Mother's Day (1980 film)

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Mother's Day
Film poster
Directed by Charles Kaufman
Produced by Michael Herz
Charles Kaufman
Written by Charles Kaufman
Warren Leight
Starring Nancy Hendrickson
Deborah Luce
Tiana Pierce
Rose Ross
Music by Phil Gallo
Clem Vicari, Jr.
Cinematography Joseph Mangine
Edited by Daniel Loewenthal
Duty Productions
Saga Films A.B.
Distributed by Troma Entertainment
United Film Distribution Company
Release date
  • September 12, 1980 (1980-09-12)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $115,000[1]

Mother's Day is a 1980 American horror film directed, co-written and produced by Charles Kaufman, brother of Troma Entertainment co-founder Lloyd Kaufman who served as an associate producer for the film. The plot focuses on a mentally abnormal mother and her two deranged sons capturing and torturing a trio of women camping within the woods. The film also contains elements of the satire and thriller genres.

With its many scenes of violence and rape, the film is often considered an exploitation film. While not a success during its release and gaining a mixed-to-negative reception from critics, the film has since become a cult classic over the years. A loose remake, also called Mother's Day, was released in 2012.


In a Growth Opportunity graduation, a couple named Terry and Charlie are offered a ride from an old woman where they are driven into the woods. After the old woman's car is stalled, two inbred killers appear and attack; Charlie is decapitated with a machete in the backseat while Terry is brutally assaulted before being garroted by the old lady. It is revealed that the dual killers named Ike and Addley are the woman's sons, who is nicknamed Mother.

Meanwhile, three adult women with a long-time friendship, Abbey, Jackie, and Trina, are reunited every year for a camping trip at Deep Barons. After stopping at a nearby store for supplies, they arrive at their destination and begin to camp. While in the woods, they begin to explore, sitting around the campfire telling stories and having fun by swimming and fishing, unbeknownst that they are being stalked by Ike and Addley. At night, the two brothers capture the three women in their sleeping bags and bring them to Mother's cabin residence in the woods. It is revealed that the brothers live alongside with Mother, in which they are raised to commit acts of rape, violence, and murder to impress her.

After the girls are tied up inside the cabin, Jackie is first taken by Mother and the deranged brothers who torture her outside with abuse and assault. The next morning, Abbey and Trina plan to escape as Mother and her boys exercise outside. While still inside the house, the two girls discover Terry and Charlie's bodies and find a brutalized Jackie inside a drawer. While outside Mother sees her deformed sister Queenie in the wilderness. Meanwhile the trio escape from the cabin and into the woods; Trina finds the car destroyed and is chased by Ike, and Jackie peacefully dies of her wounds. Ike is distracted and Trina reunites with Abbey for revenge against Mother and the brothers. Meanwhile, Mother discusses with Addley about her sister Queenie, revealing that Queenie lives out in the woods near the cabin and feeds off of dead animals.

The next morning, Abbey and Trina arm themselves with weapons and begin to invade the cabin to avenge Jackie. After they brutally kill Addley inside the house, they move his body outside before Ike appears and attacks. He tries to strangle Trina before Abbey pours Drano down his throat, damaging him. In the process, Ike is injured from a television set slammed into his head by Abbey and is murdered by Trina with an electric knife. With the brothers dead, the girls gang up on Mother and sadistically suffocate Mother with a sex toy. With their vengeance complete, the two girls make a burial for Jackie and prepare to leave the woods before they are suddenly attacked by Queenie who jumps from behind the bushes as the film fades to yellow.



A particular scene in the film is soundtracked by "I Think We're Alone Now" by 1960s bubblegum pop band Tommy James and the Shondells.


The United Kingdom's film rating board (BBFC) rejected the film in 1980, banning it from distribution.[2] The film was shown several times on the Horror Channel between 2006–08, with no cuts[citation needed] but it was not passed for release on home media until 2015.[3]

In Australia, the film was originally passed uncut with an R 18+ in 1983 by the Australian censors but was later banned when reviewed in 1985.[4]


The film received mixed to negative reviews; it currently holds a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[5] Roger Ebert famously despised the film, giving it zero stars in a review and saying how disgusted he was at its violence, gore, rape and torture during "Sneak Previews", writing "The question of why anyone of any age would possibly want to see this movie remains without an answer."[6]

Home media[edit]

Mother's Day received a VHS release in the mid-80s by Media Home Entertainment, and later by Video Treasures. It was released on DVD in 2000[7] by Troma Entertainment. The Blu-ray was released September 4, 2012 by Anchor Bay Entertainment.[8]

The film was released for the first time in the United Kingdom as Number 02 of 88 Films "Slasher's Classics Collection" series on Blu-ray on February 23, 2015.


The remake of Mother's Day is directed by Darren Lynn Bousman and produced by Brett Ratner.[9] The remake was released at Fantastic Fest in September 2010 and in the United Kingdom in June 2011. The film received several pushbacks, but was released on DVD, and Blu-ray, March 8, 2012.


External links[edit]