---------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker---------
MOTHER'S DAY MASSACRE
Directed by: Jeff Roenning
Distributed by: Midnight Releasing
I have to admit up front: this movie is A LOT of fun to watch. I really enjoyed it.
And it’s definitely not what I thought it was going to be, either. Based on the description, I was expecting a hum-drum trip down Familiar Lane. But instead, MOTHER'S DAY MASSACRE is one of those rare gems that entertained me on several different levels. It made me cringe during some scenes and it made me laugh during others.
If you’ve never heard of MOTHER'S DAY MASSACRE, here’s the synopsis, straight from the DVD cover:
Jim Cavanaugh is a shy, suburban New Jersey teenager. His mom left when he was a child and his father is a real jerk. The unrelenting psychotic domination of his redneck father forces Jim to search out his long lost mother. His quest takes him to the backwoods of Jersey, where he encounters semi-retarded hillbillies who have a taste for strangers and Peterbilt trucks. Nobody escapes the bloodletting in this heartwarming tale of a family reunited. Sure to be a holiday classic.
The synopsis alone is enough to draw me in. Any movie that describes a massive bloodletting as a ‘heartwarming tale of a family reunited’ instantly piques my curiosity. I mean, how can it not? And when the Special Features boast a ‘drunken commentary with the director and crew’…WOW…it’s like Christmas for me, all over again! (The surprise part, not the drunken part…just want to clarify that).
MOTHER'S DAY MASSACRE is definitely bizarre and some folks might not like it. It is very well done and appears to have a high production budget. The special effects are top notch, with lots of blood bursts and even a nice head-shot (impressively done with CG, by the way…check out the Head Surgery featurette in the Special Features). My sole complaint is that I wanted more. There are several instances were more carnage could have been thrown in, but I’m sure budget constraints were the reason they weren’t.
The acting is surprisingly great as well. I didn’t have high expectations about the acting to be honest but I’m happy to report I was way off base. The cast is superb, with Mel Gorham leading the way as the psychotic mother Dolores (yes, folks, Mel is a woman) and Greg Travis as the equally deranged father, Tex. I gotta tell you: I haven’t seen a more screwed up set of characters since THE DEVIL'S REJECTS. This family is beyond dysfunctional…they are just plain insane!
One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Dolores visits Tex to try and get compensation from her stolen pot crop. Tex’s son is the reason Dolores’ crop is seized by the police and she believes she is entitled to some money from Tex. Instead, Tex pops her in the mouth and tells her to get off of his porch. With blood running out of her mouth, Dolores points at him and screams (in Latin-drenched English) “I came here tonight to maybe f&*k you, but I now I’m gonna’ f&*k you up!”
While the ending is quite tragic and happy at the same time (I won’t give it away…you must see it to believe it), I love the way everything is wrapped up…er, sort of. Resolution is given for all of the plot points, even if it’s not the way you expect things to wind up. There certainly is a bloodbath at the end and, well…let’s just say not everyone has a happy ending. I won’t say anymore.
Do yourself a favor and snatch MOTHER'S DAY MASSACRE up immediately. I don’t think you’ll regret it. It is a comedic, horror-filled trip into the bizarre, and one that you will want to take again and again.
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
CLICK HERE to visit the film's official website
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Midnight Releasing