Mother’s Day (1980) Blu-Ray Review


Director – Charles Kaufman

Starring – Rose Ross, Nacy Hendrickson, Holden McGuire, Deborah Luce

Run Time – 90 minutes

Blu-ray Label – 88 Films


Loving sons always do what their mothers tell them to… even if it’s to kill! A mad matriarch (Rose Ross) and her two maniac sons kidnap and torture three women in their backwoods cabin! – 88 Films.

Once upon a time banned in the UK, Mother’s Day now gets an uncut UK Blu-ray release thanks to 88 Films. For a Troma movie it manages to have a degree of seriousness that carries the plot (although it does have it’s weaknesses).

The first 30 minutes the false scare tactic is favoured. The girls keep pranking each other that they are being attacked/are attackers, as teen girls apparently like to do. It becomes tiresome after a while, there is only so many times it can work before the viewer will get bored of it.

Thankfully when the girls are attacked for real (never thought I’d write such a thing) it is a relief that it isn’t another swerve on the viewers. It is violent and disturbing, breaking the otherwise cheery tone the previous half an hour had built up. We get to meet the truly disturbing family that will carry out all manner of grisly acts on these women…

mothers1They are a dysfunctional family that functions perfectly fine within its own home, as it were. They are dysfunctional in the sense they think nothing of kidnapping, raping, torturing and killing people. Functional in a sense because they are so warped that they believe what they are doing is just another part of the daily routine, in their household these horrific things bring pleasure and entertainment. However, it’s them alone who will enjoy inflicting misery on young girls.

The girls manage to fight back and escape, changing the tone of the movie again, this time from a slasher to a survival feature. The women are determined not to be killed and trek through the woods to ensure they avoid recapture. They fightback in a bloody and equally savage way, that feels like a role reversal on several levels. They attack the attackers, and violate those that violated them. It brings up an interesting approach on gender and role reversal in a slasher, giving Mother’s Day some depth.

High definition is kind to Mother’s Day. While some imperfections are noticeable, the colours are strong and the image is sharp. The picture still has a gritty feel to it though that compliments the atmosphere of the feature.

Special features.

Amongst the usual commentary and trailers, the disc has the following notable extras…

Charles Kaufman Intro (2 mins) – Filmed from his bakery, Charles comes across as a likeable bloke. He’s honest, saying he would make the film with less gore if he could, then saws off his own ‘arm’. Old habits die hard, it seems.

Behind the Scenes (Super 8 footage, 10 mins) – Kaufman talks over silent clips of behind the scenes clips. The extra gives a glimpse into how the special effects were made.

mothers2Eli Roth (13 mins) – The ‘biggest fan’ of Mother’s Day talks, a lot, about his love of the main feature and how it influenced his own movies. After watching this the viewer will no doubt be stunned by how much he knows about Mother’s Day.

Kaufman and Darren Bousman, Comic Con 2010 (8 mins) – A Troma TV clip of the pair talking about Mother’s Day. Bousman, amongst other titles, directed the 2010 remake of Kaufman’s movie. He explains why his version isn’t a remake that strictly sticks to the original. A certain Lloyd Kaufman briefly gatecrashes.


A movie that deserves more credit than it gets, Mother’s Day is a fine slasher flick.

6 out of 10.

James Simpson (@JSimpsonCritic)

Mother’s Day is available from the following outlets –

88 Films – HERE

Amazon UK – HERE

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James Simpson

About James Simpson

A freelance writer and lover of movies, James is a long term contributor to UK Horror Scene. He has a regular feature on UKHS, World of Horror, as well as reviewing and interviewing when he can. He also writes for Gore Splattered Corner and Space Monsters Magazine. He has previously written for Scream Magazine and Zombie Hamster. Twitter: @JSimpsonWriter