But, it works.

The movie opens with remarkable subtlety and restraint as a teenager tosses out some garbage outside of her home as her parents hurriedly rush off to catch a flight.  As the girl walks off toward school, a creepy male hand is shown reaching into the garbage can and pulling out a Barbie doll.

Oh, yeah… the same girl was shown topless about 3 seconds into the movie.  Like I said, subtlety and restraint.

Now, if there was ever any debate as to what year this was filmed, the following photo should put any doubt to rest:

Could these two guys be any more “period”?  I mean, give me a break!  Those guys look like extras in a deleted scene from Hot Tub Time Machine, right?!

Slumber Party Massacre has it all. There is gore, blood, and even a Carrie-esque girls locker room scene that is all boobs and butts.

Also, the movie is also notable to being the first credited screen role for scream queen Brinke Stevens (crickets around the world start chirping).  Given that I know her best from her roles in Demon Lust, Delta Delta Die, and Cheerleader Massacre, it was kind of jarring to see her looking so attractive and... not so... worn out.

When one considers the great trilogies, I am sure that franchises like The Godfather, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings come to mind.  Well, bullshit.  Those movies are boring.  The Slumber Party Massacre movies are the greatest trilogy ever produced.  I can’t wait to rewatch the next two installments!

5 fingers!
Now, on to a different note:  Billy and I will be attending Screamfest in Orlando, FL again this year. With guests like Robert Englund, John Carpenter, Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Linea Quigley, Elvira, Gary Busey, and (are you sitting?) Lita Ford (?!?!?!?!?!), this is sure to be the best one yet.   Let us know if you will be there!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Do You Wanna Know A Secret (2001)

Reviewed By: Billy

There comes a point in every horror fan's life that is unavoidable:  you're walking through your local DVD store, scanning the shelves, and suddenly realize you've seen every single slasher out there.  At first you try to shrug it off, sure that you'll find something you don't already own.  You glance over the dozens of copies of Saw and Final Destination, hoping that something new is accidentally sandwiched in between.  Then you start looking over the Friday the 13th and Elm Street movies, thinking that maybe there's a re-release with some added footage or something.  Next you move on to the Urban Legend and I Know What You Did Last Summer series, hoping beyond hope that another straight-to-DVD sequel has come out. 

Nothing.  Nada.  The sweat starts beading up on your brow.  Your heart starts thumping.  Is this it?  Have you really reached the end of the horror movie section...and there's absolutely nothing new?  You pick up a copy of When A Stranger Calls -- the remake, of course, which you already own -- and wonder if you should just buy it again, so you at least have something to take home.  You put it down, realizing that's stupid.  Jesus...what's wrong with us?

It's desperation like this that lead me to actually purchase Do You Wanna Know A Secret one sad afternoon at a MovieStop.  I'd looked over the box thousands of times, snickering at its cheap imitation of Scream's cover design and the fact that the top-billed stars were Joey Lawrence and Chad Allen.  I always felt so superior, knowing that even the $3.99 price tag was too high considering there was something better right around the corner.

And then, that day...nothing better was around the corner anymore.
Well, I'm happy to report that my shame at having bought the movie quickly turned to jubilation when I realized that it was exactly I needed.  It is I Know What You Did Last Summer made by morons.  Which, let's face it, was already a moronic movie to begin with.  So this one is double stupid.  Which pretty much describes Tower Farm.

So, Do You Wanna Know A Secret revolves around a group of college friends on Spring Break in Florida.  Among this group of losers is Joey Lawrence, whose main goal as an actor here seems to be wearing the tightest shirts possible.  This movie showcases Joey in his post-"Blossom" but pre-Lex Luthor phase, which alone ranks it as an interesting historical artifact.  I personally am a big fan of this Joey, as he doesn't quite have the look of a plastic action figure yet (although his lips are so glossy they appear to be laminated):
Chad Allen plays a character who is...well...completely ill-defined and dies off early.  I was kind of hoping that this movie would take a cue from "St. Elsewhere" -- the TV series which ended with an insane final episode that revealed the entire series had taken place in the head of the autistic character played by Chad.  Sadly, that didn't happen.  Anyway, all the other "college kids" here are totally generic and not worthy of mention.  For example, lead girl Dorie Barton seems cast solely based on the fact that she looks and speaks exactly like Reese Witherspoon:
The most notable bit of casting here is the addition of Jeff Conaway as an FBI agent.  Being that the only other time I've recently seen Conaway it's been on shows like VH1's "Celebrity Fit Club" and "Celebrity Rehab" -- which revealed him to be a drug-addled mess -- it's kind of nice to see him speaking clearly and at least appearing lucid.  That said, the startlingly loose grip with which he holds his gun doesn't say much for his immersion into the character:
Being that nothing happens for a good forty minutes of running time, here's another great shot of filmmakers hoping to confuse audiences into thinking Oscar-winner Reese Witherspoon is in their movie:
Anyway, even after discovering that their buddy Chad has been killed (by someone who left behind a note reading "Do You Wanna Know A Secret?") -- the gang decides to stay in town, enjoying the hot tub, pool, and making mixed drinks in the blender.  This also continues after another kid from their college is killed, with the same ridiculous words carved into his body (which seems like a lot of work for the killer, by the way -- couldn't he have just carved in "secret" or something?  Or maybe an abbreviation -- "DYWKAS"?).  Personally, I think it's great that these kids can keep partying in the midst of so much death.

However, all good parties must come to an end...and finally the rest of the kids start getting butchered.  I think.  Because none of the deaths actually happen on camera, I guess I can't be sure that they're dying.  But I think the pools of blood around the bodies indicate murder. 
In an act of complete stupidity, the lead girl follows the killer out to the middle of the Everglades, making absolutely no attempt to conceal her car as she pulls up closely behind him in a large clearing.  I won't even attempt to explain what happens at the climax, except to say that it bring us to this:
Oh, and Chad Allen turns out to be the killer.

So, yeah, this movie is totally stupid.  It was, however, more than worth the $3.99 I finally paid for it, and has given me hope for the next time I visit MovieStop and wander the aisles in panic, afraid that I have nothing left to live for.  Because, dammit, there is still something to live for!  Joey Lawrence proved that once.  Leslie Vernon...could you be next?


Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Black Dahlia (2006)

Reviewed By: Billy

2006's big-screen disasterpiece The Black Dahlia is my favorite Dario Argento movie ever.

Oh, sure, I know the movie is credited to Brian De Palma.  But who are they kidding?  We've got a convoluted and completely implausible plot strung together by unnecessary camera tricks, performances that range from brain-dead to mind-blowingly histrionic, Eurotrashy dialogue (including: "I think you'd rather f*ck me than kill me...but you don't have the guts to do either!"), and an ending so abrupt that one wonders if a studio exec finally just decided to pull the funding and call it quits.  Oh...and did I mention the crazy old hag character with too much eyeliner that's introduced early in the movie and then turns out to be important in the end?  Hello...am I talking about The Black Dahlia or Deep Red?

Anyway, this movie is based on the book by James Ellroy, which in turn is based on the actual Black Dahlia murder case from 1940s Los Angeles.  The facts of the unsolved crime are extremely creepy and it's the kind of story screaming out for a great, chilling movie adaptation. 

Someday I hope that happens.

For now, we'll make do with this faux-Italian comedy of errors, which stars the blandest pair of leading men this side of the Miami Vice movie and two female leads who are so miscast that it's almost painful to watch them.  And by painful, I mean my stomach was in knots from the constant fits of laughter.

The men are Josh Hartnett and Aaron Eckhart, playing police partners who become obsessed with the murder of a young actress nicknamed the Black Dahlia.  Eckart in particular goes off the deep end, acting less like a haunted investigator than like a really mean drunk who's just been refused another shot by the bartender.  Why exactly Aaron becomes such an a-hole and so devoted to the dead girl is never explained nor explored, leaving us with a really pissy rageaholic who just seems like a big baby. 
Hartnett, on the other hand, is just adorable in his role as a jaded, embittered cop.  Looking like a 12-year-old on "bring your son to work day," Josh tries hard to adopt the tough-guy indifference of a Bogart or a Ladd.  He doesn't do a bad job...unfortunately, in the period costumes and contantly smoking, he just comes across like a bored and confused kid...like his dad brought him along to work and then left him in the waiting room all day (kind of like our dad, Ralph, did to JM and me...which explains why we are basically bored and confused adults).
But where The Black Dahlia really scores is with its actresses.  Scarlett Johannsson is the top-billed lady here, although her role amounts to a couple of scenes as the woman who comes between the two cops.  I'm actually not really sure why this character was included at all, as she doesn't really do anything of importance regarding the story.  My guess is that someone decided since Scarlett Johannsson is always trying really hard to look like she's a 1940s actress, they should just go ahead and put her in the film.

Rose McGowan makes a welcome appearance here, in a one-scene role where she speaks as if she's rehearsing a scene from "Charmed" (i.e. not even attempting to sound period-appropriate).  Fiona Shaw plays the crazy old lady in a performance that is so over-the-top that she may as well be on Mars.  I imagine everyone was just too afraid of this woman to tell her to bring it down a few notches, resulting in a performance that is so crazily Italian you'll be amazed that a) it's not dubbed, and b) it's not Piper Laurie.
But true top honors here go to Hilary Swank, she of the two Oscars, who turns in a performance that will absolutely win her a Farmy Award as Best Actress Impersonating Katherine Hepburn And James Corburn At The Same Time.  (I have no idea what that means, but it's making me laugh right now, so I'm leaving it).  Basically, she looks totally weird, speaks totally weird, and kicks this little film up to a new level of stupid.  Here's the thing...Hilary Swank may be a great actress, but she's been cast in the sexpot role here.  She's the all-out femme fatale who's supposed to entangle men in her web of sex and mystery.  And...well...she's not a sexpot.  Here, she's more like a gawky teen boy who's just rented the "sexy Elvira" costume for Halloween:
Look, I have no idea how nobody put a stop to this mess before it was released.  Surely at some point somebody looked around, shook their head, and muttered: "This can't end well."  Thankfully, that person kept his or her mouth shut, The Black Dahlia hit theatres, and now we can enjoy insanity again and again.  Rarely has an American film channeled Eurotrash so effortlessly (well...except for this all-time American Eurotrash classic), and that alone merits it...


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Crimes Of Passion (1984)

Reviewed By: Billy

Can I just say...we LOVE our followers/commenters.  Really, we do.  Because of you, we often discover treasure troves of sleaze that otherwise would have collected dust on the shelf of our local video store, crying out to be rented and trashed.  For example, our friend and filmmaker Static_OmegaFPL recently left this comment on our review of Psycho III:

"And, it seems to me Perkins was channeling Ken Russell in this movie, as a director. He had just starred in Crimes Of Passion (which I'd LOVE to see you lay into as well)."

Well, Damien...thanks to you, I've just finished watching the movie that puts the "gross" in "engrossing."  Seriously.  How skeevy is Crimes Of Passion?  Try this line of dialogue on for size:  "If you think you're gonna get back in my panties, forget it. There's one asshole in there already."


Anyway, Crimes stars one of our favorite "ladies-of-the-80s" -- Kathleen Turner, a LONG way from Cartagena -- in the ultra-realistic role of a successful fashion designer who moonlights as a hooker named China Blue.  Actually, upon writing this, I'm watching an episode of "Project Runway" where several desigers seem to be prostituting themselves for a shot at fame on reality TV...so maybe Kathleen was just ahead of her time.  No matter...why exactly this character leads a double life is never really explained...but it does give her the chance to overact in a Blondie wig and attempt to say lines like this one with an ounce of dignity:  "Although we may run out of Pan Am coffee, we will never run out of TWA tea." 

In case you missed the meaning...just say the last 2 words out loud again.
Along the way, our gal China attracts the attention to two men.  One is druggy street preacher Peter Shayne, played with a beautiful, understated subtlety by Anthony Perkins.
Gotcha!  Actually...Anthony spends the entire movie twitching, screaming, covered in flop sweat, and waving around a nasty looking metal vibrator that he dreams of boffing women to death with.  Now, including just one scene with this vibrator-slash-weapon would be classy enough, but thankfully Ken Russell decides to make it a major part of the story...to the point that I was forced to throw away my electric toothbrush last night due to a traumatic reaction to the buzzing sound.
The other man obsessed with China is played by John Laughlin (who looks exactly like swimmer Michael Phelps...who already kind of looks like a brain-dead Gomer Pyle) and is accordingly so completely dull that I'm not sure Laughlin didn't just wander onto the set by accident and end up walking through scenes that were already in progress.  One happy side-effect of his presence, though, is the brilliant casting of the character of his sexually frustrated wife.  Get ready for it, people...we've got ANNIE-friggin'-POTTS.  Yes, Designing Women's Mary Jo Shively...in a sex thriller.  These are the casting choices Tower Farm is built on.  I prayed and prayed that this meant Meshach Taylor would show up as a trick...but alas, it was just a fantasy:
Anyway, I'd love to tell you more about the plot...but frankly, there is none.  I can tell you that we do get perhaps the most irritating synth-and-sax score since...well...ever.  We also get lots of random shots of drawings from the Kama Sutra, which is fun.  Oh, and did I mention neon lights?  Everywhere?  In every scene? 

And in case you don't feel moved to sit through any of that, can I at least recommend the final scene, in which Anthony is finally stabbed to death...with the metal vibrator....while wearing Kathleen's wig and dress...?
Why this movie was ever made -- let alone with the participation of some respectable people -- must be one of the great mysteries of modern cinema.    But thank God it was.  This is truly the movie to watch on those lazy days when you don't feel like taking a shower.  Trust me...within minutes you'll be standing under scalding hot water trying to wash away the sleaze eminating from your TV.  Thankfully for Ken (who also directed this icky classic), Kathleen, and company...we LOVE hot showers!


Monday, September 6, 2010

Psycho III (1986)

Reviewed By: Billy

I recently heard a well-respected film critic say, “If you only see one Psycho movie, see Psycho III.”

Okay, that’s a lie. It was my brother, JM, who said that.

But really, he deserves a lot of respect for having the courage to say something so wise and yet to sure-to-be controversial. Psycho III really is the greatest of the series. Well, other than the amazing remake starring the self-pleasuring Vince Vaughn and a walkman. But that’s another review for another day.

Opening with actress Diana Scarwid screaming, “THERE IS NO GOD” as if she’s been asked to imitate a coyote readying for attack, this masterpiece immediately thrusts the viewer into a world of hammy overacting and annoying camera angles, a world that will make the next hour and a half fly by like years. This opening scene, in which young nun Diana accidentally causes the death of another nun, easily surpasses the original’s “death of Arbogast” as possibly the worst-staged demise in film history, especially when followed by an evil nun gleefully taunting, “You’ll burn in hell for this!” instead of running for help. Man, nuns are mean.

Anyway, Diana runs away and hitches a ride with a lecherous drifter who kicks her out of his car after she rejects his advances (his farewell, by the way, is my new favorite quote, “You could’ve been comin’ rather than goin’!”). And so, the poor gal ends up walking to the deserted Bates Motel. Just in case we stupid viewers couldn’t figure out that it’s supposed to be deserted, the director lets this tumbleweed the size of an industrial washing machine blow through the frame:
Let me introduce you to this director of great subtlety, by the way…
Yes, in the case of Psycho III, Anthony Perkins takes the lead both in front of and behind the camera and seems determined to show us just exactly what a great director can do.

And that great director is…umm…Alfred Hitchcock, who clearly forced Anthony to play with great restraint when he originated the role of Normal Bates back in 1960. Here, Mr. Perkins directs himself to immediately go off the deep end, speaking his lines in such a jarring, machine-gun style that I challenge any of you to listen to his first few lines of dialogue and have any clue what he’s talking about.

Anyway, the arrival of Diana sets poor Norman on an even further downward spiral. Hell, he becomes a twitching, jittery mess, and all apparently because of her remarkable resemblance to Marion Crane (played by Janet Leigh in the original). It’s actually pretty amazing that Norman’s been able to survive during the years since he’s been released from the looney bin, considering all it took to make him completely nuts again was a woman with short blonde hair…which, let’s be honest, is the only thing Diana Scarwid and Janet Leigh have in common. That said, I defy anyone to tell me that Diana Scarwid and Denise Crosby (of this amazing film) are not the same woman:
Whatever Anthony the director may lack in controlling his actors, he more than makes up for in boobs and bad 80s aesthetics. May I present to you Exhibit A:
This doll ends up on the wrong end of Norman’s knife after wandering around the hotel topless for no apparent reason (I hate to ever say someone is asking to be killed…but come on…). The murder, by the way, happens in a phone booth, and is staged just like the original’s shower scene…except for the missing tension and suspense, and the addition of hilariously loud, goopy fake blood that is clearly being spurt out from a plastic bottle by a production assistant just out of frame.
The second death scene is even classier than the first, in that it involves a young hotel guest actually sitting on the toilet when she bites the big one. She inexplicably grabs the rolls of toilet paper as she falls off the pot, leading Mrs. Bates to make perhaps the most awesome move in slasher history:
Anyway, lots of other things happen, but what’s important to note is that the movie ends like this:
I’m not even going to explain it. The fact is, you must see this movie. After all, as a well-respected film critic once said, “If you only see one Psycho movie, see Psycho III.” It truly is, for us, the most enjoyable of them all. It takes everything that worked in the original, throws that away, the fills the holes with the best conventions of 80s horror. It’s brilliant.