Scream Factory has turned out nice little special edition blu-rays for Psycho II and Psycho III in years past so it was only a matter of time until they’d turn their attention to the fourth chapter of the series. That time has arrived and the new blu-ray edition offers a tidy little set for Psycho series fans.
The transfer looks quite good for a t.v. production, showing the care involved in the cinematography. Everything looks nice and sharp with appropriate colors (look out for the red and blue lighting in the flashbacks). The audio offers a lossless presentation of the original 2.0 stereo mix: it’s a nice, sturdy mix with crisp dialogue and a nice blend of scoring and sound effects.
There’s also a small but potent set of extras here for the fans…
Commentary: Mick Garris, Olivia Hussey and Henry Thomas all appear here, with Garris doubling as the track’s moderator. He gives a running commentary on the film’s themes and how he used his directorial tools to draw them out. He’s careful to keep Hussey and Thomas engaged and both stars offer an actorly analysis of their roles plus a few shooting stories. You’ll hear some interesting things about what it was like to shoot in the midst of working tourist attraction plus some great anecdotes from Garris about the challenges of directing a sometimes prickly Anthony Perkins.
The Making Of Mother (27:41): a substantial interview piece devoted to makeup FX artist Tony Gardner. He goes into detail about his realistic approach to designing the various incarnations of the “mother” dummy, including some interesting info about the unique challenges of doing makeup effects on location in Florida and the tactics he used to get Hussey on board for the substantial life-casting involved. He also speaks fondly of Garris’ inclusive working style and offers some nostalgic commentary on getting to work on a sequel to a childhood favorite.
Behind The Scenes (13:15): video footage taken from the radio show shoot in the film. Fans will be interested to see Garris’ mellow directorial style and John Landis and CCH Pounder cutting up between takes.
A Look At The Scoring (6:12): a quick montage of behind the scenes video taken during the film’s scoring sessions. Soundtrack fans will find it interesting to get a glimpse of an all-strings orchestra at work.
Photo Gallery (6:06): an animated image gallery that mixes stills with plentiful production photos.
To read Schlockmania’s film review of Psycho IV: The Beginning, click here.