MOTHER’S DAY (1980) Reviews of Troma’s darkly comedic sickie


mother's day

Mother’s Day is a 1980 American horror thriller film about two brothers who kidnap and brutalise three women for the pleasure of their demented mother.

Directed, co-written and produced by Charles Kaufman, brother of Troma Entertainment co-founder Lloyd Kaufman, who served as an associate producer for the film.

The movie stars Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce, Tiana Pierce, Holdem McGuire, Billy Ray McQuade and Rose Ross.

Cinematographer Joseph Mangine also shot Neon Maniacs; Alone in the Dark; Alligator; Squirm and I Drink Your Blood.

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College friends Abbey, Jackie, and Trina reunite every year to take a camping trip. Once while setting their vacation up in the woods, they find their trip turns into their worst nightmare when they are captured by a group of two partially insane “hillbilly” hybrids: Ike and Addley.

The hillbillies lead a comfortable life, living along with their mentally abnormal mother in a hovel situated amidst the woods. Their mother goads her sons into acts of molestation, violence, and murder…


The British film censorship board (BBFC) rejected the film in 1980, banning it from distribution. Nevertheless, the film was later broadcast several times on television on the UK’s Horror Channel between 2006 and 2008, with no cuts or resulting anarchy in the UK. The movie was finally released uncut on Blu-ray and DVD in 2014 by 88 Films.


In Australia, the film was originally passed uncut with an R 18+ in 1983 by the Australian censors but was later banned when reviewed in 1985. Fourteen minutes of the film were cut in Germany in order to keep the film from an X-rating.

A very loose remake was released in 2010.


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“Beautifully scuzzy and brazenly bizarre, Charles Kaufman’s original version of Mother’s Day is a deft mix of pitch-black comedy and fairly effective and disturbing horror. The performances are wonderfully over the top and the locations amazingly filthy, giving this one a look and feel all its own.” Rock! Shock! Pop!

“… Mother’s Day is not for everyone. It’s a demented and revolting exercise in sadism that makes you feel very uncomfortable, yet it’s done with such brains and heart that it stands tall above its many comparable knock-offs. It’s tight, fast-paced, and very well done for its type.” DVD Drive-In

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” … it’s similar to I Spit on Your Grave, but while that film was unflinching and sadistic […] Mother’s Day comes off as simply being cartoonish and weird. Yes, it’s unusual that Mother goads the boys into their strange shows for her entertainment, but the scenes are so weird that they become ludicrous.” DVD Sleuth

“If the script, co-written by Kaufman and Leight, was just improved slightly then this could have been a solid slasher that also subverts a number of the tropes already established by the time it was released. Unfortunately, because of the uneven tone and the lack of a well-constructed “Trojan horse” for the main ideas, it just ends up being a bit of a misfire.” For It Is Man’s Number

Mother’s Day certainly has qualities that many Troma films do not – it is made with a competence and even conducts itself with a modicum of suspense in places instead of Troma’s usual cheapness […] As was to become the case with subsequent Troma films, everything is played at a cartoonishly silly level…” Moria

“Ike and Addley are country bumpkins who are obsessed with popular culture, just as much as the city characters who are prone for an early juncture to quoting lines from classic films. It’s this cultural subtext, the attacks on consumerism and a world where even backwoods types worship the cult of personality, that really intrigues.” SGM

“The women are determined not to be killed and trek through the woods to ensure they avoid recapture. They fight back in a bloody and equally savage way, that feels like a role reversal on several levels. They attack the attackers and violate those that violated them. It brings up an interesting approach to gender and role reversal in a slasher, giving Mother’s Day some depth.” UK Horror Scene

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