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Released: Dec 21st, 2010
Running Time: 124 Min.
Director: Gary Orona
Company: Zero Tolerance Entertainment
DVD Extras: Behind the Scenes Featurettes, Cumshot Recap, Still Gallery(ies), Trailer(s), Widescreen
Cast: Mark Wood, Katie Jordin, Ryan McLane, Breanne Benson, Kagney Linn Karter, Francesca Lé, Lee Stone, Sarah Vandella, Eric Masterson, Dane Cross, Michael Vegas
Critical Rating: AAAA 1/2
This twisted interpretation of Hitchcock's classic features a sexually explosive performance by Sara Sloane as Marion Crane, the temptress who steals a wad of cash to be with her hot lover, Sam. At the infamous Bates Motel, Marion meets her kinky match in Norman, the cross-dressing taxidermist who spies on Marion through a peephole in her hotel room and becomes obsessed. He invites her to dinner where her sick psycho-sexual fetish is not the only thing that gets exposed, then later he takes her life in the faithfully recreated shower scene with one departure: it's fully nude! It's too late for Marion by the time the horny gumshoe detective comes to investigate, and when he blows town with a local hooker who blows him, Sam and Marion's sister Lila are the only ones left to lay bare the truth, and each other.
To give a slash-'em-up schlockfest like Friday the 13th the XXX treatment is one thing; to do it to a hallowed cinematic classic like Psycho is quite another. And while we're not quite ready to declare Gary Orona the next Hitchcock, we will say he does a laudable and at times even uncanny job of handling the decidedly more sacred source material for this second in his nascent series of horror film pornifications for Zero Tolerance.
The full effect of Official Psycho Parody's approximation of the original's look and feel only comes into true focus, naturally, with the black and white version offered on disc two of this dual set, and purists (such as your humble critic) are strongly urged to avail themselves of that option. Those who cannot (for whatever unaccountable reason) conceive of sex in black and white as hot may choose to stick with the color version, of course, but either way, there's plenty here to be savored by all.
The always superb Sara Sloane—in one of her last projects under contract with ZT before going freelance and reverting to using her original stage name of Sarah Vandella—inherits Janet Leigh's iconic Marion Crane role, replete with the indelible shower slaying, and she's a joy to watch, even given her penchant for excessive over-emoting.
Among the liberties Orona takes with the Psycho storyline is some fun skewing of the interaction between Marion and Norman Bates (Ryan McLane) in the back room of his office. Norman's explanation of his taxidermy hobby actually turns Marion rabidly hot and bothered, and she demands that he "take" her right then and there. And so he does, first bending her over her chair and pounding her in doggie, then moving onto the floor for cowgirl and mish.
Following Marion's aforementioned soapy demise, Lee Stone turns up in the role of Martin Balsam's snoopy detective, who Norman sends up the road to another hotel where he picks up prostitute Kagney Linn Karter and has his jollies with her on the bed.
Hot on his heels, Marion's lover Sam (Michael Vegas) and her sister Lila (Breanne Benson) appear. Once they realize the fate with which poor Marion has met, they console one another with a cathartic bumping of uglies. (That is, after Vegas gets off the movie's very best line: "You're left without a sister, and I am once again a single, available man with burning loins and no garden to sow my seed.")
Is Official Psycho Parody sacrilegious? Depends who you ask, we suppose, but any cineaste with a healthy sense of humor (and an appreciation for good ol' hardcore fucking, natch) should enjoy it. We certainly have to give Orona and producer Tabitha Stevens credit for their acute attention to detail ... including taking the unusual time and effort to cover up Benson's anachronistic tattoos. But there's so much more to praise, not the least of which being McLane's deft channeling of Anthony Perkins as Bates.
Our verdict: the first great parody we've seen this year.