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Psycho IV: The Beginning (1990)

Norman Bates recalls his childhood with his abusive mother while fearing his unborn child will inherit his split personality disorder.

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Director: Gérard Kikoïne
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Glynis Barber, Sarah Maur Thorp
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tom Schuster ...
Chet Rudolph (as Thomas Schuster)
Sharen Camille ...
Holly
Bobbi Evors ...
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Mike Calveccio
Kurt Paul ...
Raymond Linette
Louis Crume ...
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Ellen Stevens
Doreen Chalmers ...
Mrs. Lane
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Mother (voice)
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Storyline

Norman Bates returns for this prequel, once more having mommy trouble. This time around he is invited to share memories of mom with a radio talk show host, but the PSYCHO fears that he may kill again for his beloved is impregnated with his child and Norman cannot let another PSYCHO loose in the civilized world. Written by Eric Creed

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You've met Norman... now meet mother.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and sensuality | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

10 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Psicosis IV: El comienzo  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The house and motel used for the film were originally built in 1988 on the back lot of Universal Studios Florida. It remained there until 1998 when it was torn down. See more »

Goofs

When Norman poisons his mother and her lover they die in the basement. In Psycho, we are told that they are found dead in bed. In addition, the container holding the tea is differ from the old one we see in Psycho II. See more »

Quotes

Norman: I killed some other women, too. The first one was a girl who just wanted to have sex with me.
Fran Ambrose: Wanting to have sex with you? That was grounds for murder?
Norman: [soft smile] In my mother's eyes it was.
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Connections

Followed by Bates Motel (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Surprisingly good
21 August 2001 | by See all my reviews

Psycho IV was the swan song for America's favorite nutcase, as Anthony Perkins died of AIDS complications only a year or so after making it. But the character goes out in style.

In many ways it appears this film ignores the events of Psycho II and III in favor of a "where is he now" story which leads into a flashback that in part explains why Norman went crazy.

Tony Perkins gives a sympathetic performance as Norman. You actually feel sorry for him, particularly at the end (which I won't give away). Has he reformed? Is he still crazy?

Olivia Hussey, meanwhile, is marvelous as his insane mother. She's still one of the most underappreciated actresses in movies today, and there's a scene of her standing in a downpour in which she looks exactly like she did when she played Juliet back in 1968. Her scenes with Henry Thomas are full of tension -- including sexual tension, making much of this film an uncomfortable viewing experience. But you don't watch a Psycho movie to relax, do you? Argentine-born, British-raised Hussey also has one of the sexiest voices ever put on film -- although it's a bit odd hearing a midwestern woman having a British accent.

The rest of the supporting cast is also good, especially CCH Pounder as a talk radio host who attracts the attention of Norman.

My only real disappointment is they should have shot the flashbacks in black and white, as several scenes intentionally reflect the original film (Norman spies on his mother making love using the famous peep hole and also stabs a girl in much the same way (music included) that he killed Janet Leigh in the original film).

A fitting send off for one of the most terrifying characters in cinema history. I must go now ... my mother is calling me.


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