I don't do the parental themed days mostly because I don't have parents. My mum died in 2006 from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma so I do my best to dodge all advertising every year because it's depressing, but in the last couple years I decided to celebrate the day with horror movies about Mums, which would either impress my own mum or have her severely disappointed in me right now.
You see, it's technically her own fault I like horror or that it became some kind of coping mechanism for life. Anyone that was a kid in the 80's can vouch that our parents just didn't give a crap about what we watched. Ratings were just random letters on the sides of video boxes. So at the ripe old age of 2 years old, there I was watching Friday the 13th on the lounge room floor of her aunt's house. From age 5-10 we lived with her boyfriend and because my mum worked nights, it meant he was the one picking me up from the babysitter's after school and letting me watch every single movie he rented from the video store. The fun part here though is I've blocked everything before my 10th birthday BUT I remember vividly killer pineal glands and how he let me watch Igor And The Lunatics when I was 8. When the internet became a thing I joined all these forums and chatrooms trying to find out what the film was and nobody had a clue what I was talking about, then in the last 8 years it was finally released on DVD and this guy let me borrow his copy. Within 5 minutes I could see why it had imprinted on my brain. The opening scene is some woman being chased by a group of men in some warehouse, caught and tied to a bench saw, her shirt ripped open and she's sawn straight up the middle - Art the clown style. My child brain also warped another scene where they pick up a hitchhiker. I always remembered that as them killing and eating her. Turns out they had a bucket of KFC or some shit with them. So here I was, now a 10 year old and completely desensitised to horror. At the most Freddy kind of freaked me out but The Omen was my all time favourite movie series, so much so that I told my mum when she died I wanted her The Omen book series. That was it. Granted my 13 year old brain thought that was going to be a long way off. In another fun anecdote, my stepdad brought home Bloodsucking Freaks and in no universe is this casual daytime viewing for a 10 year old but a year later he really took offence to how much I loved The Stepfather movies.
The first film I really remember my mum sitting me down with was The Exorcist. She had seen it at the drive-in's back in the day and talked about how scary it was so she rented it for me to watch. This was at a time when I discovered Point Horror books and serial killers so I proceeded to spend the next two hours on the floor pissing myself laughing. Fast forward to my 20's and my mum was convinced one day I'd end up on some FBI watch list or snap and turn into a serial killer.
Horror movies keep me out of jail.
So in honour of mother's everywhere, here is a pile of movies just for Mother's Day!
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh
"A boy's best friend is his mother"
Unless that boy is Norman Bates. His mother was a screeching, over baring banshee that drove him to needing a much required mental health diagnosis.
This isn't a movie that needs a plot description. It's 62 years old, surely we all know what it's about by now? Even Scream referenced an Anthony Perkins quote from the film. It's a horror classic that everyone should have watched.
The sequels are decent, I particularly liked Psycho 4 as far as some character development goes, but I could have lived without the remake. A so-called colour 'shot by shot' recreation but I don't recall seeing Perkins masturbate behind a wall. He might have been a bit of a pervert but he was a gentlemen about it. Vince Vaughn just doesn't look like a timid mommy's boy either. I'd accept a sandwich from Anthony Perkins, but if I saw Vince there I'd keep driving down the road.
If you want something more Mum-friendly you can watch Hitchcock  instead. That stars Anthony Hopkins as the title character and focuses on what an asshat he was while making the film.
Director/Writer: Some asshole who skipped the country to avoid jail time
Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavettes, Charles Grodin
"Awful things happen in every apartment house."
The joys of pregnancy, when you're not quite convinced your husband is the father and your unborn baby might be trying to kill you. This movie is also a good ad for never living in apartments. I always thought it would be cool until I moved to this block of units and now I realise it's actually awful. The walls are too thin but thankfully my neighbours are too fucked up on drugs to know about witchcraft.
I've noticed recently a lot of people have no idea there was a sequel to the book. Rosemary's Baby was written by Ira Levin in 1967. This was the first adult horror book I read when I was 13-14 and it terrified me so much I refused to read the last page for a couple of weeks. In 1997 Ira Levin published a sequel titled Son Of Rosemary. I found it purely by accident on some cheapo bookstand at the newsagents for about $5 and grabbed it. It was an interesting read but I remember not being a big fan of the ending. I definitely need to revisit these books to see how I feel about them now but I'm surprised nobody ever thought about making it into a movie. Mia Farrow could have easily reprised her role had she wanted too.
Director: Ted Post
Writer: Abe Polsky
Starring: Anjanette Comer, Ruth Roman
Streaming on Tubi
"Nothing happened? With your damn tit in his mouth, and you call that nothing?"
I put this on tonight to watch while I was painting. I hadn't seen it before and figured it would do as some background noise but ended up somewhat invested by the end.
A young social worker named Anne is assigned to work with a new family that includes a 21 year old man who thinks he's a baby. He doesn't even have a name and his mother and two adult sisters just call him 'Baby'. They don't much care for social workers and prefer to be left alone to care for Baby themselves and cash the disability payments. Anne has a special interest in the case so basically demands to see him and takes an interest in his welfare. During her time with him she realises Baby is a 'baby' because of the abuse and neglect from the hands of his family. He's been conditioned into not speaking or walking with the help of an electric cattle prod and one scene even hints at incest.
Unable to deal with the fact a social worker actually wants to do her job, the family try to get her fired, then at the fear of losing Baby through the courts, invite Anne over for Baby's birthday party so she can see him in a different environment. While there they attempt to drug her and tie her up in the basement. Anne manages to break free and escapes with Baby and takes him home with her. There she dresses him up in suits and encourages him to stand where she takes photos to send to his family, which provokes crazy pretty fast because they all get in the car to go cut a bitch. In true dead-beat parent fashion, Baby's mother suddenly cares about what's going to happen to her son.
For a horror it's pretty tame and at times strange but I do love a movie with a score that's not there to manipulate you and an ending I didn't see coming.
Director/Writer: John Waters
Starring: Kathleen Turner, Matthew Lillard, Ricki Lake
"Chip, you know how I hate the brown word"
Says the woman who will say cocksucker, pussy, fuckface, motherfucker, whore and she'll happily stab a bitch...but 'shit' is where she draws the line. Apart from that, Beverly Sutphin is a doting mother and housewife.
Back in my Fine Art days, lecturers must have caught a vibe about me because I kept getting told how much I'd love John Waters films, especially Pink Flamingoes. I do like some of what I've watched: Cry Baby, Pecker, Hairspray and Serial Mom. Have not watched Pink Flamingo because I'm not ready to watch a person eat a poop.
I love the fact that Serial Mom was made in the 90's but could still be relevant today. A mother who cares deeply for her kids safety, education, and recycling...because too many still don't and we just need more women like this in the world. Beverly Sutphin would be the face of Climate Change. She'd also be stoked about DVD's.
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: Sergio G. Sanchez
Starring: Linda Koslowski, Christopher Reeve, Mark Hamill, Thomas Dekker
"There's no need for you to become emotional"
Some weird phenomenon makes an entire town pass out, including the animals. 10 months later and ten women are going into labour at the exact same time with all but one giving birth to a freaky little white-haired demon spawn. As they grow they begin to show their abilities, generally at the detriment of their "parents" with the exception of Jill [Linda Kozlowski] who somehow has managed to teach her son what emotions are. That surely has to win her the title of Mother Of The Year right?
While normally I hate on remakes, this one is pretty good but I haven't seen the original for comparison. It has Christopher Reeves though, so I'm pretty content.
Random fact nobody asked for: In 2006 when Heroes hit our TV screens, I sat there thinking how one of the characters looked just like the kid from The Village Of The Damned. Thanks to the internet I found out I was right. Sometimes my facial recognition skills impress me so much that I think I could work for the FBI.
Director: J.A. Bayona
Writer: Sergio G. Sanchez
Starring: Belen Rueda, Fernando Cayo, Roger Princep
"You won't find an exorcist in the yellow pages"
This one is a Spanish film about a family that move into an old orphanage wanting to turn it into a home for disabled children. The whole film centres on the mother, Laura, who grew up in the orphanage until she was adopted. Soon after moving in to their new home, her son Simon claims to have made a friend named Tomas who likes to play games. Things take a turn when a social worker comes to visit enquiring about Simon and we find out he's adopted and has HIV. Later while playing one of Tomas's games, Simon and Laura are led to where Simon's adoption papers are and he angrily tells her that Tomas told him she's not his biological mother and that he's going to die soon. During their open day, Laura and Simon argue resulting in Laura slapping his face. Later she realises he's missing and it's presumed he was kidnapped by the social worker.
The Orphanage depicts Laura's dedication to finding her son and along the way discovers the truth about Tomas and what happened at the orphanage after she was adopted.
It's a very moody film and while considered a horror movie it definitely hits you right in the feels.
Director/Writer: Brian Taylor
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Selma Blair, Lance Henriksen
Streaming on Stan
"I used to think my parents getting divorced was the hugest tragedy of my life, but ironically, that shit doubled my chance of survival"
Parents across America are killing their children and nobody knows why. The movie opens with a mum listening to static in her car, she then climbs out and lets a train hit the car with her infant in the backseat. We see parents lining up at schools waiting for their kids to come out just so they can attack them. Meanwhile Brent [Nicholas Cage] looks like he's got some homicidal tendencies before this event takes full effect on him. He's been raging for the past 3 weeks. His wife Kendall [Selma Blair] has been out most of the day and seems unaffected. She's there while her sister Jeanie has her baby but soon after it's delivered there's static coming from one of the monitors and she tries to kill her newborn. As if a scene like this isn't tragic enough, the director really fucks with our feelings by playing 'It Must've Been Love' by Roxette over the top. Once the need to kill their offspring hits the couple at home, Kendall turns out to be the brains of the duo. While dear ol' dad got his ass beat by a plastic toy truck, she's trying to cut a door down with a saw she definitely bought off a TV commercial, then she decides to fill the basement with gas. Never underestimate a 'stay at home' mum. It's one epic crazy ride from start to finish!
Director/Writer: Ari Aster
Starring: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff
..and all I get back is that fucking face on your face
That line cracks me up every time.
Hereditary gives us two generations of exceptional mothers.
Firstly we have Ellen. She's the mother of Annie and she just died. For anyone who has a toxic family themselves you might think this is a win but no, even from the dead she's causing problems for Annie's family. When Annie gave birth to Peter she had to cut her mother off for being a weirdo but when her daughter Charlie came along for some stupid reason she let the woman back into their lives. If Charlie seems like a really strange child it's because her grandmother had some ancient demon-king spirit put into her body.
Then there's Annie. She's mostly functional except for the bit where she lies to her husband and goes to grief counselling groups to bitch about her mum. While she's there we find out her brother killed himself and blamed their mother for trying to put people inside his body, so Mummy Dearest has been at this for a while now. After Charlie's death, Annie goes back to the meeting and she meets Joan. Joan is played by that woman who plays Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale so straight up we know she's not going to be a good person. Does anyone else think that way when they see actors on screen or is it just me? Anyways, Joan shows her this cool magic trick where she can talk to her dead grandson so Annie goes home to show her family what she learned and basically opens the door to the coven and kills her family.
I saw this at the cinema and it was one of the rare times where a horror movie had a decent audience. They were also blind going by some of the reactions because during one scene we had two women in front of us scream and a bunch of others gasping. You could see the person clearly on the screen, I don't know how they didn't see them! This is also worth watching for Toni Collette, that woman is amazing and so expressive!
Well that's the list. Is there a movie you think is a must watch for Mother's Day? Let me know in the comments!