Ross Tipograph of Star Costumes was kind enough to offer up another wonderful review for us. He previously wrote about the wacky mid 80's slasher April Fool's Day and now has set his sights on John Waters' suburban satire, Serial Mom. A film I also happen to love dearly. Enjoy, pussy willows!
A Savoy Pictures Release
Original Theatrical Release: April 13, 1994
Serial Mom is undoubtedly one of the greatest suburban send-up horror-comedies ever brought to film. No shock that it’s directed by John Waters, the queen of queens, during what will humbly be called the “second half” of his career. The “first half” was full of his shock-tastic masterpieces of the ‘70s and ‘80s, like Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, and Polyester, the movies that gave him a name and career.
Right around the late ‘80s, he segued into the world of more subdued, equally biting modern classics, including Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Pecker, and, of course, Serial Mom…
Calling Serial Mom “subdued” is in itself a joke. Kathleen Turner, in a seriously delicious performance, plays the fictional Beverley Sutphin, a picture-perfect housewife and mother who just wants to the do the world some good! Everyone should recycle, brush their teeth, and respect their peers. Those who don’t, well, she gruesomely kills, runs over with a car, topples with an air-conditioning vent, or slaughters into a men’s room.
Her husband (Sam Watersdon) and kids (John Waters fave Ricki Lake & genre fave Matthew Lillard) eventually catch on – but what could they do? Turn Mom in? They love her; she cares for them dearly and she only wants what’s best. Like when she jabs a fire-poker through the guy cheating on her daughter, and when she mercilessly beats a rule-breaking video store customer over the head with a shankbone to death.
With humor ranging from dry to cartoonish, hilariously picturesque music from Basil Poledouris (seriously, download it), and a supporting performance from the porn world’s very own Lolita, Traci Lords, Serial Mom is a perfect ten. A riotous, bloody tale about morals and respect.
Ross Tipograph is a film buff and Emerson College screenwriting major. When he’s not reviewing movies, he’s writing about Halloween costumes.