Written by: Chris Kavan of FilmCrave
Most people would agree that mothers should be there to comfort and support you. She’s there as a voice of reason, a master chef, a nurse, a chauffer and a confidant. The movies can bring out the best in a mother, but they can also bring out the worst. From baby-dropping abusers to overbearing from beyond the grave: here are the five moms you’ll be glad aren’t part of your family. By the way, there are spoilers ahead – this is the one and only warning you’re going to get.
5) Margaret White in Carrie – There is such a thing as being a bit too religious and Margaret White is the epitome of all that’s wrong with taking things too literally. She wants to keep her daughter pure and safe from the outside world, but does so by shoving her religious views down her throat (and locking her in a closet). Also, she calls breast “dirty pillows”, which is just plain weird. When she utter the prescient line “They’re all gonna laugh at you,” she says it with malice. Well, they do, Carrie snaps, wipes out her entire class and comes back home. Does she get any support? It may look that way, but mom is just setting up the perfect kill shot. Well, it doesn’t turn out well for everyone, but maybe if she had been a bit more level-headed and, you know, not totally living in her own world, maybe Carrie might have grown up a nice, normal young woman.
4) Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate – Don’t believe that song by Simon & Garfunkel – this is not a woman who prays – she preys. I hate to throw out the MILF card, but if the shoe fits… Poor Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) didn’t stand a chance and, despite the ending, I foresee quite a bit of counseling in his (wedded?) future. That’s what happens when you sleep with your would-be bride’s mother. Without Mrs. Robinson, we wouldn’t get Jennifer Coolidge playing a skankier version in American Pie. Whether that’s a good or bad thing is for you to decide.
3) Norma Bates a.k.a. “Mother” in Psycho – There is protective, there is over-protective and then there is Norma Bates. This is what happens when unhealthy co-dependence, combined with a fierce Oedipal Complex rears its ugly head. Norma Bates manages to be her boy’s best friend well beyond her expiration date. Unfortunately, she also really hates her son having any female friends other than her – and I mean really hates. This leads to things like shower scenes and sunken cars – all because she couldn’t let go of her boy.
2) Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest – You knew by the titles this was coming up, I hope. Faye Dunaway may be completely over-dramatic and over-the-top, but one thing is for certain – you will never look at wire hangers the same way ever again. Oh sure, you can say that maintaining the perfect façade, the pressure of Hollywood and substance abuse all played their part, but in the end, this is a truly scary mother, camp performance and all.
1) Mary in Precious – If you would have told me that someone would come along and knock Joan Crawford from her #1 spot, I would have told you I still refuse to use wire hangers and then explain why. But then Mo’Nique came along and raised the bar for bad mothers everywhere. I tried to think of something witty here, but I just can’t. Mary, unlike the other women on this list, is a true terror mainly because she seems so real. Sure, things are presented as about as worse as things can be, but I can tell you there are a lot more mothers like Mary in this world then I care to admit. It’s the fact that she seems so human – monstrous, but human, that makes her top this list.
I know there are plenty of other terrible movie moms out there, but these are the ones I consider the worst of the worst, but second opinions are always welcome.
Chris Kavan is thankful that he doesn’t have to dread Mother’s Day each year and he’s also the community manager for FilmCrave.com, the leader horror movies.