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
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 Steve Rhodes