Mother’s Day (1980)

Article 3843 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-11-2012
Posting Date: 2-21-2012
Directed by Charles Kaufman
Featuring Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce, Tiana Pierce
Country: USA
What it is: Psycho killer with touches of satire

Three female college roommates get together for a reunion/mystery weekend and camp out in the wilderness, where they are abducted by a family of psychos, whose matriarch has taught her sons to murder, rape and torture for her enjoyment.

Most horror movies of this era with holidays for titles were slasher films, but this one kind of falls somewhere between THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT with touches of satire sprinkled into the mix. I remember it was somewhat reviled in its time, and I can see why; the attempts at humor juxtaposed with the brutality and suffering on display is an uneasy mixture to swallow, and since it’s another example of the victims turning the tables on their captors and employing equally violent means in the process, it’s in a very manipulative subgenre which is both seductive and repellent. My own take on the movie is that it doesn’t really work, largely because the attempt at satire doesn’t seem to have a real point to it; for example, it fails to really establish why the pop-culture obsessions of the psychos has any real bearing on their madness. It does manage to successfully pull the manipulative strings at times, but that’s not too difficult with this type of story. The final twist is unnecessary and rather stupid.

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