The full contingent of Damn Dirty Geeks — Frank, Jack, Frank, Trish and Scott — spent a wonderful and informative evening with actor/screenwriter/director Tom Holland to discuss his successful filmmaking career and his daunting task of writing the 1983 sequel to Alfred Hitchcock’s innovative horror thriller PSYCHO.

Tom Holland and Psycho II

by Damn Dirty Geeks

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Norman Bates comes home again in the tense sequel PSYCHO II, written by Damn Dirty Geeks podcast guest Tom Holland.PSYCHO II began as a humble, low-budget cable film but Holland’s taut, suspenseful script persuaded star Anthony Perkins to reprise his role as Norman Bates, a casting coup that launched this sequel project into the publicity stratosphere — even if its production budget didn’t follow.

Holland shares his earliest experiences as a theater actor with contemporary Al Pacino, a contract player at Warner Brothers in the early 1960s, and his evolution into one of Hollywood’s top screenwriters of notable films including PSYCHO II, FRIGHT NIGHT and CHILD’S PLAY among many others.

The Damn Dirty Geeks and friend: (L to R) Frank Woodward, Frank Dietz, special guest Tom Holland, Trish Geiger, Scott Weitz, Jack Bennett.

The DDG’s second-part podcast with Tom Holland celebrating the 30th anniversary of his witty vampire film FRIGHT NIGHT is now online.

Special thanks to Brice Cranston for engineering audio for this episode and composing our fantastic Damn Dirty Geeks theme we proudly present in every episode.


Trivia: In 1982, author Robert Bloch’s novel sequel titled Psycho II was published with a very different plot than what appeared in the 1983 feature film. Universal Studios, reportedly disliking Bloch’s take on Norman Bates’ further narrative, bought the film writes to the novel sight unseen but urged the author not to publish it. Block refused Universal’s request and published the sequel to his own 1959 thriller, a tale of Bates escaping the institution and traveling to Hollywood to stop a film based on his life from being made. Bloch’s new book, intended to be a critique of the slasher film genre that Hitchcock’s film helped invent, enjoyed moderately good sales upon publication. The studio ignored Bloch’s story and commissioned an original script for their own cinematic sequel, eventually hiring Tom Holland to write the script and recommending he never read Bloch’s novel (which he never did). It was the strength and development of Norman Bates’ character in Holland’s script that enticed Anthony Perkins back to reprise his most famous film character.

Trivia: Anthony Perkins’ agreement to return as Norman Bates, and the worldwide publicity boon resulting from his casting announcement, convinced Universal Studios to elevate PSYCHO II production from a made-for-cable movie to a major theatrical release.

Trivia: PSYCHO II screenwriter Tom Holland portrays Deputy Norris in the film, and director Richard Franklin appears playing a video game in the diner where Norman works.

TOM HOLLAND’S TERROR TIME – your online source for all movies and collectible memorabilia from Tom’s films – Official Site and Facebook
FACEBOOK – Don’t miss a thrilling update, follow Tom Holland on his official Facebook page
TWITTER – Like and follow Tom Holland on his official Twitter feed @RealTomHolland
1983 THEATRICAL TRAILER – with a direct reference to Hitchcock’s 1960 masterpiece, Norman Bates comes home again – YouTube
PSYCHO II – purchase the Blu-ray Collectors Edition including all-new commentary, autographed by Tom Holland – TerrorTime
PSYCHO II MINI POSTER – purchase a PSYCHO II mini poster autographed by Tom Holland – TerrorTime
PSYCHO – purchase Alfred Hitchcock’s original masterpiece in a Blu-ray/Digital HD Ultraviolet Edition –
THE PSYCHO LEGACY – this 2-disc documentary spans the entire PSYCHO film franchise with dozens of cast/crew interviews –
PSYCHO – purchase Robert Bloch’s original 1959 novel that launched Hitchcock’s terrifying thriller in theaters –

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You can find further info and episode show notes on our Damn Dirty Geeks Facebook page. Artwork is © 2001 Frank Dietz.