While the early word on the plot of the remake has Darren Bousman’s Mother’s Day seeming like a far cry from the Troma original, I thought during this weak ass horror week I’d take a trip back to 1980 and freshen up on the original. As one of the earlier Troma pictures, it’s also one of their better ones – though whether you put stock in that statement is a personal thing. Me, I dig on some of Troma’s work but am definitely not a loyalist.
Mother’s Day finds a group of three college friends, since grown up and on their own, getting back together for their yearly reconnect. This time they decide to go camping in an out of the way area, despite being warned off by a local shop owner. If only his warning was more clear and concise, like “don’t go out there or you’ll be raped to death.” That’s the kind of thing that gets someones attention.
Six people start the film breathing, but end it blank eyed and sucking dirt.
We see a head get chopped off and two people are strangled. There is a throat stab, some draino to the mouth, a bit of rape, a TV smashed to the head, some beatings, and a hatchet to the dick. One person is also smothered to death with a balloon titty. No joke.
We see some bikinis, some butts (male and female), a boob, though most of it comes during the rape scene, so not really anything you should be getting excited over. For pervs like Rob Hunter, we also see a bare female foot step into bear shit, which I’m pretty sure is his fetish.
When you’re told to steer clear of an area, stay the fuck out.
Mother’s Day is very typical of the time period, and of Troma itself. What does this translate to? Basically a film that is low budget and darkly fun, but also one that has sort of an inflated following around it because of the controversy it caused at the time. This is one of the films you may hear about when people talk about older movies being brutal and the like. The same talk you’ve heard about The Last House on the Left or I Spit on Your Grave. Films that, at the time, did shock people, but when viewed today seem almost laughable with their overlit scenes and goofy, non-threatening rapists. Back then, you didn’t have to watch out for aggressive, physical men, but rather groups of marauding inbreds.
Thirty years ago this was probably a crazy trip to the cinema – indeed, the idea behind it is pretty messed up. A group of dullard sons entertain their mother by murdering dudes and kidnapping women. Once they’ve taken their female hostages, they act out semi-scripted rape scenes for their mother. Sounds terrifying right? It sure could be, if it weren’t so damn silly. Films like this are awkward when, after raping someone to death, the hillbillies go through a combat training montage.
No, I’m not joking. In the middle of the film the two brothers are trained by their mother. They punch and stab potato sacks, wrestle, smash watermelons, and hit coconuts with faces drawn on them with two by fours. They even throw knives at a picture of Anne Frank – a very Troma joke.
Another problem with movies of this era is the violence – when it happens, it can be pretty brutal, but in 90 minutes we’re faced with maybe 8 minutes of violence and 82 minutes of combat training and this and that. You could use Mother’s Day to teach a masterclass on over hyped exploitation horror, right down to the shock ending – which actually was pretty cool here.
With changes or not, there is definitely a lot of room for improvement in the upcoming Bousman helmed adaptation. With changes or not, don’t feel obligated to check out the original either. While it’s not bad, it ain’t exactly good. If you’re a fan of goofy inbred rapist movies (I’m sure someone is) then don’t miss this one. Regardless, you’ll probably be entertained by Beatrice Pons’ hilarious turn as Mother, so it’s not hard to sit through. Straight up, if you think you might like this, or you’re interested, by all means go for it. You’ll laugh a few times and cringe at the nutshot. If you’ve not heard of it by now, just keep on keepin on.