After the death of PSYCHO's Norman Bates, his motel is left in the care of fellow mental patient Alex (Bud Cort, HAROLD AND MAUDE). Alex gets released from the institution and decides to open the Bates Motel again, but he's met with troubles all the way. Soon he befriends squatter Willie (Lori Petty, TANK GIRL), and the two refurbish the motel. After the grand opening, their first guest (Kerrie Keane) intends to kill herself, but she has some ghostly intervention in the guise of teens (Jason Bateman, Khrystyne Haje).

This proposed pilot for an anthology TV series based on the PSYCHO films originally aired on NBC. Anthony Perkins, the original Norman Bates, boycotted the production, as he was still making sequels which the script for BATES ignored. The film didn't gain enough interest to spawn a series, but it was rerun annually (strangely, around the 4th of July) for several years. It was never released on video in the USA (it's had several video releases abroad), and it dropped into obscurity until the sci-fi channel resurrected it around the turn of the century.