Mother's Day (1983)
Directed by Charles S. Kaufman

Starring Billy Ray McQuade Deborah Luce Holden McGuire Nancy Hendrickson

This kick-ass horror-revenge flick was unrated when it was released, a somewhat daring maneuver by a horror film at the time.

Director Kaufman happens to be the brother of Lloyd Kaufman, who runs Troma, the studio that brought us "Toxic Avenger" and other cult pics. "Mother's Day" is better than all the Troma films. But Troma did recently re-release the flick on video.

Three feminists, who during a hike brag to one another about the cruel deeds they’ve committed against men, find themselves the victims of two wacko men, who were obviously fashioned by fimmakers after the nutcases featured in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," who torture them for the entertainment of their sadistic hillbilly mom (played enthusiastically by Rose Ross in her one and only film role).

The three women then turn the tables on their attackers and go about knocking them off, one with Drano, the other with an electric knife. The shock ending of the film is a real kick in the pants.

Forgotten by all but the most depraved '80s horror hounds, "Mother's Day" was a film that seemed intent on flaunting its misogyny. Kaufman portrays his protagonists as truly despicable women, almost as if he's hinting they deserve what befalls them. The film was released shortly after Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert presented a special devoted to slasher films where they condemned the genre for its abuse of women, focusing much of their ire on "I Spit On Your Grave." "Mother's Day" may have wanted to top the film's Siskel and Ebert were blasting, but failed to get the two critics' attention the way "I Spit on Your Grave" did.

Despite its over-the-top political incorrectness, the film isn't as shocking as the original horror-revenge film, "Last House on the Left," but it definitely carries quite a punch. They don't make 'em like this anymore.


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-- Review by Lucius Gore

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