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VINE VOICEon July 28, 2003
SERIAL MOM is John Waters at his delightfully darkest. Kathleen Turner plays a soccer mom who harbors secret psychopathic longings and begins acting them out in the most bizarre ways. Ever seen anyone killed with a turkey leg while singing a song from ANNIE? If you've seen SERIAL MOM you have! Wow! Kathleen does a great job, but also look for Ricki Lake, Traci Lords, and a before he was famous Matthew Lillard throwing in great support. Oh, and who can forget Suzanne Sommers? She's awesome too! Waters regular Mink Stole steals her pussy willow scene as well. This is a great one!
The DVD contains a commentary with John Waters, and as usual his track is every bit as entertaining as the movie. There are featurettes with all the leads talking about making this farce! It's a great package. DVD presentation is striking - good picture and sound of one of John's highest budget features.
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on October 18, 2005
I thought this movie was a riot the first time I saw it. I was only vaguely aware of John Waters at the time, as he had hit it big with Hairspray a few years before. Watching this movie you can catch the little digs and subleties (the gal from L7 showing off her camel toe, that really filthy porn movie the friend Scottie is watching, etc.) here and there. Kathleen Turner plays the Divine role very well as the suburban housewife on the edge of exploding. Beverly is so obsessed with perfection and keeping her world in line that she snaps. The obscene calls to her neighbor Dottie (all because she cut her off in the parking lot at Joanne Fabrics) are hilarious. She kills the woman for not rewinding her video tapes before returning them, and even contemplates murder against her literbug neighbor for not recycling.

This was probably John Waters's salute to the courtroom groupie phenomena. We can turn mass murderers into celebrities, although I wish he had captured more of the party aspect of it rather than the sale of T shirts and merchandise. Patty Hurst is even in it, and if you didn't know otherwise John Waters was one of the Patty Hurst groupies back in the day. Suzanne Sommers even makes an appearance, in probably her most signifigant screen role to date, just being herself. It was a good time and captures one of John Waters's many obsessions.
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HALL OF FAMEon April 19, 2005
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 Traci Lords, Scott Wesley Morgan, Walt MacPherson, Justin Whalin, Patricia Dunnock, Lonnie Horsey and Mary Jo Catlett.
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on December 31, 2001
The story of the woman defending her family results in the best movie of John Waters and the best role of Kathleen Turner, one of the 80's big actresses.
Without spoiling the fun the movie makes, it contains the most hilarious murder ever committed, the best courtroom scene ever and the aftermath of it (even more funny), and the most idiotic story in the world that works. All the actors are great but Kathleen Turner is absolutely fantastic (or frenetic ?). She should have got an AA for this role. She is totally psychotic, anyway you can't help but love her. She is the perfect mother but she is too perfect and this results in some "accidents". Anyone who tries to harm her family is... in danger (to say the least)
John Waters is known for some movies in the past (Pink Flamingos, a cult trash movie for instance) but this is the best movie he's ever directed. It is a comedy as dark as the night and a superb satire. It IS trash but the best trash I've ever seen. So it is highly recommended for anyone who doesn't moralize over some silly things. Because this story is silly. If it wouldn't be then... anyway who knows what their neighbours are doing :). Maybe serial mom lives next to you but you haven't recognised her yet...
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on December 20, 2005
This is an amazing entertaining movie. There is violence but it is part of the hidden surprise inside of Serial Mom. There is some foul language but it fits in beautifully and is needed. The reaction of Serial Mom's family to her behavior is priceless. If you have a sense of humor, this is a great movie to add to your collection.
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on September 21, 1999
I hate it when people criticize Waters' films now for being "too soft", I swear a person can't win! This movie is brilliant and if it had come just months later would have been a mirror to the O.J. Simpson case. Kathleen Turner is one of our greatest actresses, what happened to her career?, and totally deserved an oscar nomination. Buy this DVD. Whenever you get a commentary by JW you get more than enough.
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on February 21, 2000
First off, this is- in my opinion- John Waters' best film. No, it doesn't have the same extreme shock value of his early work but it is a very well-written film. And the cast is absolutely perfect. For the price, this DVD is a great value-- and never mind the description found here, the film IS presented in letterbox-format. The director's commentary track makes this a must-have for Waters' fans. Plus-- not listed on the package-- there are a number of bonus goodies including interview clips and behind-the-scenes footage. These extras are quite brief, but I love finding little added tidbits on DVDs. This is one of the funniest films released in the '90s. And as a darkly humorous look at America's obsession with making celebrities out of violent criminals, it is far more effective than more celebrated films like "Natural Born Killers."
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on February 20, 2001
....John Waters here is at his Cecil B. Demented best. It is a satire that foreshadowed "American Psycho", but this movie has actual laughs. Kat Turner, evvy guy's favorite actress, has fun fleshing out the haus frau with murderous intent when someone cuts in front of her in line at the Minute Mart (or in traffic) or that biddy down the street plays "Annie" on her VCR again or someone (Patty Hearst in this case) wears white after Labor Day. (The Kat, I think, relishes the role a lil too much at times, but that's ok, dig?)
Think though, there are days when we actually feel like that.... But we don't act on it. Well, most of us don't. When John Waters moves up a bit, he still skewers evvything normal people considers sacred. This is mainline only in that Waters have more and better camera people, sound editors and film editors which allow him not to have that raw Super-8 feel like in "Pink Flamingoes", or some of his earlier underground hits. It still *smacks* you in the face with Waters' bite and sarcastic style...Also, you will never quite view household scissors the same way after this....
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on July 13, 2001
This is one of my most favorite movies. It was thi smovie that made me a fan of John Waters and his campy style of filmmaking. This movie is extremely funny and outlandish. I love the way that he takes the seemigly perfect family and make the pisture perfect "June CLeaver" mom into a serial killer. My favorite part has got to be the reason that she wants to kill Dottie Hinkle and how she torments her. You have got to see this movie. You will be laughing from beginning to end.
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on June 20, 2001
Let me just start by saying: I LOVE this movie. I've had the VHS version for quite some time now and I never got tired of it.
However, I was a little disappinted by the lack of features on this DVD. I thought it would have behind-the-scenes footage (if it did, I would give it 5 stars).
After seeing other movies with commentary, I was really surprised that John Waters' commentary was excellent. It really explains a lot about the movie (and some of the lesser known actors). Sometimes it almost compensates for the lack of the other features normally seen on DVD.
Okay, back to the movie itself. Like other Waters' films, the plot focuses on a particular social problem (in this case, the fame gained being a serial killer and also about the death penalty). Kathleen Turner is outstanding as an old-fashioned mom with high morals who goes nuts and kills people for very minor infractions (chewing gum, for example). When she is caught, she defends herself in court (with hillarious results!)
Again, this is a great movie, but I could only give it four stars because of the features on the DVD version.
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