MOTHER'S DAY MASSACRE
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A bunch of teenagers are out looking for a field of weed while one of them is looking for his long-lost Mom (he's tired of living with his abusive, insane religious father). Unfortunately for them, they run into some insane hillbillies who are bent on tearing them apart.
Is it good movie?
In some ways, this movie breaks a lot of conventions that the average indie movie throws at you. Usually when I am forced to endure an indie slasher that seems to be painted with broad strokes, I know I'm in for some really lowbrow, low-budget garbage that will typically take me a few sittings to get through. I can happily say that this was not the case with Mother's Day Massacre, although it does still fall in a few holes along the way.
First of all, the biggest points need to go to the acting side of things. Although some of these roles are really, really out there and feature some pretty zany characters I was pretty impressed with the performances here. The teenagers are pretty good little actors, and they've got some good dialogue to deal with. I know that might sound insane, but yes, the dialogue is pretty well written and the actions of the characters are not completely reprehensible. The hillbillies are pretty good too, Jesus, the giant bald mute redneck is rather badass, the Mom is overplayed like crazy, but the other son is miscast and feels as though he doesn't belong.
As for the story, it isn't as straightforward as you might think. Although it doesn't take a brain surgeon to understand what's going on in this movie, it could have just been completely linear and I was glad to see a slight twist about midway through the story. There may even be a point or two where you might think a little differently about some of the characters, but if you don't see it that way I could understand why. The subplot with Tex, the evil pseudo-religious father works pretty well and his character is played evilly by Greg Travis.
This is a seriously gory flick as well, which I was happy about. There's nothing worse than watching a slasher flick that doesn't supply creative ways to spread its jam and this one does it well. I won't ruin it for you but there are some pretty creative ways to get wet in this film. On a final critical note, I must mention that I felt that this movie didn't seem to accomplish the right vibe when it came to the soundtrack. The soundtrack is grating, annoying, sounds cheap and just didn't fit with me at all.
Video / Audio
There are no audio or video specs listed.
There is a commentary track with the director Jeff Roenning and post production crew, and it is informative but kind of jumps all over the place as the crew is getting drunk as the commentary goes along. This is a fun track but it is hard to listen to it the whole way through. There's a cool bit where they bring in a pedestrian off the street to watch the flick with them for the first time.
Head Surgery with Doug DeVore is a short visual effects featurette about making a headshot happen on a very low budget. It's interesting enough although it only runs about 6 minutes long and is really a DIY thing you could do at home with the right tools.
If you love deleted scenes, there are eleven minutes worth of them to be found here.
There are also a few interviews with the cast, about 8 of them but they don't really add anything to the proceedings because they're all about 3 minutes long and feature the actors just talking about who they play, with about a minute of movie footage interspersed in there.
There's also a featurette that gives some good insight into the making of the film, running about a half an hour long and discussing some of the trials and tribulations in creating Hot Baby, which later became known as Mother's Day Massacre. If you like your stuff guided though beware, because this is a lot of fly on the wall sort of stuff pieced together.
I dug this flick, it was undoubtedly better than I expected although a few shortcomings keep it from being awesome. There are a lot of people getting killed and the movie has a story that's relatively compelling enough to keep you interested. Check it out if you get an opportunity.