Mother's Day (1980)
Ah...Troma. How wonderful my childhood was because of you.
The excessive gore and wanton nudity were a young boys dream. I ate them up. The local video store was usually out of anything from Toxie 2 to Class of Nuke 'Em High because of me.
But the eyes and brain of a child are innocent. They know no better. Now that I'm... yikes... 35, Troma doesn't offer anything for me. Nothing personal. They do cool stuff with no money, and the stuff I do at Wicked Six Productions isn't really much better...a few levels below actually, but the excitement of sitting down to a Troma film is no longer in my heart. That saddens me.
With that sadness in mind, move on with me to a review of Troma's Mother's Day.
I put this on the old Netflix Instant Queue on a lark. I saw they had it and what the heck, it's cheap enough. I added it and a box came up saying 'very long wait'. Well, now after about 15 minutes of loading and 'checking playback' it started. Thank you stolen one - bar of stupid neighbors wi-fi.
I was slightly excited.
Some might say that it's just another typical backwoods family kidnapping hikers. Which it is. But you need to remember...in 1980, these stories weren't as common place or cliched as they are now.
It starts with a nice old lady offering a ride to two rude teenagers. The car stalls and the teens start acting all weird. You start to think that they're going to kill the old lady, but nope. Two crazy guys, one complete with a beekeepers mask, come out of the woods and kill the teens. This is actually a good beheading effect... not the cantalope on a broomstick that Troma's known for now. The poor old lady...she's next, right? Wrong. The guys go up to the old lady and she says something along the lines of, "Mommy's so proud of you boys."
Credits roll and the story proper starts.
We're introduced, via voice overs during a slide show, to three college girls remembering their great times. Suddenly flash forward 10 years and the girls are all grown up. One, a rich snob. Another a big 80's glasses wearing librarian or something who happens to be looking after a sick mother... oy. The third, some sort of prostitute or something with a ridiculous deadbeat, freeloading boyfriend and an even more ridiculous 80's style gentleman's perm.
The rich woman and the nerd get a telegram. What it says, no one knows since they never show us. The permed hooker comes home, her boyfriend steals a $50 bill, snorts coke with it and the girl leaves complete with a pre-packed backpack. Movie magic. She drives into New Jersey and meets her friends that happen to be standing by the road in the country. They get in and they're on their way. Through more expositional voiceovers, we're told how they've done this every year for the last ten with each girl in charge of a different year.
There's a scene in a store and the girls end up making a mess. The owner curses them to "getting theirs when there in the woods". For about the next hour, there's only dialogue, college flashbacks, and random hiking and false scares. Suddenly, the guys come out and kidnap the girls.
They drag them to their house. The mother mentions something about a ghost lurking outside and the action takes place inside.
Now, this is where my childhood memory was dead wrong. I remember torture and gore to a ridiculous degree. But, my brain must have been remembering something else. There's none of that. Absolutely none.
What there is is: a rape during a weird role playing thing which the mother is directing, shots of the brothers shaving, eating breakfast, and training to be killers. All while their mother watches and comments. During the killers shenanigans (I said it) the girls make an easy escape. The permed girl, who was the one raped, randomly dies. The rich girl goes looking for help and runs into one of the brothers pretending to be the sheriff. She escapes him and makes it back to her friends. They decide to avenge their friend and suddenly they're experts in hiking, guerilla fighting tactics, and wilderness survival. They kill the beekeeper, the other brother and the mother. I'm being short on purpose. Even if I were to detail it all, I would be this quick.
The girls escape and the ghostly, somehow mutated sister of the mother jumps out and the movie ends.
It's that bad. Check it out if you want, but that's how I feel about it.
I met Lloyd Kaufman a few years ago at the San Diego ComiCon. He's a nice guy and I'd be in a Troma movie in a heartbeat, but I can't lie about this movie.
- MARK -