"The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world."
-William Ross Wallace
Movies don’t get much more graphic in violent content than Mother’s Day, unless you’re watching Henry-Portrait of A Serial Killer or the original Last House On The Left. The title of the film might suggest that this is some fluffy, sentimental chick flick dedicated to all mothers on Mother’s Day. It isn’t. The film is a full-blown exploitation, horror story. I would not recommend that any self-respecting mother watch this film because of the extreme violence, particularly against women.
Mother’s Day was directed, produced and written by Charles Kaufman, brother of Lloyd Kaufman of Troma films. Only the sick minds at Troma could come up with a film like Mother’s Day, which would be a compliment to the folks at Troma. Troma is responsible for such cult classic(k)s as: The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke ‘Em High, Surf Nazis Must Die and Redneck Zombies. The Kaufman brothers cast their mother in the roll of mama. Their sister, Susan Kaufman, served as production designer. It appears that Mother’s Day is indeed a family affair, no pun intended.
Three women named Abbey, Jackie and Trina get together for a reunion. The three were college roommates at Wolfbreath College in the 1970s. They travel to the Deep Barrens camp area in New Jersey and camp next to a beautiful lake.
The next morning, two hillbilly brothers named Ike and Addley witness the girls skinny-dipping in the lake. Apparently their mother named them after two 1950s politicians – Eisenhower and Stevenson. That night the boys attack the girls, tie them inside their sleeping bags and drag them back to their backwoods home. The girls are tied to some exercise equipment in an upstairs room.
Jackie is later dragged out of the room and forced to act out scenes from movies with the two brothers as their mother watches. Jackie refuses to participate, so she is raped and beaten by one of the boys, then stuffed in a dresser drawer.
Abby and Trina are able to escape and find Jackie in the dresser. Jackie is unable to walk, so the two girls quietly carry her out of the house and back into the woods. Abbey decides to stay and watch over Jackie while Trina goes for help. While Trina is gone, Jackie dies. Trina returns after finding their car inoperative. The two girls decide to avenge Jackie’s death by returning to the house to kill the mother and her two boys.
One of the boys is stabbed in the neck with a TV antenna and clawed in his groin with a hammer. The other boy has drain cleaner poured down his throat and a TV set bashed over his head. Mama is smothered to death with a plastic pillow in the shape of large breasts.
Despite the extreme graphic violence and low budget, there is not much to fault with in Mother’s Day. The acting is well above average and the plot is direct and easy to follow. Even to this day, Mother’s Day remains in the top 100 highest grossing independent films of all time. That says something about the film, good or bad.
This Mother’s Day, keep your mother away from a film like Mother’s Day. She deserves a nice bouquet of flowers, a bottle of perfume and a nice greeting card. After all, she’s earned it. She’s your mother. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!!