Posted on May 8, 2015

Mother’s Day (1980) Review


R   |   90min   |   1980   |   (USA)   |   Charles Kaufman

A sense of sisterhood peeks out from the otherwise less than maternal Mother’s Day.

Synopsis: Three former college roommates go off into the woods for an annual reunion tradition. What they meet in the back woods is some citified rednecks that do the bidding of their sadistic mother.

Review: This film is a combination of Deliverance (1972), I Spit On Your Grave (1978), and Pink Flamingos (1972) with its amalgamation of humor, backwoods idiots, and rape and revenge theme. Its most redeeming qualities are the use of Tommy James & the Shondells song, “I Think We’re Alone Now” and the fact that there are two final girls left standing at the end of the film. More interesting than anything else is the underlying current of sisterhood emanating from the film.

Mother's Day 5

The three former roommates (Jackie, Trina, and Abby) formed a clique who labeled themselves the “Rat Pack”. They stand together throughout college, poor paramour choices, and identity formation. Through their friendship they grow individually and stand up for one another. When the odds are stacked against them, the trio never leaves a woman behind. The strength of their bond ultimately allows them to become protectors, avengers, and even to work out Abby’s own mommy issues. In spite of the genre, the beautiful blond is anything but a dumb stereotype. Trina often serves as the protector of her sisters. She cultivates escape plans, and uses resourcefulness to plan and execute getaways.

Mother's Day 4

Now that due credit was given, it is time to be realistic. Honestly, what three girls hang out in the woods in their underwear when they go camping? Yes, gratuitous boob shots, less than adequate movie makeup, and scattered plot lines. I don’t expect every movie to be a well-funded blockbuster so I won’t hold too much of the aesthetics against the film. Finally, it may have seemed an afterthought, but the addition of Queenie in the final moments of the films was disjointed, unexpected, and actually may have saved this film from being given a failing grade.

Grade: D

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