This Sunday is Mother’s Day. In the UK anyway.
Mama gives you birth, feeds you, clothes you, wipes your eyes when you cry, cooks, cleans, drives you places, and loads more. Her love is endless. Sometimes TOO endless. How far will she go to prove her love for you?
In the realm of the slasher film, Mom isn’t always a safe haven, or someone who was murdered – which haunts the final girl, or a critical, bitchy victim of the knife…
Sometimes Mom is a little looney tunes.
Mrs Voorhees (well this was an obvious choice): Friday the 13th
Who does she love? Jason. Her only child (until Jason Goes to Hell at least).
Why is she so pissed off? Because the counsellors weren’t paying attention, they were making love when mongoloid Jason was drowning in Crystal Lake.
What does she do? Pamela first offs a horny couple of teenage counsellors the very next summer. For the next twenty years or so she prevents the re-opening of Camp Crystal Lake and, when it finally forges ahead in 1979, she murders seven staff members. All in the name of Jason.
How dangerous is she? Axes, knives, machetes: Mrs Voorhees is fond of the cutting-implement cache. She worked at the camp so knows her way around. Plus she’s fuck-ass crazy and thinks she IS Jason.
Mrs Bates: Psycho
Who does she love? Norman, we would think, but she scarcely shows it, ordering him around from beyond the grave.
Why is she so pissed off? This is something explored over the various sequels. Seems like the near-incestuous relationship with her own son, the departure of her husband, and being poisioned by her own kid and left in the fruit cellar when guests are over may have contributed… Death is a bummer.
What does she do? She makes Norman dress up as her, talk in her voice to hold conversations, and kill all the nasty females who arouse him.
How dangerous is she? Physically, not at all. She’s been dead for several years after all. But this hasn’t blunted her power to exist inside the head of her only son and he comes back to kill at the family motel season after season…
Mrs Loomis: Scream 2
Who does she love? Her one and only son, psychotic murderer in his own right – Billy Loomis.
Why is she so pissed off? Because Sidney Prescott shot Billy in the head. Fair enough, he DID murder HER mom and kill loads of her friends. This interests Mrs L not: She wants Sid dead.
What does she do about it? She recruits “up-and-coming” serial killer Mickey to do most of her bidding: Killing various students at Windsor College and jockeying Sidney into position for her to turn up and finish her off.
How dangerous is she? Very. She considers herself sane, her motive being “good, old fashioned revenge”. Never mind the fact her son was a loon, Mrs Loomis blames Sidney’s mother for it all. And almost succeeds.
Eggar’s Mother: The Final Terror
Who does she love? Her son, Eggar. And the woods. But not shampoo.
Why is she so pissed off? Fuck knows. This is one weird movie when it comes to motivation. She just likes her privacy I guess.
What does she do about it? She sets traps made out of tin can lids that shred screaming bimbos, a spiked-log that is sure to skewer anybody it careers into. And she stabs a couple of people too.
How dangerous is she? Not very. She fails to slash Daryl Hannah’s throat efficiently, allowing Rachel Ward to frickin’ SEW IT UP, and there was me thinking a cut throat meant you were screwed. Of the large cast in this movie, she only does away with three (plus two other people at the start) and ends up impaled on her own swinging-log contraption. Duh.
See also: Crappy Killers
Who does she love? Her nephew, another Billy, whom she has looked after since his parents died in a mysterious ‘accident’. Hmm…
Why is she so pissed off? As Billy approaches 17, Aunt Cheryl begins to fear he might leave her. Plus she’s sexually frustrated after raising him alone all these years. So we can put this one down to “Woman Problems”.
What does she do about it? After unsuccessfully trying to flirt with a gay TV repairman, she stabs him to death and cries self-defence, but the local cops think Billy did it in some gay-rage homo-homicide thing. This screw up means he might get taken away from her in a different way, so she starts killing anybody who might aid that neigh-can-happen scenario.
How dangerous is she? Very. Nobody believes innocent Aunty C would hurt a fly, let alone stab a bunch of people to death. Having fooled everyone by killing Billy’s mom and dad years before, she could get away with almost anything. She only gets angrier with each kill, so look out!
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Other worthy mentions include the psycho mom from Dead in 3 Days, so angry that her dead son’s friends didn’t save him when he fell through the ice that she kills them all years later… Back to the Bates Motel for more Psycho - Psycho II to be precise – and little old lady Emma Spool, who claims to be Norman’s REAL mother and offs all the interfering outsiders who threaten his subsistence. A vengeful ma beheads the materinity unit staff after they lose her son in Argento’s Trauma. A similarly insane denied-birth woman takes out her rage on a new mom in grisly French horror Inside…
What have we learned from all this? The mother-son relationship is seemingly the only one that can lead to the deaths of lots and lots of teenagers.
Do mothers like their sons more than their daughters? Do fathers like their daughters more than their sons? Hmm, interesting dichotomy when you think of some of the killer daddy flicks around.
Conclusion: All families are therefore fucked up in some way. Best to get a dog.