TRAUMA-MOMMAS: Top Horrifying Moms From Non-Horror Movies

TRAUMA-MOMMAS don’t have to star in horror movies per say to inflict horror upon their friends, family and neighbors. This next list of bad mommies wreaked plenty of havoc and still found their respective DVD’s shelved in the more respectable (read boring) aisles of the local video shop. Here’s to spreading the misery into every genre!

10.Only sober for about two hours a day,” CASINO‘s Ginger McKenna (SHARON STONE) has no qualms with getting shit-faced and doing lines of blow in front of her young daughter Amy. And when Ginger can’t find a babysitter so she can go down to the club to hang with Nicky (JOE PESCI), she’s not above tying Amy to the bed ala LINDA BLAIR in THE EXORCIST.

9. Proving that you should never con a con, especially when that con is your mom, THE GRIFTERS Lilly Dillon (ANJELICA HUSTON) chooses money over her son Roy (JOHN CUSAK). After murdering his girlfriend (ANNETTE BENNING), and torching the body, Lilly not only robs Roy, but also shows her son the business end of her suitcase and a broken drinking glass.

8. Momma Sharon (MIMI ROGERS) has her heart in the right place and, for the most part, is a lovingly attentive parent in THE RAPTURE, but new mommies take note: Shooting a bullet into your daughter’s head to get her on the express lane into heaven to avoid a rumored upcoming apocalypse? That’s a parenting blunder you just don’t recover from.

7. Who needs to resort to physical violence when you can tear your children to shreds with words? No one in THE ANNIVERSARY is safe from the deliciously hateful vile that spews forth from the mouth of the one-eyed Mrs. Taggert (BETTE DAVIS).
6. What well of darkness did a 36-year-old ANGELA LANSBURY tap to so effectively convince as a cold calculating mother in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE? You try playing the part of a mother to an actor (LAURENCE HARVEY) who is only three years your junior and see if you don’t get a little steely glint in your eye!

5. Who says you can’t fit a square peg into a round hole? That’s what hammers are for! Lillian Farmer (KIM STANLEY) sorta digs the perks and swag her now famous daughter FRANCES is receiving. When nonconformist Frances decides to step out of the limelight, Mom decides she MUST be crazy! Electro shock therapy, full-frontal lobotomies, asylum gang rape and ice baths ensue… thanks mom!

4. Baltimore housewife Beverly Sutphin (KATHLEEN TURNER) loves her family and excels at the domestic arts. She’s also a pro at making obscene phone calls, committing restroom murders, and skillfully defending herself in a court of law in SERIAL MOM. Just don’t let her catch you wearing white after Labor Day!

3. In WILD AT HEART, old-school cougar Marietta Fortune (DIANE LADD) is a mother with boundary issues. When her daughter Lulu’s beau Sailor (NICOLAS CAGE) rebuffs this hellcat’s inappropriate advances, Marietta goes a little overboard with a tube of red lipstick and hires hit men to take out her future son-in-law.

2 . SYBIL Dorsett (SALLY FIELD) has multiple personalities, but none are as bad as the ONE personality her awful mother Hattie (MARTINE BARTLETT) is host to. Turning household objects like boot hooks and water bottles into instruments of torture, she transforms her family kitchen into the set of HOSTEL 3. Perhaps the most frightening tool at her command is her childlike, sing-song voice. Just listen to her belt out a couple lines of her favorite nonsensical song “Lettuce Head” and you too will be retreating to a “happy place” deep, deep inside.

1. While we would never suggest that this is her first, or last, time at the bad mommy rodeo, FAYE DUNAWAY’s career-ending turn as JOAN CRAWFORD in MOMMIE DEAREST taught us that one need not wear a hockey mask to strike fear in the hearts of small children. A Kabuki-like application of cold cream will do just fine.

In Case You Missed Them: The Most Horrifying Horror Movie Moms & More Horrifying Movie Moms.

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14 years ago

Brilliant list!!!

I especially love Lula’s “MOM-MA” in Wild At Heart. The scene from the screen shot you posted is great – especially with the dissonant strings behind it – but I favor the bathroom scene with Sailor. When she spells out S-H-I-Teeee

14 years ago

So glad to see you added more Mean Mommas….I HAD noticed Joan Crawford and SYBIL’S Mama missing from the last list…but you’re right – those weren’t really “Horror Movies”….They were worse: They were “allegedly” true stories!!!

Pax Romano
14 years ago

Sybil’s mother … aw christ, that movie ruined me. Cheers to Ms. Bartlett for creating one of the most horrifying women ever!

J.A. 1969
14 years ago

“The one-eyed Mrs. Taggert (BETTE DAVIS).”
I just watched this (got a copy of it at my local
video store) and yes she was like an immaculate
bowl of red Jell-O that comes to life and jiggers
and triggers herself all ovah the goddamn screen.

This flick is really ridiculous and not in a great way sorry to write but that eyepatch? My roommate had to squint both eyes everytime
she was onscreen. Best line though was:

What a sick Bitch.


12 years ago

No wire hangers EVER!!!