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Reviewed by: Ammon Gilbert

Directed by: Charles Kaufman

Nancy Hendrickson
Tiana Pierce
Deborah Luce

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What's it about
Three lifelong friends have a weekend getaway in the woods for some campfire stories, fishing, and an all-around good time. But their reunion is cut short when two psychopathic brothers abduct said friends and proceed to rape and torture them all in the name of pleasing their mother, a crotchety old bag who enjoys murder and mayhem about as much as she enjoys knitting sweaters.
Is it good movie?
The later Ď70s / early Ď80s was the golden era of low budget slasher films, starting from the success of HALLOWEEN to other classic hits like MY BLOODY VALENTINE and FRIDAY THE 13TH. Teens in the woods being hacked away by some killer psycho was still a novel idea at that time and it wasnít quite the epic clichť that it is today. And in the middle of the heyday was Charles Kaufmanís MOTHERíS DAY, a flick thatís part rape exploitation, part slasher, and part torture porn (before torture porn was cool) with a touch of comedy and that low budget flare that continues to shine through some 30 odd years later in this shiny new Blu-ray release.

What makes the film so damn likable amidst some of extremely brutal acts of violence are the characters of the killers themselves, Adley, Ike, and of course, Mother. Theyíre the kind of f*cks that you love to hate, as theyíre about as evil as any three characters can get, but at the same time thereís something so innocent and pure about them that you canít help but like them. In some weird way, you find yourself rooting for them to succeed in their demented plan, but in the same kind of way you root for Jason or Freddy to do their thing. No, somehow here the feeling is more genuine, and maybe itís because of the three women at the center of the mayhem.

Not only do you side with the killers, but the victims are also extremely likable here (though a bit annoying with their crying and totally irrational behavior towards the middle), putting the audience in a dilemma when the shit goes down. On the one hand, you want to see the brothers do some horrendous shit and you want to see their cracked-out mother do her thing, but at the same timeÖ you donít want to see harm done to these chicks as theyíre not as annoying or obnoxious as the same type of characters would be if the same film was made today.

The Blu-ray also looks fantastic here, with the digital transfer making the film look better than it ever had before. But unlike other grindhouse films that have gotten the Blu-ray treatment, MOTHERíS DAY retains itís down and dirty feel. Yes, the transfer looks great, but it stills looks like a trashy grindhouse movie, and keeping that type of integrity is key for a flick like this to work. The special features are also interesting, especially hearing Eli Roth talk about his love for the film as he brings up a ton of things the film has going for it that most people may have missed the first or second time around (the political angle, the take on TV and society, and the humor).

Video / Audio
Video: Like I stated earlier, the 1080i HD transfer (in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen) looks extraordinarily awesome here, yet it retains that same grimy grindhouse look and feel that really makes the film what it is.

Audio: While the transfer is in Dolby HD, itís still through a 2.0 system, just as the original was. With transfers like this, I always wish that the 5.1 treatment was given, but I understand that a low budget flick from over 30 years ago was never recorded in 5.1 in the first place, but stillÖ it would have been nice.

The Extras
Commentary: Fun little commentary track featuring director Charles Kaufman and assistant art director Rex Piano, giving all sorts of insights and tidbits into the making of the film. Their enthusiasm and love for the movie shines through here, making it one helluva entertaining commentary track.

Super 8 Behind the Scenes of the Original Motherís Day: Lloyd Kaufman talks over the Super 8 behind the scenes footage of the film, of which is totally remastered in HD. Looks pretty good considering the footage has been sitting in Kaufmanís garage for 30 years. Effects shots are tested and Kaufman gives insight into the making of the film throughout. A very interesting and hilarious

Original Motherís Day Trailer: The awesome trailer where the announcer warns that MOTHERíS DAY is so violent that they canít show anything in the trailer (on TV), so people better go see it in the theater if they want to see any of the crazy violence. One of the most classic grade A grindhouse trailers ever cut together.

Eli Roth on the Subversive Political Subtext of Motherís Day: Eli Rothís commentary on MOTHERíS DAY where Roth sits in front of a laptop cam straight from his living room. He talks about how he came to love the film and how influential the film was on him and his love of slasher / grindhouse films of the early 1980s. If thereís one thing Roth can do well is sit and talk for hours about classic horror flicks and thatís pretty much what he does here.

Motherís Day At Comic-Con: Charles Kaufman and director Darren Bousman sit and chat about MOTHERíS DAY behind the scenes at Comic-Con 2010. Some behind the scenes information is shared as well as Bousmanís love for the film and why he wanted to remake it in the first place. Bousman wanted to pay tribute and not remake it, as he loved the original so much. Very cool little feature, especially if youíre a fan of the remake or Bousman himself. Look for Lloyd Kaufman!

Last Call
MOTHERíS DAY is a perfect example of true grindhouse cinema, and for fans (new and old), the new Blu-ray release is up there as one of the best. The 1080p transfer looks fantastic yet still retains its ugly grittiness that we all know and love. The extra features are fun, informative, and entertaining, making this a Blu-ray every MOTHERíS DAY fan should have in their collection.
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