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Cinematic Psycho Sequels
By James Whittington, Saturday 7th April 2018

Everyone who has seen Alfred Hitchcock's monochrome masterpiece Psycho will know that how it created one of the most enduring horror icons of the 20th century, Norman Bates. Played to chilling perfection by Anthony Perkins and based on the novel of the same name by Robert Bloch which was first published in 1959 the movie was a benchmark in the horror/thriller genre and Hitchcock sent the rest of his career trying to match it.

Bates was a reflection, an amalgam of several real-life killers, most notably Ed Gein, whose ability to be in plain sight of his hometown whilst committing hideous crimes is almost as hideous as the crimes he committed. Much has been written about the movie Psycho, but what about the cinematic sequels? Often over-looked and even by some totally ignored, Psycho II and III have a lot to offer and gave Perkins the chance to flesh out his most character.

Psycho II was released in 1983, right at the tail-end of the first big slasher-mania run but could the granddaddy of the knife kill compete? Coming just a year after Robert Bloch's book of the same name but having no resemblance at all this was a brave idea, to bring back the world's most famous Mommy's Boy!

Director Richard Franklin, who apparently was inspired to become a director after seeing, amongst other things the original Psycho, only had four features under his belt but delivers the essence of the original whilst at the same time upping the violence and blood, bringing Tom Holland's script vividly to life. As a side note, look out for Tom in a cameo role as Deputy Norris. It was a box-office hit and though it took some purists time to adjust to seeing Bates in colour its rightly regarded as one of the best horror movie sequels made.

Psycho III arrived in 1986 and this time Perkins decided to sit in the director's chair. Brave you might say, seeing as though it was his directorial debut you could consider it crazy, but Perkins delivers a solid and emotional movie that gave fans a darker insight into Bates' situation, of his off-kilter mind-set and the duplicity in his tangled mind. Again, the film has nothing to do with Bloch's third Psycho novel, Psycho House which was published in 1990.

Set only a month after Psycho II, Norman finds himself falling in love and its this bizarre twist that split the audience at the time. Here we view Norman's softer side which at first seems at odds at to what has gone before but as we all know his evil will always conquer. Perkins would only direct one other feature which is a real shame as he shows signs of a very confident director.

Though there was a movie, Bates Motel in 1987 which didn't feature Perkins, a TV Movie followed and was very good too and we will look at that in a different feature as it wasn't given a cinematic release. There was also a scene for scene remake in 1998 but the least said about that the better. Another TV outing for Norman was Bates Motel, a series that ran for 5 seasons and dived directly into the relationship between a young Bates and his mother.

But apart from these it's the cinema releases with Perkins as the star that made the Psycho series such a success. Check out II, III and Psycho IV: The Beginning on Horror and tell us what you think.


Related show tags: PSYCHO II, PSYCHO III, PSYCHO IV: THE BEGINNING
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Interview with Simeon Halligan, director of Habit
Posted on Sunday 9th February 2020

Simeon Halligan is one of the busiest people working in the industry today. Writer, director, producer, director of celebrated film festival Grimmfest, in fact the list goes on.

His latest film is the neon tinged, blood-splattered masterpiece Habit which is showing on Horror February 14th so we thought we should get the story on how he brought this shocker to the big screen.

HC: When did you first become aware of the book by Stephen McGeagh to which Habit is based?

SH: I read the book a couple of years back and really liked it. A combination of gritty realism and dark fantasy; set within a very recognisable Manchester. There's a juxtaposition in the book; from a kind of soc...

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Horror Channel marks February weekends with eight action-packed premieres
Posted on Wednesday 15th January 2020

Killer parties, virtual dinosaurs, zombie flesh-eaters and Milla Jovovich in top form...Horror Channel makes February an action-packed month with eight premieres, including the UK TV premiere of Matty Beckerman's savage sorority slasher The Row and the channel premieres of Simeon Halligan's neon-drenched Mancunian horror thriller Habit, starring Elliot James Langridge, Roxanne Pallett and Jessica Barden. Plus there's the eerie psychological thriller Can't Come Out To Play, directed by John McNaughton (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), starring Samantha Morton, Michael Shannon and Peter Fonda.

There are also Channel premieres for the 2019 version of Cabin Fever, a remake of Eil Roth's 2002...

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Horror Channel beams in Captain Sulu for "George Takei selects Star Trek" on Saturday January 25
Posted on Monday 6th January 2020

George Takei, the legendary Star Trek actor, personally introduces some of his favourite Sulu episodes from the Original Series.

"George Takei selects Star Trek" will take over Horror Channel on Saturday 25 January, from 3pm, showing four specially selected episodes from Seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek: The Original Series.

Here are George's chosen episodes with transmission order:

3pm: Star Trek: The Original Series - The Naked Time
A rescue party goes to save some scientists on a dying planet, but they are all dead when the team arrives. Can McCoy save the day?

4.05pm: Star Trek: The Original Series - Shore Leave
The crew enjoy some downtime on a peaceful p...

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10 of the best from 2019!
Posted on Sunday 22nd December 2019

The last 12 months has been a prime year for the horror genre fan with titles that stretched well-trodden ideas mixed with some truly original pieces.

We've had sequels, remakes, and more than our fair share of true oddities and for once the good outweighed the bad.

Here in no particular order are ten of the best the year had to offer either at festivals, in cinema or home entertainment.

The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot
Sam Elliott and Aidan Turner are The Man Who Killed Hitler and then The Bigfoot the critically acclaimed, genre-bending, breath-taking adventure that sees a legendary American war hero as a young man and in his twilight years, taking on two very different adversaries. Decades after serving in WWII and assassinating Adolf Hitler, Calvin Barr (Elliott/Turner) is enlisted as the only man for the job: to hunt down the fable...

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Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season
Posted on Tuesday 10th December 2019
Horror Channel kicks off the New Year with a Stranger Fears Season - a retro-flavoured selection of 1980s influenced modern horror, which includes the UK TV premieres of Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski's hard-core hospital horror The Void and Jackson Stewart's throwback paranormal fantasy Beyond the Gates, starring horror legend Barbara Crampton. Broadcast every Saturday night throughout the month, the season also includes Todd Strauss-Schulson's entertainingly subversive slasher fantasy The Final Girls and Lowell Dean's stylish, rage-fuelled WolfCop.

There is also a UK TV premiere for Mathieu Turi's terrifying and moving horror thriller Hostile and channel premieres for Barry Levinson's brutal and ...

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Seasonal shocks aplenty on Horror in December including UK premiere of Tyler MacIntyre's Patchwork.
Posted on Thursday 21st November 2019

Wayward werewolves, genetic mutants, a female Frankenstein, man-eating spiders and the return of The Creeper... Horror Channel provides plenty of seasonal shocks in December, including the UK TV premiere for Tyler MacIntyre's incandescent comic horror Patchwork, a modern spin on Mary Shelley mythology, mixed with fun gore and a cheeky tone. It received rapturous applause when first screened in the UK at FrightFest Glasgow 2016 and will delight fans of classic 1980's scream fests.

There is also a UK TV premiere for spider-infested supernatural thriller Guardians of the Tombs, starring Kelsey Grammer and Channel premieres for martial-arts futurist thriller Ultraviolet, starring Milla Jovovich, werewolf chiller...

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Renowned Author and critic Kim Newman takes us on a nostalgic trip through Horror Channel's Classic Monster Marathon Day on Sunday 24 November.
Posted on Tuesday 19th November 2019

When Universal Pictures secured the rights to Bram Stoker's Dracula, the property had just been made popular by a Broadway theatre adaptation. Stage star Bela Lugosi got his career-making (and-defining) gig as the Count ('I... am... Dracula') because Lon Chaney, star of Universal's silent Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame, had died and left a gap few thought anyone would ever fill. At the time, the industry classed Dracula as 'a mystery play', lumping it in with the old dark house spookiness of The Cat and the Canary. After the first talkie vampire became a big hit, folks started talking about 'horror films' and 'monster movies' - and the genre as we know it nearly ninety years later was founded. With Dr...

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All you need to know about Horror Channel's Classic Monsters Marathon!
Posted on Monday 11th November 2019

On Sunday 24th of November, Horror Channel is celebrating the beginnings of cinema horror with Classic Monsters Marathon.

Kicking off at 1pm, it features some of the most iconic monster movies of all-time, including: Ted Browning and Karl Freund's Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi as the infamously seductive Count, James Whale's genre-defining Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff, Karl Freund's mesmerising The Mummy, with Boris Karloff further establishing himself as one of the great horror stars in film history, The Wolf Man, with Lon Chaney, Jr. as the original werewolf and the pulp horror classic Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Dracula is first on the list starti...

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10 things you might not know about Halloween III: Season of the Witch
Posted on Saturday 26th October 2019

It's the one where no one came home. It's the one without Michael Myers. It's the one that stalled at the box-office but gained a huge cult following over the last 37 years or so!

Yes, Halloween III: Season of the Witch is the movie which split the Halloween fanbase right down the middle but was supposed to be the relaunch of the brand name.

Here's 10 fear-filled facts you might not know about this classic horror and catch the movie on Horror October 31st at 10.55pm.

10) The film was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace who also provides the voice on those classic Silver Shamrock commercials.

9) Speaking of which, the infamous Silver Shamrock jingle is actually the old nursery rhyme...
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Sinister, Terrifier and Tower Block amongst Horror Channel premieres in November
Posted on Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Psycho clowns, demented dolls and deadly snipers... Horror Channel is big on scares in November with eleven Channel premieres including murderous supernatural chiller Sinister, starring Ethan Hawke, Damien Leone's screamingly shocking Terrifier and the riveting urban thriller Tower Block, starring Sheridan Smith and Jack O'Connell.

There are also Channel premieres for two popular installments of the Chucky franchise, Child's Play 2 and Child's Play 3. John Carpenter's dazzling fantasy Starman, starring Jeff Bridges, two spooky black comedy classics - Peter Jackson's The Frighteners and Joe Dante's The Burbs, and the even more eerie John Carpenter remake of Village of the Damn...

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13 nights of scares as Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season
Posted on Tuesday 8th October 2019

For thirteen nights, from Saturday 19th October to Thursday 31st October at 9pm, Horror Channel presents a Haunted Halloween Season, a supernaturally spooky selection of the scariest movies, including the UK premiere of the ghostly chiller The Unspoken and the channel premiere of the terrifying thriller Pay The Ghost, starring Nicholas Cage.

Other highlights include Damiano Damiani's diabolical prequel to The Amityville Horror - Amityville II: The Possession. James Watkins' spine-chilling remake The Woman In Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Ti West's The Shining slacker-style indie sensation, The Innkeepers. the 2008 US remake of The Eye, starring Jessica Alba and box-offi...

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"We are all aliens until we get to know one another". Space 1999 lands on Horror
Posted on Thursday 3rd October 2019

Imagine it is the 1970s, the space race has been won and news of trips to the moon are fading from public interest. But you want to see more than just people playing golf and taking rock samples there. You want to see the human race make a base there, to use it as a launch pad to help reach further into space and maybe one day we could populate it.

Step forward Gerry and Sylvia Anderson who in 1975 gave the world one of the finest and most adventurous Sci-Fi TV series ever made, Space 1999.

The premise is straight forward and smart: It is the (then) future and a base has been built and manned on the moon. Tragedy strikes on September 13th 1999 when an nuclear explosion causes th...

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