Mother’s Day (1980)

Starring Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce, Tiana Pierce, Frederick Coffin, Michael McCleery, Beatrice Pons, Robert Collins, Peter Fox

Directed by Charles Kaufman

Expectations: This is one of Troma’s cult 80s hits, I’m excited to finally see it.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:

“You want your mother to be proud of ya, don’t ya?”

It’s every boy’s dream to make his mother proud, but who among us would kidnap, rape and murder tourists for our mother’s affection? The two brothers in Mother’s Day are willing to do just that, and while their rampage is sadistic and twisted, Mother’s Day is a great horror film. It’s a bit of a twist on Deliverance and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but to call it derivative is missing the fun. Sure, Mother’s Day trades almost completely in genre conventions and clichés, but everything is done effectively and entertainingly, resulting in a film that is pure horror cinema.

Three college friends get together every year for a mystery getaway. This year they end up camping away from all the hustle and the bustle of the city, or in the case of Tiana Pierce’s character the ridiculous pool parties with old men trying to pick up hot-bodied girls with Kubrick quotes. The girls hike into the backwoods and skinny-dip in the lake. Well, duh… this is an 80s horror film. Honestly you don’t need me to explain the setup; you’ve seen it before. Instead, just sit back and enjoy this low-budget gem from Charles Kaufman, Lloyd’s brother, and Troma Pictures!

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Night of the Comet (1984)

Starring Catherine Mary Stewart, Kelli Maroney, Robert Beltran, Sharon Farrell, Mary Woronov, Geoffrey Lewis, Peter Fox, John Achorn, Michael Bowen, Devon Ericson, Lissa Layng

Directed by Thom Eberhardt

Expectations: Very high. Been looking forward to this for a while.

As my significant other said after it was over, “What a weird movie.” Not weird in a derogatory way, though, just weird in a multi-genre way. For me, these tonal shifts hold the film back from being truly great, but it’s not hard to see why this film is so well-revered by a fervent cult of fans. It truly has a bit of everything thrown in for good measure, from zombies to ’80s “Trying on clothes” dance montages. There’s a little something for everyone here, and it’s a film that should please many. Just know going in that it’s fairly low-budget and in the B-movie zone, not that those should detract or be considered negatives, they are just useful for properly setting those expectations.

Our hero Regina is an usher at the local theater on the night of the comet. Virtually everyone else seems to have party plans to hang out and watch the comet’s pass, but Regina is stuck working the theater’s midnight special comet show and decides to stay with the projectionist for some indoor fireworks. Turns out this was the right place to be because when she wakes up and ventures outside, everyone else is nothing more than red dust and a pile of clothes. Except for the zombie that just grabbed her beau!

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