Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mother's Day (1980) Review

Mother's Day posterDirector: Charles Kaufman
Stars: Nancy Hendrickson, Rose Ross, Holden McGuire
Genre: Horror, Exploitation

I probably enjoyed this movie way more than I should have. It's a Troma film, and an early one at that, so I obviously didn't go into it expecting anything amazing, but I was surprised just how much fun it was.

It's about these three friends (all girls) who go out camping in the woods. Two redneck brothers kidnap them and bring them home to their mother, who the brothers worship. They're all sadistic as hell, even the old lady mother. Definitely an example of Hixploitation. Anyway, the girls must fight their way to safety, and it has a kind of Rape & Revenge edge to it.

Of course it doesn't have a great plot, of course the acting is amateur, of course it's a very obviously low-budget film. That's Troma for ya. This was an earlier Troma release though. I like to classify it as Pre-Toxic Avenger. Before they were making blatant horror-comedies, they made films like this, that had a much more exploitation feel to it. Mother's Day was obviously influenced by the likes of Last House on the Left or Day of the Woman (I Spit on Your Grave).

There is a sense of humor present though. You can tell they didn't take themselves too seriously while they were making it. This is most evidenced in the redneck brothers; they're Troma characters through and through. If you're familiar with Troma films and have that sick sense of humor then you'll definitely find some enjoyment in here. 

I also love how this film has absolutely nothing to do with Mother's Day (as in the holiday). It's name was obviously trying to appeal to the trend that was going on after Halloween was released, of holiday themed slashers.

I think this movie might also hold the record for most upskirt shots on camera. Seriously, you see up the girls' skirts at least once a minute. I can't say it's unwelcomed though. Also for some reason the redneck, Ike, reminded me a lot of Robert from Everybody Loves Raymond...is that weird?

Ike in Mother's Day

Oh, and the ending is awesome. Seriously, that ending really satisfied me and left me with a huge smile on my face.

The soundtrack is a typical horror score, with music placed accordingly to add tension and whatnot. However, there is one notable song in here. "I Think We're Alone Now" performed by Tommy James & the Shondells. Most are probably, like me, more familiar with the later cover version by '80s pop-singer Tiffany. That song is a guilty pleasure of mine (the Tiffany version) and I always thought it'd be great in a horror movie. It was cool to hear it in here.

The effects (which are most prominent in the latter half of the film) are decent enough. Lots of blood mostly. The kills are pretty cool too. Gorehounds will be amused.

Kissing a dead girl in Mother's Day

There's not much to say about Mother's Day; if you know what you're getting into it's a pretty fun ride. Check it out. There's also, oddly enough, a remake to this film made under the same title.

3/5 stars

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