Psycho II (novel)
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First edition hardcover
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Followed by||Psycho House|
Psycho II is a 1982 novel that Robert Bloch wrote as a sequel to his 1959 novel Psycho. The novel was completed before the screenplay was written for the unrelated 1983 film Psycho II. According to Bloch, Universal Studios loathed the novel, which was intended to critique Hollywood splatter films. A different story was created for the film and Bloch was not invited to any screenings. Universal suggested that Bloch abandon his novel, which he declined and released anyway to good sales.
Norman Bates has spent the last two decades locked up in a mental asylum after the events in the first novel. His psychiatrist Dr. Adam Claiborne has spent the last two decades working with him and has hopes of one day becoming famous by curing him. His plans come crashing down after Norman murders a visiting nun, strangling her with her rosary beads. then steals her outfit and walks out. He gets in the van with the other visiting nun and kills her with a tire iron, then rapes her dead body. As he drives away, he spots a hitchhiker and picks him up with plans to kill him and use his body to fake his death.
Later that night, the police find the van on fire with the charred remains of the nun and an unidentified man presumed to be Norman. Since this happened at the same time as a massive car pile up, they are exhausting their resources trying to identify the victims to notify their next of kin and can't get around to positively identifying Norman's remains.
Meanwhile, across town, Sam and Lila Loomis are murdered by an assailant with a knife. Claiborne is convinced that Norman faked his death and proceeded to kill them. The police are skeptical. As they are surveying the crime scene, they see a news article talking about a movie being made based on Norman's life. Claiborne is convinced that Norman is going to Hollywood to stop this movie by killing everybody, so he heads out there to stop him.
Fearing the worst, he gets a job as a technical consultant on the film to keep an eye on everything. He gets introduced to the cast and crew, including director Vizzini, who is the spitting image of Norman 20 years ago. Claiborne keeps thinking that something bad is going to happen, but nobody believes him until the movie producer gets decapitated with a meat cleaver.
Meanwhile, it is revealed that Vizzini's mother was raped and murdered when he was a child and the trauma from it has affected his sexual morality. He calls the actress playing Marion Crane to the movie studio where the shower murder is going to happen under the guise of rehearsing the scene, but he is really planning on raping and murdering her. Claiborne and Ames are investigating the producers murder when he finds out that Vizzini has called the actress to the studio and suspects that something isn't right, so he heads out to the movie studio to stop him.
Right after Claiborne leaves, Ames gets a phone call from the officer investigating Norman's disappearance. It turns out that they have finally identified the charred remains in the van. They are in fact Norman's remains. It turns out the hitchhiker was picked up and Norman tried to kill him with a crowbar, but the hitchhiker grabbed it from him and killed him with it instead. And the hitchhiker was worried about going to jail, so he burned the van to hide the evidence. However, Norman was disguised as a nun and the hitchhiker thought he really killed a nun and his conscience finally got the better of him and he turned himself in. Ames concludes that if Norman is dead, then Vizzini must have killed the producer and he must be planning on killing the actress, so he calls the police.
Meanwhile, Vizzini starts trying to rape the actress, but she fights back. She pushes him into the shower stall and he lets out a scream. A moment later, he falls forward with a knife wound from an assailant hiding in the shower. The assailant picks up the knife and approaches the actress. Just before he can stab her, the cops show up and shoot him. As he falls, he is revealed to be Adam Claiborne.
He survives the shooting and gets committed to the very asylum that Norman spent 20 years in. His colleague deduces that when Norman died, Adam realized his career was finished and the trauma of it gave him a split personality of Norman. This personality killed Sam and Lila. Then he killed the producer and the director of the movie. Now, his colleague is hoping that he will one day be cured, but he is not very hopeful.
- "Interviews - From Psycho to Asylum: The Horror Films of Robert Bloch". The Unofficial Robert Bloch Website. Retrieved 2006-09-18.
- "Biography - The Mad Hatters of Hollywood". The Unofficial Robert Bloch Website. Retrieved 2006-09-18.