Film history is full of rebels. Filmmakers who challenged the times they worked in and dared to make something that was against the current. And some of them remain rebels and defy comparison even today. One such filmmaker has to be John Waters. A child of the 50s, Waters has always felt ‘different’ and always wholly embraced it. He started out in the mid to late 60s making short films and features that had parent everywhere up in arms at the audacity of the content of Water’s stories. Multiple Maniacs. Pink Flamingos. Female Trouble. Desperate Living. Polyester. With transvestite performer Divine as his muse, Waters continually shocked audiences over and over again with his unique visions of America. He moved into more mainstream fare in the late 80s and 90s with films like Hairspray, Cry-Baby and Pecker but the films still maintained Waters unique brand of humor and characters. Serial Mom, another of his 80s films, gets the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray treatment from Shout Factory this month.
Serial Mom stars Kathleen Turner as the most perfect suburban wife and mother anyone could ask for. With two lovely kids Misty and Chip (Ricki Lake and Matthew Lillard) and a devoted husband (Sam Waterston), she seems to have it all. And she will do anything to keep her world perfect, even if it means crank calling other mom’s or even murdering anyone who doesn’t measure up to her standards. And when it all comes out she may become the biggest celebrity her town has ever seen.
Tied with Cry-Baby, Serial Mom is my personal favorite Waters movie. Kathleen Turner turns in one of her most inspired and hilarious performances as the June Cleaver-esque suburban mom that just can’t stand anyone not doing things her way. Waters captured his unique vision of suburban American life and societies obsession with celebrity and turned it into a freaking hilarious comedy. The supporting cast are all great as well including the out of place but brilliant Sam Waterston, Matthew Lillard, Waters regulars Ricki Lake and Mink Stole (who steals every scene she is in) and Traci Lords. And for fans Shout Factory has included a fantastic interview of Turner and Stole by Waters himself and a great new documentary on the making of the film. Serial Mom is a twistedly fun satire and one of the best Waters has to offer. Highly recommended.