Serial Mom

by Ginger Coyote

 

SERIAL MOM is one of John Waters' more mainstream movie offerings and thus lacks the edge of earlier efforts (PINK FLAMINGOES, POLYESTER), though does have Kathleen Turner in one of her most accomplished tour-de-forces.

Beverly Sutphin (Kathleen Turner) seems like your ordinary stay-at-home wife and mother, but nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who crosses her path and defiles her code of morals is instantly killed or abused, starting with neighbour Dottie Hinkle (Mink Stole) whom Beverly harrasses with shocking prank phonecalls after Dottie rudely cut her out of a parking space. Then there's the boy who broke daughter Misty's heart, impaled by a Franklin Mint fire-poker; the rude man who doesn't floss, crushed by his airborne cooler-unit; the woman who doesn't rewind her videos, bludgeoned by a lamb chop, and the list goes on...!

Beverly's murder trial takes on a life of it's own and becomes a media circus. Suzanne Somers is the frontrunner to play Beverly in a TV miniseries and Beverly acts as her own defence. Too bad about the annoying juror (Patty Hearst) who is wearing white shoes after Labour Day...

Kathleen Turner glows in her ghoulishly-gleeful turn as Beverly. John Waters directs a fine cast (including Waters stalwarts Mink Stole and Ricki Lake).

This movie is simply delightful off-kilter comedy at it's best. Ricki Lake and Matthew Lillard play Beverly's teens Misty and Chip with Sam Waterston as Beverly's guileless husband. The cast also includes the punk band L7, Traci Lords, Scott Wesley Morgan, Walt MacPherson, Justin Whalin, Patricia Dunnock, Lonnie Horsey and Mary Jo Catlett

 

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