It’s that time of year where we acknowledge all the great things mothers and stepmothers do, from making dinner, to teaching us how to take care of ourselves. Mothers come in all shapes and sizes and deserve the respect of a queen. A mother is selfless, protective and always has your best interest at heart. This mother’s day, we here at The Blood-Shed want to take a moment to appreciate the moms out there, and say thank you.
From The Blood-Shed staff
Having said that, it’s time to consider what would horror be without mothers? Sure there are plenty of times a mother might go above and beyond for her children, but what about those who step off the deep end and enter that dark territory that is terror? Let’s take a look at some of the mothers who went beyond the norm for their children in the darkest ways possible. Whether it was to protect them, teach them, or avenge them, here is the ten most scary moms to really hit the big screen.
10. Pamela Voorhees – Friday the 13th
Her tale is one of tragedy, her handicapable son was her entire world. Her son, who would go on to create an empire of horror was still just a little boy, his deformity was so bad she decided to keep him out of school. They lived at Camp Crystal Lake, where she worked as a cook. Tired of the other children bullying him, Jason takes it upon himself to prove he can swim. Spoiler alert, he can’t. He drowns while the camp counselors are busy drinking, smoking and having sex. This obviously is a devastating blow to any parent but for Pamela, it’s the last straw.
“Screw dinner time, its killing time!”
Pamela kicks off what is an ironic and endless cycle of death as she rips through the camp counselors like a kid on Christmas rips through their presents. William Congreve once said “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned,” and Pamela is a defining example of that quote. Betsy Palmer who played Pamela in the first two films gives an excellent portrayal of a mother driven mad by grief and it is a shame she turned down the chance to reprise the role. Pamela is eventually thwarted and her killing spree is put to an end, until her son rises from the grave to avenge his mother by, you guessed it, killing the camp counselors for killing his mother.
And the cycle continues
9. Edith Brennan – Mama
It’s one thing to protect and raise your children within your lifetime, it’s a whole other story when not even death can stop you from your motherly duties. There are many reasons people snap, loosing a fortune is as good a reason as any other, this is where the story starts. Jeffery Desange looses everything and resolves to kill his partners, wife, children and himself. He takes his children to an isolated cabin and prepares to paint the walls with their blood. Enter “Mama”
“Mama isn’t having it“
She makes short work of Jeffery, and then offers the children a cherry. I’m not one to complain when a supernatural entity is handing out treats, but I question the girl’s lack of emotional attachment to their father, and how quickly they take to accepting this floating nightmare as their new guardian. Moving on, Mama cares for the children as best she can, until they are found and taken away from her, that’s when things really escalate. Mama goes after the children, terrorizing anyone who would stand in her way, you can’t really help feeling bad for her once it is revealed that she suffered a tragic fate involving her death and the death of her child. She searched every inch of the area looking for her baby, and ultimately took Desange’s children as a replacement. The movie ends on a semi-high note having Mama reunited with her baby, Mama can finally rest, but not before taking one of the Desange children with her.
And they lived happily ever after
8. Natalie Koffin – Mother’s Day
Sometimes a mother’s actions cannot be justified by tragedy, or misunderstood good intentions. This is basically the story of Natalie “Mother” Koffin. This movie didn’t sit well with me because it seems to be cruelty for the sake of being cruel. However if you examine it closer, you discover a lot more is going on. Natalie is a very strict mother who lives by the “All actions have consequences” motto. After her sons fail to rob a bank they run to her for help, only to discover her house isn’t hers anymore. They had been sending her money, unaware she wasn’t receiving it, so they take the house dwellers and their guests captive while waiting for mother to arrive.
This mom doesn’t play around
Natalie played by Rebecca De Mornay arrives with the intention of smuggling her sons out of the country, but that costs money, like the money the sons had been sending to the house the whole time. A series of punishments that don’t fit the crime takes place in the now house of horrors as Natalie and her brood try to force the home owners and their guests to cough up the cash, so they can leave before the police find them. Natalie is a mother who would do virtually anything for her children, and she proves it in the most gruesome ways possible.
7. Beverly Sutphin – Seirial Mom
Was there ever a better “American Dream” than that of the nuclear family? White picket fence, children, and a loving home to raise them in. It’s the stuff Leave it to Beaver is made of. This is the world that Beverly Sutphin, played by Kathleen Turner strives to have, the only problem is all those pesky no good busybodies making a muck of her perfect world.
“The secret ingredient is love, with a dash of murder“
This dark comedy follows Beverly and her family as she cooks, cleans, and kills for her family. Whatever it is that made her snap, she was far beyond saving before this movie ever started. She kills people for the slightest faux pas, from criticising her son’s mental health, to someone standing up her daughter. Beverly is eventually caught but manages to dodge all the charges against her, until a juror wearing white shoes after Labor day aggravates her into her old ways. Her family vows to “Never get on her nerves” and after watching the movie, I’d have to agree.
6. Mother Firefly – House of 1000 corpses
Ahhh the House of 1000 corpses, of course it would make an appearance here, it’d be silly to think otherwise. After all the family that kills together, stays together. Every household needs a mother figure, even if that includes a clan of murderers. While Mother Firefly, played by Karen Black doesn’t directly have a hand in all the slayings she is extremely protective of her family and proves it by shooting Deputy George Wydell in the neck when he starts asking too many questions.
“Don’t mess with my family“
This is one mother not to be trifled with. Karen Black portrays the role well, having all the emotions of a loving, caring, mother while embracing the attitude and mindset of her murderous family. Whether she is making dinner, comforting her kin or taunting their victims she never seems out-of-place, and that is a very scary thing.
5. Olivia Foxworth – Flowers in the Attic
When someone asks you what you think of when they say “Evil stepmother” you either think of Olivia Foxworth, or Queen Grimhilde. This woman is the embodiment of cruelty, from the start of the movie (for the sake of this article I have chosen the 1987 film) we are given the impression that this is a woman best left alone. Her highly pious beliefs are equaled only by her will to carry out punishment for the smallest of what she deems an affront to God.
“I won’t tolerate blasphemy of any kind“
Olivia, played by Louise Fletcher is the strict and wicked wife of Malcom Foxworth and Stepmother to Corrine Dollanganger, Malcom’s daughter. After Corrine’s husband dies suddenly, she and her children are forced to move in with Malcom and Olivia. Olivia doesn’t want the children to be seen, or heard and so she locks them up in the attic. Between nightly beatings and arsenic cookies, this stepmother is truly a force to be reckoned with.
4. Peyton Flanders/ Mrs. Mott – The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
When a mother loses their child, they go through all kinds of life changes, depression, and struggles. Some fall to drugs, others seek therapy, Mrs. Mott however fell in to insanity. Under the false identity of Peyton Flanders, played by Rebecca De Mornay (this chick can play crazy well) she poses as a babysitter who would kill for the children in her care. Literally.
“I just love children”
Mrs. Mott, begins to believe in her own delusions, and systematically goes about replacing the mother in the family she is babysitting for. She tries to seduce the father, kill the mother and abuses the children into obedience, just to drive her point home, not even neighbors are safe as she claims she was sexually abused by one. If there is one thing this movie has taught me, it’s always do background checks before hiring a sitter.
3. Joan Crawford – Mommie Dearest
This one is a nightmare and a half as it reveals the behind-the-scenes real life of Joan Crawford and her adopted daughter, Christina Crawford. Mommie Dearest, is a tale of an icon casted in a light nobody was ever meant to see, and yet here we are. For the movie, the role of Joan was played by Faye Dunaway, and for my money she played the part perfectly. What really sets this entry apart is the realization that this stuff really happened.
“You missed a spot, HOW DARE YOU!”
Joan suffered from severe mood swings and even the littlest misplaced object, or dirty mess was enough to send her reeling into a tantrum unparalleled to anything except a spoiled 16-year-old girl on her birthday. The abuse Christina suffered at the hands of Joan was brutal and escalated as she got older, only ending when Joan herself died.
2. Margaret White – Carrie
This is yet another pious mother driven to madness by her belief system. Margaret White, played by Piper Laurie is easily one of those parents nobody ever wanted. If she wasn’t forcing her daughter to pray she was busy abusing her. Telling her that having her period was whoreish and insisting that Carrie was posessed by the devil.
“Hold still while I cut the Devil out of you“
When things finally come to a boil, this religious fanatic decides the only way to save her sinful daughter is to kill her, and stop her from doing anything else she deemed as “Full of sin.” The last thing anyone needs on a bad day is a cruel mother, let alone a stab in the back.
1. Norma Bates – Psycho
As a parent, your goal is to try to raise your children right so they have a chance to lead a fulfilling and successful life. Norma, failed at this on so many levels it isn’t funny. Between developing a uhealthy relationship with her son that borders incest, and suppressing his natural urges, Norma who was only heard and not seen, managed to mess Norman up pretty good. As a child it was clear Norman had issues, but instead of helping him, she only managed to nurture those problems.
Therapy was always so difficult
When you’ve been dead for a decade and your son is still hearing, seeing and talking to you when no one else can see you, you have definitely done something wrong. It speaks volumes that poor Norman was so terribly broken by you that he dresses in drag and commits murders while crediting you for them.
Not Norma Bates
I hope this has been an informative and entertaining article for you all to read, and hey no matter what differences or problems you might have with your own mother, be sure to pick up the phone and give your mom a call today to thank her for not being crazy enough to be on this list. Silver linings amiright?
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