One of the scariest locales in horror film history is about to re-open for business- but on a smaller screen. The Bates Motel is putting out the “vacancy” sign again, since the A & E cable network has decided to bring “Psycho” fans a new series inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s unforgettable film. The series- “Bates Motel”- is, according to Entertainment Weekly’s “Inside TV” cyber column, a new take on the character of Norman Bates- the quiet motel manager with the hidden dark side. The producers promise to show us the “formative years “of Norman, his interactions with his mother Norma, and the twisted world they inhabit. We’ll witness the events that help Norma turn her shy son into the sly serial killer who made countless people fear taking showers. The show, which will premiere in 2013, will have an initial season of ten episodes- then, we’ll see if the “no vacancy” sign goes up…but, with its pedigree of having the show run by Carlton Cuse of “Lost” and Kerry Ehrin of “Friday Night Lights”- travelers who get “lost” and see the “lights” of the motel sign may just get sucked into a continuing story with hot and cold running terror for seasons to come. There have been attempts, both on the big screen and on TV, to try to recapture the chills of the Bates Motel and/or provide the back story to why Norman turned out the way he did- we had “Psycho II” and “Psycho III”, and a couple TV movies- one with Anthony Perkins, “E.T”s Henry Thomas as young Norman, and Olivia Hussey as his mother (whoa-mama!) called “Psycho IV: the Beginning” that delved into the past history of Norman Bates and his mom, and one with Bud Cort as Norman that was hoped to spawn a series, but never did. Will this latest version be the one that works? Somebody call your mama! (…not YOU, Norman- please!) Speaking of other murderous movies, I read an article recently that made me laugh- it indicated that, for “Abraham Lincoln-Vampire Hunter”- one of the necessary staff members when they were shooting in the Louisiana swamps was-an alligator whisperer! His job- to make sure the cast and crew didn’t become victims of a nasty bite- not from the vampires, but from the many gators that occupy the creek bottoms where the movie was filming! One Jeff Galpin, a master at handling nasty reptiles , not only helped remove alligators from the set, but various snakes as well- water moccasins, corn and King snakes. He’d pretty much just capture them and humanely deposit them elsewhere- a fair enough distance away from the shooting site. Galpin says they put everything they found back somewhere else- still alive and kicking- or squirming…he wasn’t always a ‘gator wrangler- he spent a few years as a narcotics agent and police officer in New Orleans! The best way to cool down a hot-headed gator? Galpin says it’s simple- you literally cool it off! Just by putting the alligator in a room that’s around seventy degrees- comfy for us, but cold for a gator- you slow down the nasty beast’s metabolism, and he’s easier to handle. I will probably be thinking of that 70 degree room tonight- when you join me for a hot time at Silver Cross Field for the Joliet Slammers game on “Friday Fright Night”! I’ll be there to sign autographs and take pictures with you, and, of course, cheer on the Slammers! Game time is 7 pm- with fireworks after the game. Click on the “appearances” tab on this site for more information, as well as the full story on our Sunday visit to the lake in the Hills Rockin’ Ribfest!