Written by: Michael Den Boer on March 3rd, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1980
Director: Charles Kaufman
Writers: Charles Kaufman, Warren Leight
Cast: Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce, Tiana Pierce, Frederick Coffin, Michael McCleery, Beatrice Pons, Robert Collins, Peter Fox
BluRay released: February 23rd, 2015
Approximate running times: 91 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Rating: 18 (UK)
Sound: LPCM Stereo English
BluRay Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: £19.99
Synopsis: Three women who have been friends since high school take their yearly getaway in the woods. And what should have been another relaxing weekend with old friends quickly turns deadly, when a family of psychopaths target them. Will this be their last weekend getaway together or will they find a way to escape this nightmare weekend?
Mother’s Day was co-written and directed by Charles Kauffman, a filmmaker whose resume consists of only five films (four if your don’t count Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters an Indonesian film that Troma imported and worked on the film as the dialogue director for the version of the film that was released in the USA. Key collaborators on Mother’s Day include cinematographer Joseph Mangine (I Drink Your Blood, Squirm) and the film’s score was composed by Phil Gallo (The Redeemer: Son of Satan!).
Content wise, Mother’s Day is a very satisfying mix Deliverance themed backwoods’ horror and all things that have since become synonymous with Troma. And outside of few moments that will be touched upon latter in this review. This is a film that rarely misses a beat. The film’s narrative is well constructed and there are an ample amount of well executed kill sequences, all of which are sufficiently gory. Another area where this film often excels is the way it effortlessly mixes humor and horror. And though the premise does echo things that have occurred in other horror films, it is ultimately the way in which this film presents these familiar things that makes this film so damn entertaining.
And not to be overlooked are the cast who are all very good in their respective roles. With Beatrice Pons (‘Car 54, Where Are You?’) in the role of Mother being this film’s standout performance. And it is the scene that precedes this film’s opening credits with her character that firmly sets the tone of this film. In said scene she is in the car with two strangers who think that they have the upper hand against, since she looks like a defenseless old lady. When things couldn’t be farther from the truth. Other performances of note include Michael McCleery and Frederick Coffin (Hard to Kill) in the roles of Addley and Ike, mother’s two sons who are willing to do anything, even commit murder if it entertains her. Also when it comes to depravity there truly is nowhere these two characters won’t go as there is a moment in the film were they rape one of the women in front of their mother, who cheers them on. Overall there is no middle ground with Mother‘s Day, it is a divisive film that you are either going to enjoy or dislike.
Mother’s Day comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. This release presents the uncut version of the film. Color saturation looks very good – especially reds, black and contrast levels look consistently great and details look crisp. Print debris is minimal and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM stereo mix in English. There are no issues with distortion and background his while present it is never too intrusive. Dialog is always clear, everything sounds balanced and robust when it needs too. Range wise things sounds very good considering this the limited resources that this film had to work with.
Extras for this release include, intros before the with Charles Kaufman (2 minutes 22 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen) and Rex Piano (1 minute – 1080 progressive widescreen), a TV Spot, a trailer for the film (2 minutes 15 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen), a trailer for Graduation Day (2 minutes 6 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen), Eli Roth on Mother’s Day (13 minutes 7 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen), Charles Kaufman and Saw’s Darren Lynn Bousman talk Mother’s Day (8 minutes 8 seconds – 1080 progressive widescreen), Behind the Scenes Super 8 Footage with with audio commentary from Charles Kaufman who describes what is occurring in the footage (10 minutes 2 seconds – 1080 Progressive) and an audio commentary with Charles Kaufman and Rex Piano.
Darren Lynn Bousman dominates the conversation with Charles Kauffman. He discusses the differences between his remake of Mother’s Day and Kauffman’s original.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, the origins of this film, budgetary restrictions and how all crew member helped out by appearing in the film, the cast and how one of the actresses hired to portray one of three friends quit a few days into filming, locations featured in the film, stunt work and special effects and the different versions / cuts of Mother’s Day.
Rounding out the extras is a reversible cover art option, a collectable booklet and the 88 Films trailer reel – Puppet Master, The Pit and the Pendulum, Demonic Toys, Bloody Birthday, Two Moon Junction, Dollman, Bloodsucking Freaks, Puppet Master II, Puppet Master III, Tourist Trap and Castle Freak. Overall Mother’s Day gets a solid release from 88 Films.