Indie movie Mommy & Mommy 2: Mommy's Day comes to blu-ray!
Updated: Jul 25, 2021
This 90's double feature is now available for the first time on Blu-ray, remember: "Mommy loves you more than anything on gods green earth..."
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"Never let her tuck you in" - is that not the best tag line of any movie?
Lets take a look at the first instalment of this double feature: Mommy (1995) - Directed by Max Allan Collins.
Mommy is a feature film billed as the "unofficial sequel" to the 1953 movie 'The Bad Seed'.
Mommy is a 1995 American low budget thriller starring Patty McCormack as a mother who is psychotically obsessed with her 12-year-old daughter Jessica Ann (Rachel Lemieux). McCormack is best known for her role as Rhoda Penmark in the 1956 film The Bad Seed. The film also stars Sarah Jane Miller, Rachel Lemieux, Jason Miller, Brinke Stevens, Michael Cornelison, Mark Spellman, Majel Barrett, Mickey Spillane, Marian Wald, Janelle Vanerstrom, Judith Meyers, Nathan Collins, Tom Castillo, and Tom Summit.
THIS REVIEW DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS:
The movie starts by introducing Mrs Sterling is a middle-aged single mother of a 12-year-old daughter – Jessica Ann. At the beginning of the film, Mrs Sterling visits her daughters school to meet with Mrs Withers, Jessica Ann’s teacher.
Jessica Ann has repeatedly won previous Student Of The Year awards, but Mrs Withers has decided to award the prize this year to another student- a decision which Mrs Sterling takes exception to, believing the choice to be based on the fact that nominee Eduardo Melendez is Hispanic. After Mrs Withers refuses to change her mind about the award, Mrs Sterling pushes her off a stepladder and then breaks her neck with her bare hands.
After Mrs Sterling tells Jessica Ann that she found her teacher dead, the police arrive led by detective Lt. March who immediately suspects that the death may not be accidental. After interviewing Mrs Sterling he tells her he will be in touch and implies he suspects her involvement.
Mrs Sterling has previously been married twice- first to Jessica Ann’s father and then to her second husband Mr Sterling. Jessica Ann reveals, via voiceover, that her mother may have married Mr Sterling to gain access to his finances, although he was not as rich as she first thought. Upon returning home, Jessica Ann is comforted by her Aunt Beth who later reveals to her that Jessica Ann’s mother is possibly not stable and unable to have the same emotions as others, although she loves her daughter very much.
Mrs Sterling’s new partner- Mark Jeffries- arrives home. Unbeknownst to Mrs Sterling, Jessica Ann and Beth, Mark is an insurance investigator determined to find out the truth about Mr Sterling’s death and has begun an intimate relationship with Jessica Ann’s mother to determine the truth.
As the bodies keep on dropping by the hands of Mrs. Sterling, Jessica Ann starts to think her mother is responsible for causing all the deaths that are surrounding her. After some more bodies and revelations of some the characters and the police closing in Mrs. Sterling and Jessica Ann runaway to a motel several hours away. Jessica Ann goes to sleep but has a nightmare warning her about her mother’s mental state. Mrs Sterling mental state declines and realising there is no way out from the mess she has caused decides to strangle Jessica Ann, but Jessica Ann escapes just in time. Running to a disused junkyard resulting in the films finale.
Is it any good?
In my humble opinion yes. 'Mommy' delivers a fun (slightly camp - which is why I loved it) slasher movie, by a crazed mother who's love for her daughter is so strong it gets confused. Patty McCormack brings so much to this role and showcases she can jump from a comedic performance to a terrifying one in one easy stare. The strongest thing in the movie is the mixed comedy/horror tone. It has such a dramatic score that the film leaves nothing to the imagination. But that works in it's favour, it gives it a more comedic tone than films of the time and it works. The movie blends a serious film about a psychopath with some light hearted moments that will actually make you laugh - such as the jar opening scene and sound effect. This film has an amazing cast. Aside from Patty McCormack who gives the standout performance. Scream Queen Brinke Stevens in a unique role where she plays the supportive, loving and caring sister and aunt of Jessica Ann. Jason Miller of The Exorcist (1973) fame as a detective; Majel Barrett alias Mrs Gene Roddenberry, Nurse Chapel and other roles on Star Trek (1966-9). I loved that the film was confident in what it was. It delivered from the very beginning of the movie a film about an un-hinged mother who will do whatever it takes to succeed and give her daughter everything she needs. For and older film, Mommy actually manages to touch on the issues of white privilege and social class. Mommy I think could do well a remake or TV series today. I could see the premise really hitting a strong audience today with a modernised twist.
The second of our double feature: Mommy 2; Mommy's Day (1997)
The film picks up immediately after its predecessor with Mrs Sterling (Patty McCormack) on death row about to be executed via lethal injection for the murders she committed in the first film.
Mrs Sterling's daughter Jessica Ann, as well as her sister Beth (Brinke Stevens) and her attorney (Mickey Spillane) also come to witness the execution along with Lt. March. Mrs Sterling is granted her last rites in a closed room, but manages to incapacitate her imprisoners and escape, holding one of them hostage before she is shot and wounded by Lt. March. As he prepares to shoot to kill, Lt March has a stroke and collapses on the spot.
Mrs Sterling's psychiatrist Dr Price makes a deal with the police and prosecutors- she can forego her execution if she agrees to have a small device that secretes anti-psychotic medication constantly surgically implanted in her hand. After agreeing to the procedure, Mrs Sterling is assigned to a halfway house where her daughter's former principal Mrs Evans tells her that she will be watching her closely and would like nothing better than to see her back on Death Row.
Mrs Sterling is desperate to get in contact with Jessica Ann again and visits the local skating rink where her daughter has been taking lessons and is in practice for her first competition. After briefly reuniting with Jessica Ann, Mrs Sterling is warned away by the skating coach who threatens to report her to the police if she breaches the restraining order again. Later that night, an unseen assailant bludgeons the skating instructor to death with a skate. Mrs Sterling is assumed by most to be the murderer, based on her past history and witnesses who saw her argue with Jessica's skating coach; both Jessica Ann and Dr Price argue against this assumption, however, explaining that it doesn't fit Mrs Sterling's modus operandi.
As the evidence starts to mount against Mrs Sterling, she tries to persuade Beth and Paul to help her but both remain sceptical. Awaking the next morning, Beth finds that Jessica Ann is missing and assumes her sister has taken her. Mrs Sterling overhears Paul talking to Jessica Ann's abductor and realizes that he has been organizing the murders in order to frame her. After ripping out the implant from her hand, Mrs Sterling confronts Paul who threatens to shoot her before killing him in self-defence by pushing his head into a computer monitor and electrocuting him.
Jessica Ann awakens in a car near a riverside mill and runs off to escape her abductor. Mrs Sterling tracks them both down, leading to a confrontation with her abductor- a young woman who closely resembles her physically. After mocking her attempts at imitation, Mrs Sterling shoots her dead, but not before the impostor has thrown a knife at her, wounding her chest. Reunited with Jessica Ann, Mrs Sterling finally prepares to leave the whole incident behind her.
Is it any good?
This sequel is out there! I love that the second film understood what the audience liked about the first. At first this sequel sets out similar to the first, however what is impressive is that the script and story introduces the "Who done it" element that was not present in the original. The first film was un-afraid to show you what 'Mommy' was doing. There was no mystery but Part 2 gives a twisted sense of reality where you the audience are left guessing if Mrs. Sterling is actually the person killing or not. It is clever because throughout the film you are left questioning if Mrs. Sterling is up to her old tricks again. Some parts of the story are questionable and might sit in an episode of Dynasty better, like a special chip in the arm to monitor and medicate to escape death row, but it works. It cleverly puts the comedy back in, just like the first. It was great to see all the original cast return a few years later to their characters all of whom excel again. If I was to compare the two films; I would state (without wanting to invoke wrath of Mrs. Sterling) the original is a slightly stronger story that gets you from a to b. But part 2 has more extravagance than the first and would sit as my favourite of the two the perfect blend of comedy, camp and slasher.
Winner of Best Character: Jessica Ann
Winner of Best Acting: Patty McCormack
Winner of Best Comedic Performance: Patty McCormack
Best Kill: Ice Rink - Part 2; Mommy's Day
Winner of Best Supporting Character: Brinke Stevens.