Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bates Motel Movie Review 398

Bates Motel is a 1987 horror/thriller directed by Richard Rothstein and starring Bud Cort and Lori Petty.It was intended to be a pilot for a Psycho themed TV show, but it was never picked up.

The movie begins with Norman Bates being taken away to an institution. There is a young boy there who has some problems and the doctor thinks that Norman might be able to connect with him. The young boy is called Alex(Cort) and he and Norman hit it off and become best friends. Norman dies and Alex is very sad about it as Norman was his best pal. He makes a moving speech at his funeral. His doctor thinks that he can be released from the institution. Alex is reluctant as he doesn't fit in there anymore. Alex is surprised when Norman leaves his motel to him. He decides that he will go and make the motel into a success again as a tribute to Norman. He goes to Fairville to find the motel.
He meets a guy called Henry(Moses Gunn) who used to work at the Bates Motel. He drives Alex there. The motel is in ruins. He looks around. The place is spooky.

Alex decides to apply for a loan to redo the place. He meets with Tom Fuller(Gregg Henry) at the back and talks to him about it. Tom tells him that the land he has is worth a lot of money and he thinks that Alex should sell it. Alex tells him that he wants to reopen Bates Motel and Tom thinks that he is crazy to do it, but they work out something. Alex goes back to the motel and runs into a woman called Willy(Petty) who was been living in the place for three months. She doesn't want to leave it.
She tells him that she will stay on at the motel to help him out. Alex wants to do it on his own. Alex gets an architect and they discuss the plans for the motel. The architect wants to modernise the place, but Alex is happy enough with it as it is. Willy turns up and helps Alex to get things done. Alex talks to Henry and offers him a job as the foreman at the motel.

Bad things happen on the job and they uncover a body at the motel. It is Mrs Bates. Alex sees someone in black at the funeral of Mrs Bates. No one else has seen her. Willy wants to be a chef in the new cafe at the motel. She falls out with Alex and leaves the motel again. Alex meets Tom who tells him that weird things happened at the motel. The workers find another body and they think that it is Norman's father, Jake who disappeared years ago. Alex sees the neon sign come on at the motel by itself and he sees a figure in black at the window. He runs up to the house but there is nobody there. He sees a dead body and thinks that he is crazy. Willy shows up and he tells her what happened. Willy thinks that someone might be trying to scare him away from the motel. He calls the cops but they find nothing suspicious. Willy decides to stay and the motel gets done.

Finally,everything is ready. Alex is nervous about opening night as he has to pay the bank by the next day. They get one customer and things start looking up. Cars full of kids show up and the place is buzzing. One of the guests is called Barbara Peters(Kerrie Keane) and she is going to kill herself in one of the rooms. She is depressed as she is no longer as young as she was and she feels old. She is just about to do it when she is stopped by a young girl Sally(Khrystyne Haje) who talks her into dressing up and going to a party. She meets a young man called Tony(Jason Bateman) and they have a connection immediately. They dance and he goes back to her room. She tells him that he is too young for her. She goes back to her room and she is visited by Sally once more. She discovers that Sally and her friends are all ghosts who killed themselves when they were alive. Barbara is horrified but it makes her see sense.

Alex sees the figure in the window and he runs into the house to see who it is. The figure comes down the stairs with a knife telling him to get out. Henry tackles the ghost and they discover that it is Tom who was trying to scare Alex out of the place so he would sell it to developers. Willy is dressed as Mrs Bates and she scared a confession out of Tom which she tapes. They blackmail him into coming to a more reasonable settlement with Alex about the motel. Sally leaves the motel the next day and she is very happy and full of life again. The movie ends with Alex saying goodbye. It was meant to be the start of a TV series so that makes sense. I enjoyed this movie even if it was a bit
simple plot wise. I think that it would have made a good TV show and I would have watched it. Some of the acting is a little ropey in parts, but all in all, this is an enjoyable TV movie. I will give it a 5/10.


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