Produced in 1979 and distributed by Troma Entertainment, Mother's Day was directed by Charles Kaufman (brother to the famous Lloyd Kaufman who founded Troma Studios in the mid '70s). On a small budget of about $115,000 this cult classic is still recognized by the horror community in recent times. It's a known fact that the majority of film was shot in Newton, NJ, right across the lake from the cast and crew of Friday the 13th. Yes, that's right! Friday the 13th and Mother's Day were filmed at the same time, in the same relative location. The release of Friday the 13th several months before Mother's Day stifled the intended shock value of the latter but audiences worldwide would soon familiarize themselves with this overlooked gem.
The film gets us acquainted with 3 women who were close friends and dorm buddies in college in 1970. Flash forward ten years to the present, with each individual living separate lives. They keep in correspondence with each other and by way of a telegram, set up another one of their annual weekend excursions. They've agreed to go on a camping trip to a remote location in New Jersey called the "Deep Barrens." After a restful day or two, the women are assaulted and kidnapped by two backwoods rednecks; Ike and Addley. These mentally unstable guys drag the girls back to their shack in the woods and present their trophies to Mother - a psychotic and delusional elderly woman. The girls, who referred to themselves as The Rat Pack in their college days, must find a way to escape the clutches of Mother and her retarded offspring.
This movie is nicely polished. Troma is widely accepted as a company that not only produces crap, but promotes it by acting as a distribution company. Whether you're of this mindset or not, Mother's Day can be looked at as a very inspirational Slasher early on in sub-genre - it's vastly different than its cousin, Friday the 13th. The acting is great. One of the most disturbing scenes out of the movie is a ruthless sexual act performed on one of the girls and in addition to some of the other gory bits, may still disturb the viewers of today. The special effects aren't the best that you'll ever see but they work well enough, considering what's implied. Mother's Day can be classified as a girl- gets-revenge Slasher. It's more intelligent than that, however, because there's a bit of commentary and a black comedy feel to it that's difficult to describe.
In a recent interview conducted with Nancy Hendrickson (the actress who portrayed Abbey), she confirmed the rumor that a dead body was found in the house they used before shooting began. The previous homeowner was murdered and sat vacant for 15 years - a seemingly tall tale to put one over on the audiences but 'tis no tale my friends! It's true! It's this eerie fact that heightens the experience of Mother's Day even more.
Darren Lynn Bousman of Saw II, III, and IV and Repo! The Genetic Opera fame directed a remake of Mother's Day that is slated for an April release in 2011. What's my take on that? I think it's infuriating - we don't need a remake of Mother's Day with a re-vamped premise, Darren. If the younger audiences of today want to see Mother's Day they can sit down and watch the original from 30 years ago. If the tears start flowing out of boredom, guess what? Not everything centers on Grand Theft Auto, smart phones, and Justin Bieber. The film wasn't made for the teenagers of 2010 that can't appreciate older filming techniques and outdated effects; believe it or not, there was a world before the mid- 1990s.