Director – John Waters (Cry-Baby, Hairspray)
Starring – Kathleen Turner (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Monster House), Sam Waterston (The Nightmare Years, Amazing Stories), and Ricki Lake (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hairspray)
Release Date – 1994
Rating – 4/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
There is several filmmakers that I’ve always wanted to me, dead and living, that I just want to meet because of who they are and what they have done for the genre. People like George A. Romero, Richard Griffin, Tobe Hooper, William Castle, Ed Wood, and so many more. With that being said, there is one filmmaker that I’ve always wanted to meet just so I can have a conversation with him. He is unusually charming, interesting, and walks to the beat of a different drum. Since a young age I have been a fan of John Waters after watching Cry-Baby for the first time after renting it on tape. After I learned who he was and what he had done for indie cinema and exploitation films I was hooked. I can easily credit him with my love of sleazy movies.
Recently, Scream Factory released his 1994 black comedy Serial Mom on blu. This was one I had seen a few times when I was younger but it had been a good twenty years since I last seen it. I want to thank Scream Factory for sending it my way.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Beverly Sutphin (Turner) who is the picture of the stereotypical American housewife and supporting mother. She lives a very dull but active life but she is harboring a very dark secret. Beverly has an obsession with serial killers. She starts looking for a little thrill which results in her making obscene calls to a neighbor but this only carries her so far before her urge to kill takes over. She starts killing those that have wronged her family or her way of life but the police eventually catch on. After she is arrested and taken to trial she defends herself and is eventually acquitted but can she turn her life around given her second chance or will the juror wearing white after labor day send her on another killing spree?**Spoiler Alert**
I love the works of John Waters. His films are unique and deliver raunchy entertainment in a world where everyone has their panties in a twist. They are usually light hearted, humorous, and well shot. Serial Momis no exception. The film is a product of it’s time but John Waters is still able to add his signature touch to every scene.
The acting in this one is fantastic. Kathleen Turner is perfect as the cookie cutter housewife in the suburbs. She is very loving and goes all in on the housewife angle. It is a little difficult seeing her as a ruthless killer but the film does a great job and making this side of her life a little more comical. I really liked Sam Waterston as her husband. He is perfect as the suburban dad and loving husband who supports his wife no matter what. The whole cast is perfect and if I was to address the entire cast I would be here forever.
The story for this one is very unique. The film starts out in an upbeat tone and never lets go of it. It does a great job at character development and back stories. I really enjoy a movie that has character backstories. The film has a great pacing and a fair amount of “action” in each scene to hold the viewer’s attention.
Finally, there is a few deaths in this black comedy. The kills are quirky just like the film but they do lack practical effects. In most cases I would bitch about this but you don’t watch Waters’ movies for gore. You watch it for a good time. Overall, Serial Mom may not be the quintessential John Waters’ film but it is still a phenomenal watch. It’s been awhile since I watched a movie that had me in stitches but this film did. You can always count on this one to make you laugh. I highly recommend it.
Serial Mom Surreal Moments
The Kings of Gore
Making of Serial Mom