Happy Mother’s Day – Troma Style

As you know, this past weekend was Mother’s Day. This has been a bittersweet day for me the past two years due to the death of my mom in 2015. However, I spent the majority of the weekend doing something my mom absolutely loved – plant a summer garden. I went overboard this year – tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, peas, beans, brussel sprouts, cucumbers. If everything comes in I guess I’ll have to become a vegetarian.

I was pretty darn tuckered after two days working in the hot sun, and decided to settle in to watch a film I hadn’t seen before, but seemed entirely appropriate for the weekend – the 1980 slasher film Mother’s Day, directed by Charles Kaufman. This is a Troma production (see The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke’em High, Tromeo and Juliet, Surf Nazis Must Die)  Troma films are always a mixture of comedy and horror.  The gore tends to be on the heavy side. All are cult classics.  If you dig 80s horror (as I do) you must watch these at some point.

I don’t know why I had never seen this movie, but for some reason, given the title, I thought it would be about a killer (or killers) having their way on Mother’s Day. Makes sense. My Bloody Valentine took place on Valentine’s Day, Halloween on Halloween, etc. Naturally Mother’s Day would be about… Mother’s Day! Right?  Wrong! You think your family is dysfunctional? You haven’t meant Mother, Ike, and Adderly…

mothersday poster

Two brothers kidnap and brutalize three women for the pleasure of their demented mother.  – from IMdb.com

Simple plot – three women, college friends, make a pact to get together once a year for a weekend adventure. Each comes from a different background – one is a Beverly Hills socialite, one takes care of her ailing mother, and one has a lazy boyfriend who dates her because she takes care of him financially. Each year the women rotate on who decides where to adventure. This time around its a weekend in the creepy woods. After stopping at the only grocery store on the way to their destination to buy beer (causing quite a ruckus in the process – after all, they are only ten years out of college and are still rowdy…) they drive out into the woods, ditch the car, and hike about a mile or two deeper into the woods – where they are promptly attacked by two dudes wearing weird masks who tie them up in their sleeping bags and drag them back to their house. And Mother.

3

Mother has taught her strapping young men the finer points of being decent sons and bringing the right women home to mama – making the boys wipe their feet in shit before coming in the house; making one of the kidnapped women participate in various scenarios (play acting) with mama watching before her boys beat her up, rape her, and leave her for dead. You know, the usual.

No worries – the other two classmates (they call themselves “the rat pack”) decide enough is enough after their friend dies and plot to seek revenge on the boys. You could even say they had an axe to groin-d with them.  HAHAHAHAHA!

And Mother… well, there’s a reason why she is the way she is …. and she has to atone for her sins as well.

Troma films will never be confused for a decent horror film. They are shot on the cheap. They don’t care. They like making movies, and they like making them their way.

  • Fun Fact # 1:  The house where the movie was shot had been abandoned for about 15 years. The previous owner had been murdered there.
  • Fun Fact # 2: There was a dead body in the house when they scouted it for the shoot.

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Clocking in at 90 minutes, it’s a quick watch with a smattering of humor, some uncomfortable violence against women, some sweet revenge, and, of course, a wonderful performance by the actress portraying Mother. She really has a nice performance range.

Enjoy!

 

 

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