Serial Mom

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -3

This bizzare comedy presents a serious subject, serial murders, in a funny but shocking "June Cleaver meets Charlie Manson with a cleaver" style. Based on the true story of Beverly Sutphin, the movie pokes fun at the shallowness of American society. It also chronicles the seven murders Mrs. Sutphin (Kathleen Turner) allegedly committed. Mrs. Sutphin's family, her husband Eugene (Sam Waterston) and her children Misty (Ricki Lake) and Chip (Matthew Lillard) all become increasingly suspicious as people they said they would like dead begin to die, starting with Chip's math teacher. Chip and his friends love horror movies and become excited that his mother may be a serial killer until they see the gruesome aftermath. They try to stop Beverly but she outsmarts them all, including the police. At her trial she is acquitted for lack of evidence. Hopefully, most will be disgusted with Hollywood for portraying a serial killer as funny.

The most disturbing thing about SERIAL MOM is the audience laughing as they see victims dying, knowing that this is a true story. Big laughs erupt when Beverly stabs a man in the back with a fire poker and pulls out his liver. Also funny to viewers is Beverly setting one of Chip's friends on fire in a punk rock club. As the flaming boy tries to escape, the all female band keeps on gyrating without missing a beat. The club crowd cheers, perhaps thinking it's part of the show; perhaps not. Many obscenities and profanities foul the dialogue, and one scene of very physical intercourse between Beverly and her husband is overheard by the children. Several times Chip's friend watches adult videos that include breast nudity. Beverly even goes to church and prays, which may have been true or simply added to show her fanaticism. In the end, she successfully defends herself by saying that "I am as normal as all of you." What a message for our youth! Judging by the raucous laughter from the audience, we should pray that viewers will wonder, "Why are we laughing?"

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Savoy Pictures Entertainment, 152 W. 57th St., 38th Flr., NY, NY 10019

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (10) times - Moderate 8; Mild 2

Obscene Language: Many (33) times (f-word 15, s-word 6, other 12)

Profanity: Many (13) times - Regular 10; Exclamatory 3

Violence: Many times - Moderate (7 murders including persons stabbed, crushed, run over, set on fire, clubbed, all with very little blood or gore except in horror movies watched by kids)

Sex: Once, no nudity but very loud and physical

Nudity: Several times - breast nudity in adult movies

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (references to intercourse, suggestive dancing movements, sexual self- gratification)

Drugs: None

Other: Human life considered worthless; humor in killing

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.