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Serial Mom

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Serial Mom

Starring: Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston
Director: John Waters
Rated: R
RunTime: 93 Minutes
Release Date: April 1994
Genres: Comedy, Cult, Horror

*Also starring: Ricki Lake, Matthew Lillard, Scott Wesley Morgan, Walt MacPherson, Justin Whalin, Patricia Dunnock, Suzanne Somers, Joan Rivers

Review by David Wilcock
No Rating Supplied

SERIAL MOM is non-stop cute. It is a comedy/documentary/horror movie. I smiled from the opening credits where they told you it was a true story till the last credit where they reassured you that "no flies were injured or killed in the making of the film." Whew! I was worried until those ending credits. I never laughed out loud, but I kept a constant grin on my face from ear to ear.

Remember Ozzie and Harriet? Well, this time Harriet is cuter than ever, BUT she is a serial killer. The mom is played perfectly by Kathleen Turner in one of the best performances of her career. The dad (Sam Waterston) and the kids (Ricki Lake and Matthew Lillard) were great too as the quintessential American family. Looking at this family, it was hard not wanting to be a part of it. You had to keep reminding yourself that no matter how sweet the mom seemed, she WAS a serial killer after all. Great cameo roles too by Suzanne Thighmasters Summers and Patty Lets-Rob-a-Bank Hearst.

The movie was filmed in bright lights and vivid primary colors by Robert Stevens and Robert M. Stevens. The music by Basil Poledouris was continual sweetness and happiness. It really set the tone well. The sets was right on the mark.

Equal to Turner's performance was John Waters's direction. He is a leading cult director having done five cult classics (POLYESTER, PINK FLAMINGOS, MONDO TRASHO, HAIRSPRAY, and CRY-BABY). I have seen none of these and had it not been for the wonderful trailers I saw ahead of time, I think I never would have seen SERIAL MOM because I hate slap stick comedy, but this was a highly controlled comedy - certainly not slap stick.

Okay, so what is wrong with it? It was way overboard too gory. Turner does not need to wave the hearts and livers of her victims around the room. Other than that, which cost the movie a half star in my ratings, I found no other faults. Waters does exactly what he sets out to do, and Turner delivers a terrific performance. Less cuteness and bigger laughs would have help get it another 1/2 star from me. The sight gags made you smile, but the dialog rarely elicited laughter.

Copyright 1994 David Wilcock

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