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Mother's Day [1980] - Troma Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 3
Written by Richard Taylor   
Thursday, 14 May 2015
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AKA: Les chouchoux de maman, Mama's lievelingen, Dia das M„es Macabro, El dŪa de la madre, Hronia polla, etoimasou na pethaneis, Los herederos del mal, Dzien matki, O Dia da M„e, Muttertag

Directed by:
Charles Kaufman
Written by:
Charles Kaufman, Warren Leight
Produced by:
Charles Kaufman, Michael Kravitz
Joseph Mangine
Editing by:
Daniel Loewenthal
Music by:
Phil Gallo, Clem Vicari Jr.
Special Effects:
Josie Caruso, Rob E. Holland
Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce, Tiana Pierce, Frederick Coffin, Michael McCleery, Beatrice Pons, Robert Collins, Peter Fox
1h 30min

Studio: Troma Entertainment

A goofy backwoods opus produced, directed and co-written by Charles Kaufman, brother of the infamous Troma Films guru Lloyd Kaufman, who served as an associate producer on the film. Motherís Day borrows from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre formula but only in general; itís not serious enough or well made enough to invoke the same feelings of that classic. We get a couple of backwoods hillbilly killer brothers named Ike (Frederick Coffin going under the name Holden Mcguire) and Addley (Michael McCleery going under the name Billy Ray McQuade) who prey on any victim their ma (Beatrice Pons under the name Rose Ross) chooses. The first thing this reviewer notices is how all the actors wanted pseudonyms used and not their real names, speaks volumes I think! Other actors in the movie follow suit as there are more real names of actors given pseudonyms.

Troma released a directorís cut which was re-mastered with all of the rape and violence left intact. This version does have everything there but on the grand scale of things itís not that bad compared to the amount of violence and gore modern day audiences have been desensitized to. Motherís Day is definitely only a movie cult horror/exploitation movie fans will appreciate and only diehards will want to see it to add to their extensive collections. There is a low body count, some gore which is relatively tame and cheesy, and the rape is not of the caliber of the I Spit on Your Grave remake and sequel, or even the original for that matter. Itís all done in an amateurish fashion. The movie can't figure out if it wants to be a campy horror comedy or a rape/revenge exploitation outing.

The two brothers Ike and Addley have a good screen presence, but once they start talking and goofing around with their mother, the viewer loses any serious feelings of terror with those characters. Itís like an episode of Mama's Family. I did get a vibe reminiscent of Andreas Schnaasí Violent Shit 2: Mother Hold My Hand when the two brothers are training and working out. Not sure if Schnaas was influenced by Motherís Day or not, but Karl the Butcher kills for his mommy in that one too and he does his training and workout routine in the same fashion.

Motherís Day was heavily cut upon its release in Germany, was refused a rating in the U.K. and even the American Media release was trimmed as well. The house the movie was shot in was abandoned for many years and the owner had been murdered there. It was also said that prior to shooting, a dead body was found in the house. Director Kaufman had said that one of the brothers started a relationship off set with one of the victims and was asked to postpone it until the movie was completed.

(*Spoiler Alert*) The story begins when a seemingly innocent old lady simply known as Mother (Beatrice Pons aka Rose Ross) lures a couple of would-be killers into the woods, only to turn the tables on them. Mother's two boys are a couple of murderous cretins who she has trained to kill anyone in the area. Soon our attention is diverted to the over long story of three women who are childhood friends, all gone separate ways in their lives but are all missing something. One is painstakingly taking care of her sick overbearing mother, another is a fashionista and the third one is in an unhappy relationship. Every year they meet and go into the woods for a camping trip to feel "alive" for once. This time they are preyed upon and abducted by the terrible twosome Ike and Addler.

The women are terrorized. One is even raped and must take part in bizarre acting scenarios! One of the friends is overtaken by her injuries, leaving the other two to tie headbands around their foreheads and go into full Rambo mode. The only question I have is how often did the girls go on their camping trip and was it always in the same area in the woods? If it was in the same area they never came upon the sadistic family, not one time until now? The girls extract revenge, possibly way worse on their captors than they went through themselves -- they show no mercy!

Motherís Day fits well on the Troma roster, it feels, looks and stands out that way. Not ground-breaking but worth a watch for the diehards, it definitely works as a mild feminist revenge film. Possibly one to watch with your girlfriend/wife/partner? I also understand there is a loose remake made in 2010 starring Rebecca De Mornay and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman.



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