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Giving you the creeps

The Baltimore Sun

Movies featuring a bunch of profoundly disturbed people dominate today's TV schedule. What better way to celebrate the Saturday before Halloween?

That most messed-up of mama's boys, Norman Bates, gets to show off his prowess with a knife in Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece of horror, suspense and misdirection, Psycho (8 p.m., TCM). The 1960 film, made cheap and fast by the unit that worked with Hitchcock on his television show, packs more surprises than a truckload of Cracker Jacks. But often overlooked is the mastery of Anthony Perkins' performance as Norman.

Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (10 p.m., TCM), also from 1960, casts Carl Boehm as the ultimate voyeur. His Mark Lewis specializes in filming women with a 16 mm movie camera - not so bad except that he films them as they're being stabbed by a lance protruding from it, so he can catch their dying expressions. The movie, so creepy and out-there that it practically wrecked Powell's career, has been championed by Martin Scorsese.

Over on AMC, it's boogie man Michael Myers leaving his mark all over Haddonfield, Ill., in the Halloween franchise. The movie that started it all, 1978's Halloween (noon), remains one of cinema's most effective exercises in horror, not to mention one of the greatest films of the 1970s. All that, and it gave Jamie Lee Curtis her first film role. Although none of the sequels lives up to the original, all have strengths of their own. AMC unspools 1988's Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (2 p.m.), 1989's Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (4 p.m.) and 1995's Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (6 p.m.).

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