The Ass Kicking Mama's of Horror
With the VOD release of Brian Taylor’s new film Mom and Dad right around the corner, we could have easily regurgitated the usual rogues gallery of scariest moms that the genre has provided, from Margaret White to Joan Crawford, but we wanted to do things a little differently. Rachael and Jacob are taking their microscopes over some of the most bad ass, heroic, powerful, ass kicking mama’s in horror!
Dee Wallace as Donna Trenton - Cujo
Rachael: I always think that animal horror is underrated in a way. We have a lot of them out there but they don’t seem to get enough credit like others do. Cujo is one that I find absolutely terrifying. I’m not sure if it could be the fact that I was once attacked by a dog, or that I work at an animal hospital. Whatever it is, Cujo sends chills down my spine. Donna (Wallace) in Cujo resembles everything a concerning mother should be doing. She puts herself first to save her boy and will do anything to make sure he’s ok. I always found her to be a strong woman even though her personal life is a little on the rough end. She displays qualities in her role as mom that many should look up to.
JoBeth Williams as Diane Freeling – Poltergeist
Rachael: I remember seeing Poltergeist at a very young age. Recently I watched the second and third one and have come to decide that Poltergeist is up there as one of my favorite horror franchises. The first one is a classic, as are all the eerie tales and superstitions attached to the movie. These elements fascinate me. Then we have the family. I love this family and everything about them. JoBeth Williams is another strong horror female character that I’ve always gravitated towards. She is relentless on trying to protect her family, has one hell of a scream, and knows how to rock white stripes through her hair. She is awesome!
Kathleen Turner as Beverly Sutphin - Serial Mom
Rachael: This is one of my all time favorite horror comedies. John Waters and his wild mind create this insane movie about a mom who goes on a killing spree for menial things in life. Did you wear white after Labor Day, fail to rewind a VHS tape before returning it, decline to recycle? Well, if you did...Beverly (Turner) thinks you should pay the ultimate price of death for your actions. This is a movie that I can rewatch an endless amount of times and love it every single time. The cast includes Sam Waterston, Matthew Lillard, and Ricki Lake, but Kathleen Turner is where it is at. She displays psychotic with such ease that it is almost scary. I adore this movie!
Frances Lee McCaine as Lynn Peltzer - Gremlins
Jacob: McCaine’s performance in Gremlins, personally, is as iconic as anything else in the film. While unfortunately her character is all but forgotten later in the film, her performance is nuanced in its simplicity. Apart from “the scene”, she imbues every scene she is in with a sense of melancholy, a tired woman married to a cordial inventor Willy Loman. Even her introductory scene, appearing to cry over either the onions or the film, as she claims, always struck me as deeply sad even as a kid. But of course, that pent up frustration and heartache is unleashed on the Gremlins, blowing them up and viciously stabbing them to death, gleefully protecting the homestead. She’s a BOSS with a capital B.
Mimi Rogers as Pamela Fitzgerald - Ginger Snaps
Jacob: I don’t exactly know if you could count yourself lucky to have a mother like Mimi Roger' Pamela, but damnit...she LOVES her daughters. And will do anything for them. Anything. Even attempting to help her daughters escape a tragic fate by skipping town after discovering a dead body in the backyard. Mom of the year award am I right?
Carolyn Jones and Angejilca Huston as Morticia Addams - The Addams Family
Jacob: As a kid I could never get into the more subtle humor of The Addams Family in contrast to the broader jokes in The Munsters. And while I remember going to see the films, nothing ever really stuck. But, strangely enough, when the relationship between Morticia and Gomez became a meme in the past few years, I’ve revisited the show and woo-boy. What a wonderful portrait of modern love from fifty years ago. Take this bit of feminist musings: “I'm just like any modern woman trying to have it all. Loving husband, a family. It's just... I wish I had more time to seek out the dark forces and join their hellish crusade.” or her views on education: “Wednesday's great-aunt Calpurnia. She was burned as a witch in 1706. They said she danced naked in the town square and enslaved the minister … But don’t worry. We’ve told Wednesday: college first.”