Psycho III

Perkins is evidently a skilled photographer, certainly a deep student of film noir. He has taken his cue from the earlier sequel filmed in color, and established an original color treatment on that basis. The chiaroscuro of film noir is rendered in color mainly derived from the richly-hued Bates home with its deep red carpeting and stained glass, which are seen in themselves and also imbuing the masterfully-composed shots with lurid ambiance, or a small green lampshade turns a scene entirely green, similarly. As delirious as that is, it is very carefully brought into a naturalistic frame of reference on points of congruity in Hollow Triumph, for instance, an outdoor light source attracting insects, notably. The line of lights along the front of the Bates Motel, one to each room, makes a photographic ensemble later festooned by merrymakers.

Norman Bates’ amour dies from Cupid’s arrow in a replication of the staircase shot, after turning to the camera in a consciously startling evocation of Mrs. Bates, who later is turned to the camera again by one of the guests.

The editing and camerawork exercise a rapid wit. The murders don’t cease until poor Norman takes a knife to his loquacious mummy. Liberated by this, he accepts the handcuffs with a smile, and seated in the back of a squad car with his hands on his lap, pulls out a third one, instantly recalling A Season In Hell. “What an age with hands! I shall never...”