Laura T. from SAN FRANCISCO, CA Reviewed on 1/9/2010...
John Waters usually scares me, but this is definitely the best combination of his creativity-meets-creepiness approach, without being too over the top. Kathleen turner plays a fantastically perverse suburban mom-psychopath -- avenging loathed neighbors for ill behavior at the dentist, or violation of recycling codes. ...All the while we get to watch fledgling stage personalities Ricki Lake and Matthew Lillard learn to love their killer mom.
Five stars for John Waters foregoing maimed chickens, incestuous lovers, and hatchet-faces, and putting together a gag-reflex-less, surprisingly hilarious movie.
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Fashion has changed! NO IT HAS NOT!!!!!
Brett D. Cullum | Houston, TX United States | 07/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"SERIAL MOM is John Waters at his delightfully darkest. Kathleen Turner plays a soccer mom who harbors secret psychopathic longings and begins acting them out in the most bizarre ways. Ever seen anyone killed with a turkey leg while singing a song from ANNIE? If you've seen SERIAL MOM you have! Wow! Kathleen does a great job, but also look for Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, and a before he was famous Matthew Lillard throwing in great support. Oh, and who can forget Suzanne Sommers? She's awesome too! Waters regular Mink Stole steals her pussy willow scene as well. This is a great one! The DVD contains a commentary with John Waters, and as usual his track is every bit as entertaining as the movie. There are featurettes with all the leads talking about making this farce! It's a great package. DVD presentation is striking - good picture and sound of one of John's highest budget features."
A more mainstream effort from off-kilter king John Waters
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 04/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"SERIAL MOM is one of John Waters' more mainstream movie offerings and thus lacks the edge of earlier efforts (PINK FLAMINGOES, POLYESTER), though does have Kathleen Turner in one of her most accomplished tour-de-forces.
Beverly Sutphin (Kathleen Turner) seems like your ordinary stay-at-home wife and mother, but nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who crosses her path and defiles her code of morals is instantly killed or abused, starting with neighbour Dottie Hinkle (Mink Stole) whom Beverly harrasses with shocking prank phonecalls after Dottie rudely cut her out of a parking space. Then there's the boy who broke daughter Misty's heart, impaled by a Franklin Mint fire-poker; the rude man who doesn't floss, crushed by his airborne cooler-unit; the woman who doesn't rewind her videos, bludgeoned by a lamb chop, and the list goes on...!
Beverly's murder trial takes on a life of it's own and becomes a media circus. Suzanne Somers is the frontrunner to play Beverly in a TV miniseries and Beverly acts as her own defence. Too bad about the annoying juror (Patty Hearst) who is wearing white shoes after Labour Day...
Kathleen Turner glows in her ghoulishly-gleeful turn as Beverly. John Waters directs a fine cast (including Waters stalwarts Mink Stole and Ricki Lake).
This movie is simply delightful off-kilter comedy at it's best. Ricki Lake and Matthew Lillard play Beverly's teens Misty and Chip with Sam Waterston as Beverly's guileless husband. The cast also includes Traci Lords, Scott Wesley Morgan, Walt MacPherson, Justin Whalin, Patricia Dunnock, Lonnie Horsey and Mary Jo Catlett."
Life doesn't have to be so bad, but it's hilarious anyway!
MortensOrchid | Cleveland, OH | 10/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I thought this movie was a riot the first time I saw it. I was only vaguely aware of John Waters at the time, as he had hit it big with Hairspray a few years before. Watching this movie you can catch the little digs and subleties (the gal from L7 showing off her camel toe, that really filthy porn movie the friend Scottie is watching, etc.) here and there. Kathleen Turner plays the Divine role very well as the suburban housewife on the edge of exploding. Beverly is so obsessed with perfection and keeping her world in line that she snaps. The obscene calls to her neighbor Dottie (all because she cut her off in the parking lot at Joanne Fabrics) are hilarious. She kills the woman for not rewinding her video tapes before returning them, and even contemplates murder against her literbug neighbor for not recycling.
This was probably John Waters's salute to the courtroom groupie phenomena. We can turn mass murderers into celebrities, although I wish he had captured more of the party aspect of it rather than the sale of T shirts and merchandise. Patty Hurst is even in it, and if you didn't know otherwise John Waters was one of the Patty Hurst groupies back in the day. Suzanne Sommers even makes an appearance, in probably her most signifigant screen role to date, just being herself. It was a good time and captures one of John Waters's many obsessions."
crafty in california | 12/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an amazing entertaining movie. There is violence but it is part of the hidden surprise inside of Serial Mom. There is some foul language but it fits in beautifully and is needed. The reaction of Serial Mom's family to her behavior is priceless. If you have a sense of humor, this is a great movie to add to your collection."
Marcell Orosz | Budapest, Hungary | 12/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The story of the woman defending her family results in the best movie of John Waters and the best role of Kathleen Turner, one of the 80's big actresses.Without spoiling the fun the movie makes, it contains the most hilarious murder ever committed, the best courtroom scene ever and the aftermath of it (even more funny), and the most idiotic story in the world that works. All the actors are great but Kathleen Turner is absolutely fantastic (or frenetic ?). She should have got an AA for this role. She is totally psychotic, anyway you can't help but love her. She is the perfect mother but she is too perfect and this results in some "accidents". Anyone who tries to harm her family is... in danger (to say the least)John Waters is known for some movies in the past (Pink Flamingos, a cult trash movie for instance) but this is the best movie he's ever directed. It is a comedy as dark as the night and a superb satire. It IS trash but the best trash I've ever seen. So it is highly recommended for anyone who doesn't moralize over some silly things. Because this story is silly. If it wouldn't be then... anyway who knows what their neighbours are doing :). Maybe serial mom lives next to you but you haven't recognised her yet..."