We here at Kindertrauma love to talk about the gruesome kiddies of horror films, but we’re all getting old enough to know that the stork was not really responsible for their births. They all had mommas and with Mother’s Day right around the corner, we thought it was high time we brought up the subject of TRAUMA-MOMMAS; those mothers of horror who showed, through example, how to get the job done. From now until Sunday we vow to bring you some killer mom-ertainment, and it all starts with our listing of our favorite top ten monster mommies of mayhem…
10. YVONNE DECARLO in AMERICAN GOTHIC. So it’s not the most famous horror flick in the world and we admit to giving extra points to YVONNE for her stint as power mom Lily Munster, yet we’re true blue fans of her work here as “Ma.” AMERICAN GOTHIC is a real original, just like YVONNE, and anyone who could put up with the ramblings of both ROD STIEGER (as Pa) and MICHEAL J. POLLARD (as one of her psycho offspring) deserves mucho recognition, if not a jewelry box made out of popsicle sticks.
9. ZELDA RUBINSTEIN already owns our hearts thanks to POLTERGEIST, but in ANGUISH she astounds even more. In her film within a film role as Alice Pressman she puts the average taskmaster mother to shame. Rather then send her kid MICHAEL LERNER out for the usual carton of milk, stick of butter and loaf of bread, she instead demands all the eyeballs in the city! Once more she makes this request in her patented SMURFETTE on helium voice!
8. Speaking of SMURFETTE and helium, JENNIFER TILLY as Tiffany the doll does not seem to be a suitable parent at first glance. She’s sorta self-involved and yes, has a famous violent streak. Her itchy kill impulse would land her on this list regardless, but we gotta give her extra props for standing up to big daddy CHUCKY in defense of her limp plastic wrist-ed son Glen in SEED OF CHUCKY.
7. BEATRICE PONS (as ROSE ROSS) in MOTHER’S DAY is a force to be reckoned with. It would be bad enough is she were to turn a blind eye to her two moronic son’s killing and chilling attitude, but this creepy lady spurs them on and even makes requests for the dreaded SHIRLEY TEMPLE Polaroid game. Sick stuff for sure. Extra points for being in a movie appropriately entitled!
6. A mother who gives birth to her own rage and sends it out into the world to cause havoc? O.K. we realize you only have to open your front door to witness THAT, but the whole licking the litter thing in THE BROOD is just too bizarre not to award, plus SAMANTHA EGGAR!!! Have we ever mentioned we are total Anglophiles (and gingerphiles) here at Kindertrauma? Think about it, you know it’s true.
5. Any mother can act monstrous but in PETER JACKSON‘s DEAD ALIVE a.k.a. BRAINDEAD, ELIZABETH MOODY really does turn into a giant beast that our poor hero has to battle on his rooftop. Easily the most Freudian zombie movie ever made that features contaminated monkeys, kung-fu priests and mass lawnmower kills.
4. The idea that anything would go chin-to-chin or ta-ta-to-ta-ta in a throw down against Ellen Ripley (SIGOURNEY WEAVER) still boggles the mind. I guess having an extra jaw and acid blood can help to raise the old self-assurance level. Momma Alien from ALIENS didn’t sweat a bit and she didn’t even have to rely on bad language (“Get away from her you bitch!“) to psyche out her opponent!
3. CARRIE’s mom Margaret White (PIPER LAURIE)… where do you even start to describe this drunk on Jesus juice, hot-mess tranny? She was the shit, and worse of all…SHE LIKED IT! She ended up just like her hero, crucified, but even Jesus didn’t have to suffer the indignity of being crucified by a potato peeler. MEL GIBSON make a movie about this momma’s “passion” then maybe you can come back into our good graces!
2. One thing about destroying your offspring’s life is that you usually have to curb it when you’re six feet under. PSYCHO‘s Norma Bates (voice by VIRGINIA GREGG) did not feel the need to yield to such restrictions. She just kept yacking and yacking. She yacked until the modern horror film was born, and then she yacked some more. She single handedly yacked the slasher genre into existence, and then she yacked some more. Norma Bates is still yacking. Let’s all pray she never stops.
1. Are you trying to pretend that you don’t know who our number one choice for TRAUMA-MOMMA is? Why? What is wrong with you? Give in to reality, give in to the truth. You can pretend as long as you like that the FRIDAY THE 13TH series is subpar. You can claim it’s juvenile, pedestrian, hokey and dated. The proof is in the blood pudding that stained the wreck room carpet and is never going to go away. It’s pointless to resist any longer, submit NOW! No other mother brings it like PAMELA VORHEES. No other mother has that voice, that smile, that commitment. The entire franchise and many other horror films that followed it in its wake owe their eye teeth to BETSY PALMER. Even as a decapitated head in a refrigerator, she owns it. Even as a crazy sweater shrine, she brings it. BETSY PALMER IS THE ULTIMATE TRAUMA-MOMMA! GET IT? GOT IT? GOOD!!! We have prepared a poem in her honor….
M is for the murders you inspired!
O is for the only son you had!
T is for the terror that transpired!
H is for the horny teens that made you mad!
E is for the evil that won’t retire!
R is for the revenge of your drowned lad!
Put them all together they spell mother.
Someone we would like so much to please,
But this mother bests all the others
And her name is PAMELA VOORHEES!
NOTE: If you don’t see your favorite TRAUMA-MOMMA listed, keep your shirt on, there’s more to come! Check out our picks for TRAUMA-MOMMAS 20 – 11 & The 10 Most Horrifying Moms From Non-Horror Movies.