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DVD Review: Mommy (1995) and Mommy 2 (1997)

“Mommy” (Patty McCormick, unofficially reprising her role from 1956’s The Bad Seed) is a dotting mother to young Jessica Ann (Rachel Lemieux)… and nothing, and I mean nothing will stand in the way of her daughter being a success. To wit: when Jessica fails to win the ‘Student of the Year’ award she straight up murders the girl’s teacher (Star Trek‘s Majel Barrett) and makes it look like an accident.

This attracts the attention of hard-ass Lt. March (The Exorcist‘s Father Karras himself, Jason Miller)… but that does little, okay… absolutely zero, to stop this psycho from murdering even more folks that give Jessie static. Speaking of our favorite tyke, she gets wind of mommy’s wicked ways (I mean it’s hard not to when your mother blasts holes in someone right in front of you)… but the lethal lady’s silver tongue manages to initiate “Operation: Save Ass” with the quickness.

Will Jessica Ann come to her senses and help justice dole out some just desserts to her maniac mommy, or does fate have other plans?

While definitely made on the cheap, Writer/Director Max Allan Collins delivers some solid suspense and grindhouse moments with Mommy that make the film a great deal of fun. This is a picture where a murderous mother (played to the absolute hilt by McCormick) boldly kills anyone in her way while young daughter delivers neo-noir style monologues (no surprise given Collins history as a writer of pulp thrillers… hell even the creator of Mike Hammer, Mickey Spillane, turns up in a cameo as an attorney). Also of note this film features an appearance by scream queen royalty Brink Stevens playing against type as a “Plain Jane” aunt to Jessica.

I have to mention… well, maybe not have to, but I’m fucking going to… the film’s credits are in comic fucking sans and a band named Cruisin’ makes the scene, and let’s just say I’ve never been this upset at a band’s name versus their sound since Vampire Weekend.

As for special features on this disc we get an informative audio commentary featuring Collins and the film’s editor and director of photography Phillip W. Dingeldein that explains how the film came together as well as how they scored appearances from so many genre legends.

Next up comes Mommy 2: Mommy’s Day… yup, this here release is a double feature!

Mommy (a returning McCormick) manages to escape her death sentence, and undergoes an implant experiment to make her a more respectable member of society. She of course immediately seeks out her daughter Jessica Ann (once again played by Rachel Lemieux) who is now a ward of her sister Beth (Brinke Stevens… returning, as one does), even though the court has said a-no, no, no.

This causes J-Dawg’s skating coach to tell Mommy to take a hike… which results in her slashing the dude to ribbons with a fuckin’ ice skate. Yup, all better! Of course the body count rises rather quickly… but is Mommy really to blame?

Every bit as fun as it’s predecessor, Mommy 2: Mommy’s Day is even more like a Lifetime flick crafted for 42nd St. than the first film, and therefore is a delight to behold. Equal parts tacky, violent, and schmaltzy, this entry from Collins and the gang is worth the price of admission on it’s own (and in my not so humble opinion surpasses the original recipe by leaps and bounds).

As before, special features on this disc are represented by an  audio commentary featuring Collins and the film’s editor and director of photography Phillip W. Dingeldein… just as engaging and enlightening a conversation as before.

And while we are on the subject of bonus material, this release, courtesy of VCI and MVD Entertainment, contains two additional discs; one a DVD version of both films, and the other a selection of bonus materials including: archival footage of noted film critic Leonard Maltin discussing Mommy, the film’s trailer (which is more like an EPK), a collection of bloopers, a brief archival documentary on the film’s production from PBS, an archival interview with Collins talking to McCormick, and an archival behind-the-scenes documentary.

Bottom line, the Mommy films are a nice slice of low-budget fun featuring a game performance from McCormack, and they will scratch that itch I know you’ve all had to see someone being ice-skated to death!

 

 

 

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