Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Film #39: Mommy (1995)

Some parents will do anything for their children.
Even KILL!
Oh, sorry, was that overdramatic, clichéd, and hackneyed?
Well then, this introduction shares identical characteristics with this week’s movie, the mid-90s crapfest “Mommy.”

The title character, Mommy, is a psychotic beyotch. Think a cross between that untouchable preppy girl at your high school and her overbearing, look-a-like mother. The story line tells us Mommy is “beautiful, charming and cold,” but we are just going to have to take the script's word for it as Mommy actress Patty McCormack (a former child actor) has more wrinkles than a homeless guys underwear.

Mommy was spoiled as a child, and always got anything she wanted. Living a charmed life, her sense of entitlement carried on into adulthood where her raging permanent PMS could be felt by anyone who encountered her – especially her lone child.

Mommy is a single-mom to sweet little 12-year-old Jessica Ann, a perfect A student who lives in constant fear of her obsessed and oppressive mother. Jessica Ann has major Daddy issues, and with good reason. Seems like any man Mommy marries ends up in a pine box. Jessica Ann’s father died in a “fishing accident,” and then her second, rich Da-Da also croaked under “mysterious causes.” Mommy was at the scene both times… but never charged with a crime. Hmmm, all signs pointed to Mommy, but the cops just couldn’t prove it.

Despite her lack of a father, Jessica Ann lived up to her mom’s perfect standards. She was even a three time winner of the Outstanding Student of the Year award at her school. Mommy figured her Jessica Ann would make it a four-peat, but it seems the school teacher decided a well-performing “foreign” Latino student deserved the award this year.

Well, we can’t have that. Jessica Ann is perfect and deserves that award! And she is not going to be denied what she’s earned just because the teacher feels sorry for some “Mexican,” says Mommy. When Mommy confronts Jessica Ann’s teacher about the award, things get crazy and Mommy snaps old Teach’s neck, then arranges the crime scene to make it look like an accident.

Well, not everyone thinks it is an accident, including the local bad-assed, smoking, Hawaiian shirt wearing, gun holster holstering detective. He’s got his eyes on old Mommy... If he just had the right proof.

Even with the locals closing in, Mommy’s killing spree revs up, as she tries to cover her murderous tracks… axing anyone who gets in her way.

Meanwhile poor Jessica Ann catches on to her Mother’s penchant for murder, and struggles with whether or not to turn her in to the po-po. “She’s my mother, she has given me everything!” the girl thinks. “But I don’t want anyone else to get hurt, especially Mommy’s new boyfriend Mark Jeffries, the only man more dreamy than chocolate cake.
“What should I do, Santa?! What should I do!”

The heat is on in all directions, but can Mommy keep her cool? Find out, in the direct-to-video stinker that is 1995’s “Mommy.”

RDHP Ratings and Review

C-Rating: 1.8
Chris Dimick mama-cries:
“This movie doesn’t deserve a well-crafted and coherent review – it was that underwhelming. Therefore, out of respective for you the reader, I won’t waste your time with paragraphs or a well-threaded story.
I’ll just list some random thoughts, and that should give you the gist.

-The movie looked like it was filmed using daytime soap opera cameras.

-Every “murder” was lamer than the last… most boarding on absurd. (So, you can throw a bucket of water on someone, and as long as they are standing near a fuse box they will get Kentucky fried?)

-If this tells you anything, the same guy who wrote and directed “Mommy” is also a band member of the horrible 90s sounding band “Crusin’,” which performed several songs on the soundtrack. Yeah, I’m guessing this was done to save money so they could splurge on that "dramatic/ironic" red lighting that shows up every time Mommy’s ready to kill.

-The girl who played Jessica Ann (Rachel Lemieux) was the lone bright star in this cast of white dwarfs. She played her character with sincerity, enthusiasm, and conveyed real emotion. Sad when the youngest member of the cast is its best attribute.

-As a horror movie, this gets a “fail.” But as a COMEDY! Oh man, 5.0! Like most on a weekday night, Nick and I needed a good laugh. And this viewing delivered. My sides literary hurt at some points from laughing. So if you like so-bad-it’s-good-flicks, order this one up. Otherwise stay away.

With all that movie business out of the way, I'll use the remainder of my gigabytes to give a quick thanks to my own mother, Karri Dimick, who is the complete opposite of this week’s title character. We don’t tell our parents “thank you” enough for all they did, and continue to do. Watching Mommy, I was reminded once again just how great my parents were growing up, and continue to be.

As a kid and teen, I would see friends stalked and obsessed over by their parents. Like in “Mommy,” these kids were sheltered, and led a stifled life. Worst part was, these parental antics always backfired, because the first day that kid was finally released into the wild and from out of mother’s wing (usually in college), they’d rebel something fierce and usually end up flunking out of school, knocked up, or hooked on various drugs. Overbearing parents lead to failed children.

My parents managed to provide what I consider the perfect balance of being up in my business just enough to keep me honest, while not crushing my individuality or sense of self.

So Mom (and Dad), thank you for always being supportive, but not overbearing. Firm in your convictions, but always fair and respectful of my opinion. You provided discipline when necessary, but also the freedom for me to find my own way. Best of all, you understood that sometimes children have to make their own mistakes, and learn their own lessons. You never treated me as “yours” to control, but a son to guide toward light and away from dark. You put up with my teenage bull-crap and tantrums with a grace I can only hope to muster (should I ever be cursed with a child of my own).

But most of all, thank you for never murdering anyone in front me… like “Mommy” did to daughter Jessica Ann in this flick. That probably would have messed me up. Messed me up something fierce.

And I don’t count that hobo you shivved in our alley for stealing the garden tomatoes. That asshole totally had it coming, and after all, we never knew did find out if that wound was fatal."

N-Rating: 2.0
Nick Rich mama-cries:
"Nick: Who loves you more than anything on God's green Earth Mommy?
Mommy: You do, Nick.
Nick: That's right! And don't you forget it!

I'm not afraid to say it - I loved Mommy! This is my blog (well, at least partially) so I don't have to adhere to some golden standard of quality, and, well, if I want to rate a movie as horrendously bad as Mommy as a 2.0, then I will!
Take that system! Take that reader! Take that Mother! Mommy was a wondrously mindless film that served as an oasis among the critical hits and misses we've encountered along the sometimes rocky road of the project... honestly, I don't think I've enjoyed watching a project film more!

Mommy has everything you need to relax after a long day at work: poor casting, poor line delivery, poor production value, poor 90's fashion and (most importantly) a sincere effort to make a quality film. I have a soft spot in my heart for films like Mommy - films born of the blood, sweat and tears of the everyman with dreams of breaking into the moving picture business! Such passion. Such sweet, misguided, and horribly executed passion.

It's misguided passion that is the key ingredient in making the yucks flow like wine in this film. It's like listening to a middle schooler talk about meeting the love of their life... you know they mean everything they're saying, but that doesn't change the fact that their 'heartfelt emotions' are hilarious. Oh misguided youth, and apparently filmmakers in Iowa... if only others could see you as you see yourself.

Watching Mommy was quite freeing, I didn't have to think critically and could just sit back and enjoy it. This flim was definitely a treat for Chris and I - I can't remember the last time I laughed at a movie so much! Was it a good horror movie? My land no! But it played all the predictably right notes so as to make it a joy to watch in all of its cheesy goodness. There was just something about it that made you root for how bad it was... and that's a good thing.

The Skinny: Check this flick out if you've had a long day and need to shut off the old money maker or if you need a lesson of how to not make a serious film.

Things We Learned from Mommy:
-Mommy is our best friend.
-Posture is important.
-Don’t speak in a “snickery” tone to Mother.
-More accidents happen at home than anywhere else, especially if you live with Mommy.
-“Bad bedroom things” is a code word for molestation and rape.
-A valid reason for doing something is “Because I’m the Mommy, that’s way.”
-Mommy doesn’t feel things the way she should.
-Mark and chocolate cake is a combo few girls can resist.
-“Sometimes Mommies don’t always know best.”
-Jeffrey Dahmer jokes are never appropriate at a murder scene.
-Kids wore mom jeans in 1995.
-Red, shining lights always mean murder.
-Junkyards need movie set designers.
-The band Crusin’ sucks.
-Sleeping in a moving car makes kids “tummy’s” hurt:

Quote of the Viewing:
[Badass detective Lt. March (played by Jason Miller, one of the priests in the Exorcist now looking for a check) steps out of his 90s-rific car with a cig in his mouth, big sunglasses hanging on his nose, a loud, Hawaiian shirt tucked into tight jeans, and a ridiculous oversized gun holster swinging off his much-too-old-for-the-character 60 year old body. As he swaggers across the screen trying to be a sex symbol or something, Nick and Chris exclaim in unison:]
Nick and Chris: [At exactly the same time, yelling] WOULD YOU LOOK AT THIS GUY! OHHHHHHHHH MAN, TOUGH GUY!
[Followed by a full 60 seconds of uncontrollable laughter at this friggin’ “hard ass” cop.]

RDHP Presents: Overbearing Mothers
Okay, we get it, you love your children, parents. But do you really have to crawl up in their who-ha and be all in their business?! The world is full of overbearing mothers, so it is fitting that the arts would be full of them too. Below, we present a list of those mothers both fictional and in real life that just can’t bring themselves to let their precious little children speak, think or breathe for themselves.

Mrs. Agnes Skinner
Agnes: "Seymour, tell them we're next."
Seymour: "Well, I'm not principal of the line, mother."
Agnes: "And you nevvvvver will be."

Pageant Mothers
"I want to be a star"... "I mean, I want YOU to be a star"

Margaret White (from Carrie)
No matter how much she washed them after being belted with tampons, poor Carrie's dirty pillows were never clean enough for this psychotic beytoch of a mother.

Helen “Mama” Boucher
Mama told Adam Sandler he couldn't play football. Mama didn't know sh*t.

School Dance Chaperones
They volunteer under the guise of wanting to help out the school, but you know they are there to make sure precious Cynthia doesn't end up on MTV's Teen Mom. Want to embarrass your teen, go to their friggin dances, you parental turd.

Lucille Bluth (from Arrested Development)
This overbearing den mother soaks her children in sarcasm almost as much as she soaks her liver in gin.

Vera “Mum” Cosgrove (from Dead Alive)
Pretty sad when your mother becoming a flesh eating zombies IMPROVES her personality!

Joan Crawford
Being the daughter of Mommy Dearest = true horror.

One Thing that Makes
Us Laugh Out Loud:
Behold the power of laughter! “Mommy” had Nick and Chris LOL-ing their heads off for most of the flick, and we have to say the experience felt great. This was one of those so bad it is good, MST3K type of flicks that works better as a comedy than a horror.
Laughter truly is the best medicine for life’s endless ails. That said, below we each present one random thing that always makes us laugh uncontrollably and out loud. Hopefully, you’ll find it funny too. There is just nothing like a good laugh.

Chris’ Pick:
The Double Rainbow Guy Video
The guy seeing the rainbow is just so excited, and in turn the whole thing seems so pure and uplifting. But his excitement is also hilarious… you have to think, what the hell, is it really that cool? And therein lies the hilarity. Add on top of that, nobody is getting hurt or made fun of really, it is all in good fun. This video allows the viewer to really rip the laughs off the walls, guilt-free.
I literary cried laughing when I watched this for the first time recently… which hasn’t happened in years. Enjoy:

Nick's Pick:
Kids In The Hall - French Fur Trappers
This is my all-time favorite comedy sketch. The first time I saw it as a lad I enjoyed it so much it haunted me into adulthood, where I was reunited with it via DVD. For my money, it doesn't get any better than the look on Kevin McDonald's face after his first 'catch'! Oh, Kids! How we miss you!

1 comment:

  1. HAHAHAHA - I had not seen the double rainbow guy video before. Yes, Eric and I both laughed out loud unabashedly. (Sorry Nick - I had seen the Fur Trappers skit before. Also hilarious, by the way.)