11 Mothers Who Are Even Worse Than Yours
Ah, Mother’s Day. That annual event in which you pretend to be grateful for all the psychological damage your mother has inflicted upon you from day one of your helpless, flailing existence. She’ll even try to make you feel bad for being bitter by claiming she slaved over a hot stove and changed your diapers at the expense of her own happiness.
It’s all lies. First of all, slaving over a hot stove is infinitely preferable to bringing down prey in the wild or letting a five-year-old operate a gas burner. “Look, honey, Suzie made dinner. It’s hard to tell because she burned the house down as well.” Second, she put you in diapers to save the furniture and carpets and to keep the place from being condemned by the health inspector, not because she cared about protecting your little behind with fluffy cotton.
Anyway, enough of that. Here’s PFC’s list of 11 cinematic mothers who messed up their kids even worse than yours did:
1. Mrs. Bates (Psycho, 1960)
You knew I was going here, so why drag it out?
Not only did Mrs. Bates badger poor Norman incessantly and make him run around like a dog fetching a ball all day, but she also saw his girlfriend naked before he did! And not for nothing, Mrs. Bates, but cleaning up blood and dumping bodies is a lot more work than changing diapers.
2. Mrs. Voorhees (Friday the 13th, 1980)
Mrs. Voorhees went on a mad killing spree at Camp Crystal Lake to avenge the drowning death of her son, Jason. But since Jason was clearly alive in the next 11 Ft13 films, she obviously didn’t do a very good job of making sure he had really drowned, did she? It’s a lake, for Christ’s sake. How far could he have gone? So not only is she lazy, she also screwed his head up to the point that hockey masks now make the entire world think of serial killers instead of hockey.
3. Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest, 1981)
You knew I was going to go here as well, didn’t you? Of course! What mother ever had a more pathological hatred of wire hangers?
In fairness to her, they do leave creases.
4. Mother (Mother’s Day, 1980)
To people like me, who have seen just every disturbing movie that’s ever been banned somewhere, this flick about a deranged mother who gleefully directs her two inbred sons to kidnap, torture, and kill three women is a comedy of continuity mistakes and hammy acting. To the rest of you, it’s some fucked up shit.
5. Carol Connelly (As Good as It Gets, 1997)
Helen Hunt’s character is so desperate for a man to help take care of her sick son that she is willing to enter into a relationship with a cruel, demanding sociopath at least 25 years her senior. On top of that, he’s a writer, which means he doesn’t have health insurance either. If you think the kid is a mess now, wait until he spends a couple of holidays with this lunatic.
6. Kathy Lutz (Amityville Horror, 1979) and 7. Diane Freeling (Poltergeist, 1982)
The only mother worse than Lutz, who makes her children sleep in a house that bleeds and is possessed by demons, is Freeling, who puts her preschool-aged daughter back in the same bedroom that had previously sucked the kid into another dimension. White people and haunted houses!
8. Margaret White (Carrie, 1976)
You so knew I was going here that it scarcely warrants me mentioning that I knew you knew.
OK, so your mother probably gave you sexual hang-ups and an inferiority complex (she accomplished this by attacking from a number of fronts. It was really quite impressive), but Carrie’s mother was so bad that she gave her daughter telekinesis. Not only did people die because of this, but fire hoses were used in ways specifically forbidden by the manufacturer!
9. Grace Stewart (The Others, 2001)
Nicole Kidman’s kids are afraid of the dark and absolutely petrified of ghosts. Nicole, just tell them SPOLIER ALERT that they are the ghosts. What, do you think it’s going to hurt their grades if they find out? They aren’t college material anyway, honestly.
10. Mrs. Gorgo (Gorgo, 1961)
Some fisherman haul up a giant sea monster called Gorgo and bring it back to London for display in a show, because the same thing had worked out so well in King Kong 28 years earlier. It turns out, though, that this giant monster is just a baby, and the rather larger and heretofore unknown mama Gorgo shows up to destroy the city, Godzilla style.
You know, this is no different from those entitled mothers who storm down to the school to make a big stink every time junior gets a B on a test, as if it’s the teacher’s fault that junior’s weed habit has killed his motivation. This type of behavior from parents won’t help their children learn to stomp famous landmarks in the real world.
11. Mother (Alien, 1979)
The brain of the big mining spaceship in Alien is called Mother, and, just like human mothers, she’s a controlling beast. Instead of taking her children directly home, she decides without asking that a side trip is in order. But she’s not going to Kohl’s, she’s going to a planet full of 9-foot-tall, acid-blooded insect monsters who like to eat people’s faces to pick one up as a souvenir. I believe the whole film is a metaphor for why women end up with losers (though Ridley Scott may disagree). On top of all that, when last-survivor Ripley tries to cancel the self-destruct order, Mother is like, “No, that’s OK. I’ll just blow up. You obviously don’t need mother around anymore. You’re all grown up now. Just forget about me, if you haven’t already.”
This sets up the acclaimed sequel by Woody Allen, in which a guilt-ridden Ripley suffers through one dysfunctional relationship after another and finally decides to get therapy, which doesn’t help.