Saturday, December 2, 2023


PSYCHO II (1983) d. Richard Franklin (USA)
CURTAINS (1983) d. Richard Ciupka/Peter Simpson (Canada)

Tonight we're jetting back to 1983 to discuss a couple of undersung gems from the heyday of the slasher boom, one a belated sequel to a groundbreaking masterpiece, the other a curious Canadian feature made all the more appealing by its troubled production, release, and subsequent obscurity.

In PSYCHO II (click link for full Blu-ray review), Norman Bates (once again played by Anthony Perkins) has finally been released from the mental institution where he’s been incarcerated since he was discovered running around in Mother’s housedress 22 years earlier. Despite trepidations about returning to the house on the hill, Norman’s future seems hopeful. But then he starts seeing a certain female shape in the window, receiving ominous phone calls, and before long, the bodies start piling up.

With a clever, knowing script by Tom Holland, assured directing from Richard Franklin, and a stellar performance from Perkins, Psycho II is much, much better than it has any right or need to be.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the border, CURTAINS (click link for full Blu-ray review) centers on tyrannical director Jonathan Stryker (played by John Vernon) as he auditions six female candidates for the lead role in his upcoming film project at his secluded mountain cabin getaway. However, this is a role that people would kill for, and well, they start doing just that.

Containing a curious and disjointed narrative, several stylish set-pieces, one creepy frowning doll, and a hag-mask-wearing, sickle-wielding killer, Curtains remains surprisingly watchable, especially when its troubled genesis is taken into account.

Join AC and his fantastic panel of guests (John McDevitt, Nicola McCafferty, Ian Simmons, Barry Kaufman, Matthew Amador) as they discuss this unusual double feature of suspense and strangeness, discovering strange and unexpected parallels within!

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