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Serial Mom

She's a fabulous, loving, caring mother, who er... ...happens to be a serial killer! 

Year: 1994 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 (Wide) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

John (II) Waters the king of cinema weird finally went mainstream last year with Serial Mom. However, fans of Waters' twisted sense of humour have no reason to despair, this film is as warped as any of his previous endeavours and it features a star turn from Kathleen Turner as the eponymous er... heroine.

Turner is loving housewife Beverly Sutphin, dedicated to her dentist husband (Sam Waterstone) and two children. Sutphin is a stickler for tradition, cooks perfect meatloaf and always recycles, she also just happens to commit the odd murder! Woe betide anyone who irritates this lady, as Sutphin does away with unfaithful boyfriends, concerned teachers and anyone else who just happens to get in the way. As you may have guessed this is not your average murder thriller, Sutphin becomes a media sweetheart, complete with movie deals and her face on every tabloid cover in the country. Silmilar to Oliver Stone's not yet released Natural Born Killers, Waters is satirising a media that turns criminals into heroes, a subject that has become even more topical in the light of recent events.

Kathleen Turner clearly relishes the role of the charming psychopath and she is well supported by Waterstone's dithering wimp of a husband. Waters regular Ricki Lake also puts in an appearance as the jilted daughter, completing a cast of excellent if little known performers.

Waters perfectly captures the essence of middle class, small town America, where the sun always shines and the gardens are immaculate. The satire is handled skilfully and at no point threatens to overwhelm what is essentially a very black comedy. If you have yet to experience the unique style of Waters then waste no more time, Serial Mom is the place to get initiated!

Caroline Smith

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Screenings of this film:

1994/1995 Spring Term (35mm)