Thursday, July 10, 2014

Movie In-Jokes: Psycho II

One of the fun games when watching movies is to spot references, secret messages and gags that filmmakers, film crews and actors can slip into movies to pay tribute to films they love, have a bit of fun with their previous work, or give the cinematic equivalent of a shout-out. Here's a spotter's guide to these inside jokes.

This time the long shadow of the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, proves impossible to escape as we peek into the dark corners of Richard Franklin's surprisingly good sequel Psycho II.

22 years after his crime spree, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) returns to his childhood home at the Bates Motel but is still haunted by the bad memories it holds. His co-worker and newfound friend Mary (Meg Tilly) attempts to help prove there's nothing to be afraid of in his mother's old bedroom, the site of so much of his adolescent trauma.

"See, no ghosts," she insists as they enter.

But clearly she's missed one...

Hiding in the corner is the immortal silhouette of Hitchcock himself, making one of his famous cameos (albeit in someone else's movie) before Mary flicks on the lights.

I hope he approved of what he saw. While it's hard to follow up Hitch's groundbreaking masterpiece, Franklin does a commendable job of capturing some of the mood of the original and throws in a few fun twists as well.


  1. I actually noticed that years and years ago and every time I tried to mention it to someone they thought I was nuts. I'm relieved to see that someone else has seen it as well.

    1. It's pretty subtle and only onscreen for a few seconds. I'm not surprised people have trouble picking up on it.

      I hope others now acknowledge both your sanity and your sharp eyes.