Friday, August 19, 2011


Official Psycho Parody starring Sara Sloane, Ryan McLane,Breanne Benson, Dane Cross, Eric Masterson, Francesca Le, Kagney Linn Karter, Katie Jordan, Lee Stone, Mark Wood, Michael Vegas, Tabitha Stevens and directed by Gary Orona

The Plot: In case there is anyone who hasn't seen the original Psycho (Is that possible?), here's a short plot summary - Woman wants to marry her boyfriend, but he wants to wait until they have some money set aside, since he is financially strapped. She steals cash from her employer and leaves town. She stops at a run down motel run by Norman Bates, who just happens to be a Psycho.

: First things first, even though this movie is titled Official Psycho Parody (I guess to distinguish it from any Unofficial one) this is not really a parody. Official Psycho Parody is what the big mainstream movie studios would call a re-imagining of an original movie. In this case, it just happens to be re-imagined as a porn movie.

Official Psycho Parody takes the basic premise as discussed in the plot summary above, then creatively comes up with its own interpretation of the main character, Norman Bates. The movie opens with titles and music very similar to the original Psycho. This sequence is in black and white, but as the movie begins it turns to color. [There is a black and white version on the extras disc OR you can just turn your color off, if you want to see Official Psycho Parody in black and white ala the original movie. Personally, the color didn't bother me.] Since Sara Sloane (a good casting choice for the Janet Leigh part) and her boyfriend are already in a hotel room at the start, I expected a sex scene but, to my surprise, the movie kept going and skipped that first sex scene many features insist on including, which can bog a plot down from the get-go.

After Sara goes back to the office, we get the plot set-up with her receiving money from one of her boss's clients, which she is supposed to take to the bank. Instead she steals the money, leaving town to meet her boyfriend and start a new life. Along the way she gets off the main road and stops at The Bates Motel, where she meets the proprietor Norman Bates (Ryan McLane, another good casting choice since McLane is able to to bring a certain twitchy creepiness to his role, reminding me of Anthony Perkins in Psycho). At this point the plot of Official Psycho Parody starts to deviate, for the most part, from the original Psycho with only the necessary inclusion of the shower scene.

I'm not going to spoil any more of the movie by going into further detail about the plot of Official Psycho Parody. I will just say it was wonderful to see someone put some thought and creativity into what could have been another run-of-the-mill endeavor. Although the plot makes logical sense and progresses from start to finish, the weakness of Official Psycho Parody comes when a couple of the sex scenes are inserted into the movie. Of the five sex scenes, two are logical, one borders on being logical and two are so illogical they almost seem as though the director is saying "wink wink nudge nudge" we're in a porn movie and now it's time for sex.

Even though it's played straight, the storyline/dialogue has a fair amount of humor with a few laugh out loud moments. A special mention should be made of Tabitha Stevens, who appears in a non-sex role in a couple of flashback sequences as Norman Bates' mother. She gives a superb over-the-top melodramatic performance.

The director, Gary Orona, understood using a minimalistic approach with music to create dramatic tension throughout Official Psycho Parody (Hmm, I wonder who he learned that from...oh yeah, that Hitchcock fellow) and how to use the right type of music. Considering all of the above, plus the great sets and the period costuming of the characters, Orona and his wife Stevens did a terrific job with Official Psycho Parody. If the sex scenes had been more fully integrated into the story line, I could have rated the movie a little bit higher; however, it still gets an A- from me.

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