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The F*cking Black Sheep: Mother's Day (1980)

May. 23, 2013by: Ryan Doom
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THE BLACK SHEEP is an ongoing column featuring different takes on films that either the writer HATED, but that the majority of film fans LOVED, or that the writer LOVED, but that most others LOATH. We're hoping this column will promote constructive and geek fueled discussion. Dig in!

Mothers Day (1980)
Directed by Charles Kaufman

Its brutal but bizarrely creative.

Roger Ebert famously hated Mothers Day. In 1980, he wrote (for the Chicago Sun-Times), So far there seems to be no end to the vogue for geek films. And there seems to be no limit to the inhuman imagery their makers are prepared to portray in them. He then concluded with the death nail, The question, of course, of why anybody of any age would possibly want to see this film remains without an answer. Well, as much as Ebert knew films, his reviews were for the masses, recommending films to anyone and everyone. Thankfully, with bloody fantastic sites like this one, fans know where to go to enjoy the movies they love without shame. Agree or disagree, at least were all in one big ass king sized bed together (though I get my own pillow).

With that said, I've never been a big fan of Troma movies. There's good stuff I'm sure but it usually doesnt work for me. The comedy and the gore always seem too over the top, too stupid. I realize their productions are done on the cheap, but the end production always looked flea market cheap, and to me that always hurts the final product. Yeah, I know thats their charm, and Im sure some folks thought the dumb mute Michael Myershascharm too. If anything, Troma pushed the envelope of good taste, which I'm all for even if I dont always dig the final product.

Anyway, like I said there's some good stuff too like Class of Nuke Em High or The Toxic Avenger or Tromeo and Juliet. Head Troma man Lloyd Kaufman has always been the face of the company, but his brother Charles directed one of the companys early notable and perhaps best flicks: Mothers Day (probably known today because of the 2010 remake with Rebecca De Mornay)

Mothers Day is one mean movie...particularlyagainst women, which of course plays with the title. It all begins when three old college gals decide to reconcile for their ten year reunion with a camping trip. Well, that sounds like a good idea until they camp in placewhere Mother (50s TV star Beatrice Pons) and her two strapping boys live to torture and kill unsuspecting people. Pons is the star here, and shes great in the role, entertainingly sadistic. Im surprised it didnt give her a second career as an old, witty killer as she trains her two boys to be the best at raping and beating women.

Parts of it remind me of a couple films...old and new. The modern reminder comes from The Devils Rejects in terms of its brutality. If anything, while I have never been a fan of Devils Rejects, butI dig this one because despite the unrelenting violence here, it's still entertaining.Then it reminds of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Not so much the whole chainsaw thing, but the backwoods family with major, major issues. For example, in one scene the boys bring out one of their kidnapped victims, make her play for them with different scenerios before being beaten senseless,raped, and murderedall while Mother watches with approval from a chair. Its brutal but bizarrely creative.

If anything Mothers Day is a creative flick withsome memorable scenes. For example, one morning after a good ol' fashion murder, the brothers are awakened by their Big Bird alarm clock and then proceed to brush their teeth with beer and apply Lysol first to maintain the hiar style and then use it as deodorant. Then theres the prank in the ballpark where a nude dude runs away naked to I Think We're Alone Now. Or when the boys come home and Motherpushes them back out until they wipe their feet in shit before coming into the house. Or the beginning scene where Mother picks up two killer hippies at a self-help group and then lets her boys chop off one of their heads. Like I said, brutal but bizarrely creative.

What makes Mothers Day work is that unlike most Troma films, this one found that weird balance between cheese and humor and violence and torture. Thats something that few films in the B world ever find, and the ones that do usuallybecome the cult classics. Mothers Day isn't for everyone as Ebert once said not as nicely. But if you dig old school 80s horror films, you'll dig this one.

GET MOTHERS DAY DVD HERE

GET MOTHERS DAY BLU RAY HERE

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12:40AM on 05/24/2013
I love this movie and I definitely see a lot more creativity there than most people do. I really did care about the girls but at the same time I found the villains entertaining, so I'd say the film did a pretty damn good job. The remake is even better too!
I love this movie and I definitely see a lot more creativity there than most people do. I really did care about the girls but at the same time I found the villains entertaining, so I'd say the film did a pretty damn good job. The remake is even better too!
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6:51PM on 05/23/2013
I always loved the goof where the girl in the car screams at the sight of the knife, she gets sprayed with blood, THEN the camera cuts to the actual beheading. Goofs like that gave this movie a great bit of charm. A classic that I dug for at flea markets for years on VHS after hearing my parents talk about seeing it in theaters before I was born.
I always loved the goof where the girl in the car screams at the sight of the knife, she gets sprayed with blood, THEN the camera cuts to the actual beheading. Goofs like that gave this movie a great bit of charm. A classic that I dug for at flea markets for years on VHS after hearing my parents talk about seeing it in theaters before I was born.
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