'Mother's Day' is one of the true oddities out there — an early-'80s slasher film that seems to have more on its mind than just a body count.In this notorious horror-comedy, a trio of young women camp out in some godforsaken New Jersey backwoods, where they are terrorized, beaten, and captured by loutish brothers Ike (Holden McGuire) and Addley (Billy Ray McQuade), who act under the gleeful supervision of their insane mother (Rose Ross). The brothers are named after Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson, who were among the first to use TV to gain votes, and Ike and Addley are in fact influenced by TV in everything they do.
So, is Mother's Day sick, anti-female exploitation or social satire in disguise? It's probably a little of both. As a slasher film, it plays pretty strenuously by the rules and holds up as a crudely effective example of the city-folks-vs.-rural-psychos subgenre. But it also makes the persuasive case that, contrary to the moronic media-watchdog arguments (which, ironically, were also levelled at this movie), real-life violence owes more to deficient upbringing, economic oppression, and toxic genes than to the media.Most critics, by then tired of having to sit through two slasher movies a month, refused to give the film the benefit of the doubt and called it sick and twisted. It is — but there's a method to its sickness.