MTV Presents….Bates Motel Dance Party with Special Guest VJ Norman Bates!


When MTV becomes intolerable, Tony cracks the whip. “Osgood!” he bellows “lose it!”

-“Psycho II”, People Magazine Vol. 19, No. 23, June 13, 1983

The late Anthony Perkins may have had a very low tolerance for MTV, but at least he was intelligent enough to recognize the young cable channel’s rising value as a movie marketing tool.

When the Perkins-directed Psycho III was released two days prior to Independence Day in 1986 it was a resounding box office flop. Grossing a little over $14 million during its brief theatrical run the film’s first-run take could not compare to the $35 million rang up at the ticket counters by its predecessor Psycho II three summers before.

Psycho III was an early film composing assignment for longtime Coen Brothers collaborator Carter Burwell. In addition to the music score Burwell also wrote several original songs to be used as background accompaniment during select scenes. To help promote the release of the movie Universal Pictures commissioned a music video for one of those songs, titled “Scream of Love”, to be played on MTV. “Scream” could be heard in Psycho III during the sleazy motel room tryst between Jeff Fahey and Juliette Cummins (the latter previously seen having a machete shoved through her back and out her ample chest by faux Jason in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning).

The video featured a blonde actress who is unknown to me running around the Bates Motel running into black & white and color scenes from the original Psycho and its second sequel. Perkins keeps showing up throughout the video looking creepier than he ever did in the four Psycho movies. His long, gigantic face is even rear-projected into a window frame to create a disorienting effect. Robert Bloch‘s original Psycho novel also makes a cameo appearance, as does “Mother”. The saxophone portions of the song were performed by David Sanborn, not long before he became the sax machine for the Lethal Weapon soundtracks.

The funny thing about this music video is that if you listen to “Scream of Love” on its own chances are your imagination will conjure up something very close to what was shown on MTV in 1986.

Several different versions of “Scream” were created for Psycho III, the original motion picture soundtrack, and vinyl single releases. The mix used for the video is the one used for the O.S.T. album. You can listen to all four versions HERE.

For the premiere of the “Scream of Love” music video Perkins appeared on MTV that night as a special guest VJ. Here he is intro’ing the video right after playing a pair of Ozzy Osbourne songs back to back.

As a bonus here’s the extended version of “Scream” remixed by Arthur Baker.

One Response to “MTV Presents….Bates Motel Dance Party with Special Guest VJ Norman Bates!”

  1. Truthfully spoken about the state of MTV around that time,since it started transforming into a pop music channel that played numerous pop music,hair metal,and rap music videos in-between the Kurt Loder led MTV News and the Remote Control game show,with the latter MTV series driving MTV to slowly move away from music and toward non-music related televised shows(that would later fully take over MTV[along with VH1] and cause it to drop the music videos altogether. The god things,though,were that MTV was still watchable(before its further descent when the music videos were slowly fading away in the 00s/2000s) and that cool specials such as the Anthony Perkins guest veejay hour regularly happened(as well as the likes of Kiss and Robert Englund[as Freddy Krueger] having their very own guest veejay specials).


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