|Serial Mom (1994)
| Reel (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0. English FTHI Subtitles. 89 minutes
Serial Mom is the story of
a picture perfect, if slightly uptight, mom, played
brilliantly by Kathleen Turner. Turner is very
protective of her family, despite their flaws.
Her son is obsessed with horror movies and gore,
and her daughter, played by Ricki Lake, develops
crushes on the wrong people. Turner wants nothing
to disrupt her paradigm of the perfect family,
and is quite willing to kill to ensure that nothing
|Director: John Waters
Starring: Kathleen Turner,
Sam Watterson, Ricki Lake, Matthew Lillard, and
Screenplay: John Waters
Like an episode of Leave It To Beaver where June Cleaver has gone psycho, this is still
one of Waters' more restrained efforts.
I find Waters even more subversive and funny when
he's in this mode. His satire gets sharper
when his films are gentler, like the genius capital
punishment sermon in this film, and his stories
more focused. Serial Mom is one
of his best, with the kitschy saccharine nearly
dripping off the sets.
Matthew Lillard, perhaps preparing for Scream,
plays the horror-obsessed son. I remember when
I first saw Serial Mom, I was
very jealous that his character had access to
the then super rare Blood Feast and the not quite so rare but still unseen by
me Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.
In a sad twist, the other rare film (at that time)
featured was a clip of the Chesty Morgan terrible
sexploitation film, Double Agent 73.
I not only knew what that film was, I had seen
|Serial Mom is presented full
frame in a grainy, speckled print. I don't
think the film has been remastered. The image is
clear enough to watch, but the splotches and specks
are distracting. There was also a very bad drop
out glitch. The colours are a bit murky, and the
whole things look slightly better than VHS quality.
|The soundtrack is presented in Dolby 2.0. The
dialogue is clear, and the sound is well mixed,
as it should be from a Hollywood film. The sound
is not impressive, but better than the video transfer.
|Serial Mom's celebrity
worship aspect is even more relevant today thanks
to reality TV, so Waters' managed to make
a film that has become MORE pertinent as time passed.
Perhaps not a good thing for society as a whole,
but it does make Serial Mom seem
fresh despite being over a decade old. The film
itself is a five out of five, but this DVD leaves
a LOT to be desired…like the commentary by
John Waters available on the region 1 release.