First and foremost, Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there! To the moms, to the stepmoms, to the foster moms, to the fur baby moms, to you all! You take today and admire the good that you’ve done in your little ones’ lives.
Now, let’s take a step back into the world of horror. There’s a multitude of horror moms out there in the genre. Some good, some bad. Some innocent, some demented. And you know, even the demented ones believe that they’re raising their little ones with the best intentions. Sometimes, those little ones grow up to be menaces to a campground, or a hotel, or the streets of New York.
Whether it be the fault of the mother or their children’s own decisions, some children turn into the antagonists of a horror film. Let’s take a look at some of these sadistic individuals and the mothers that raised them.
10. Gladys Lehman, mother of Becky Lehman – Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)
Glady Lehman (Kirstie Alley) couldn’t really be labeled as a bad mother, could she? After all, she did all that she could to give Becky (Denise Richards) the life she wanted. But in doing that, Gladys created a horrible socialite that believed she was the queen bee. The crown of the Mount Rose American Teen Princess solidified Becky’s dream before she was solidified to the metal structure of the swan that ate Gladys’ baby. Gladys‘ love and parenting techniques led to Becky‘s dreams going up in flames.
9. Lily Laemle, mother of Michael Laemle – Parents (1989)
Michael Laemle (Bryan Madorsky) doesn’t eat his dinner, speaks his dirty mind, sneaks around where he shouldn’t, and helps steal his parents’ alcohol and drinks it in the deep freezer with his “girlfriend.” Is he looking for attention that he’s not getting from his parents? It wouldn’t seem so as his mother, Lily (Mary Beth Hurt), is an incredibly loving and attentive mother. Along with the father, Nick (Randy Quaid), she provides the best shelter and the most exquisite leftovers for dinner. Sadly, Lily is one half of a cannibalistic couple, and believes that her son should grow up on human meat.
8. Christine Penmark, mother of Rhoda Penmark – The Bad Seed (1956)
Rhoda’s perfect. She’s an angel. She wears cute dresses, not jeans. She believes she is the absolute best. Christine has raised her to be the perfect little girl. Loving and caring, Christine was taken aback to learn that her daughter is killing the people who get in the way of having the best. No fault is due to Christine for raising a hellion. Rhoda is just a product of their family line. Grandma was a killer, and those serial killing genes skipped Christine, and passed on to Rhoda.
7. Constance Lenz, mother of Agnes and Billy Lenz – Black Christmas (2006)
Constance Lenz (Karin Konoval) is one messed up mother. She wasn’t happy with Billy (Robert Mann) when he was born. He had jaundice, and that skewed her vision of having a perfect child. He witnessed the death of his father (Peter Wilds) at the hands of his mother and her lover (Howard Siegel). Constance’s wish for a perfect child was born in Agnes (Dean Friss) via incest with Billy. This sent Billy on a path of destruction which results in the death of his stepfather as well as his mother (via a bashing and a cooking of her back skin). Billy (as well as Agnes’) path of destruction continued 20 years later with the stalk and slash of a group of unsuspecting sorority sisters.
6. Mother Firefly, mother of… – The Devil’s Rejects (2005)
Mother Firefly (Karen Black in House of 1,000 Corpses, Leslie Easterbrook in The Devil’s Rejects) was the matriarch of the insane Firefly family. She mothered Baby (Sheri Moon Zombie), Tiny (Matthew McGrory), and Rufus (Robert Allen Mukes), and passed on her affinity for chaos, blood, and carnage to each of her children. We are never given an absolute reason for Mother Firefly’s affinity for such things, but those aspects reside heavily within her offspring. Most notably in Baby, the splitting image of Mother Firefly, who we see continue the carnage and the legacy in further sequels.
5. Tiffany, mother of Glen – Seed of Chucky (2004)
Glen (Billy Boyd) wasn’t raised by his parents, Tiffany (Jennifer Tilly) and Chucky (Brad Dourif), at birth, but upon their bloody reunion, Tiffany jumps directly into mother mode. She accepts Billy’s denial of violence, his journey of gender identity, and his all-around quirkiness. She does her best to get Chucky to stop killing so they can raise Glen in a healthy home. Tiffany really does her best by Billy, but a voodoo possessed doll’s ways are hard to change. Due to the stress of Chucky’s constant mania and the false pretense set upon him by Tiffany, Glen snaps. He tried so hard to be good.
4. Carmen Zito, mother of Frank Zito – Maniac (1980)
Frank Zito (Joe Spinell) is one of the most tragic and disgusting characters in horror. Due to his past with his mother, Carmen (Nelia Bacmeister), should we feel sympathy for his misogynistic murderous ways? Carmen was a prostitute, and would physically abuse Frank before locking him in a closet while she went out with her johns. This sort of upbringing is sure to create some heavy psychological issues. Frank chose to release those issues via scalping his victims, placing the scalps on mannequins, and collecting them as a sort of replacement for Carmen.
3. Mama, mother of Addley, Ike, Johnny, and Lydia – Mother’s Day (2010)
Mama (Rebecca De Mornay) does exactly what a mother should do for her children: gives them the tools to succeed, cares immensely, and will do whatever it takes for their safety. Addley (Warren Kole), Ike (Patrick John Flueger), Johnny (Matt O’Leary), and Lydia (Deborah Ann Woll) have a great sense of family thanks to Mama. The caveat is that Mama raised them to be a crime family, and that “do whatever it takes” aspect means killing those who get in Mama’s way. Mama’s technique is to actually tear down the victim emotionally and psychologically before ending their life. Her tender, love, and care may be apparent, but it stems from that manipulation that she uses. Unbeknownst to all of her children, none of them were birthed by her.
2. Mrs. Loomis, mother of Billy Loomis – Scream 2 (1997)
Mrs. Loomis (Laurie Metcalf) abandoned Billy due to his father’s affair with Sidney Prescott’s (Neve Campbell) mom before the events of Scream occurred. By the time the credits rolled, one would wonder why Billy would go as far as to kill Sidney‘s friends just because his mother walked out of his life due to his father’s mistake. When Mrs. Loomis appears on that theatre stage for the finale of Scream 2, one could assume that “Like mother, like son” could come into play. There’s some psychological issues portrayed, and one can rest assured that Mrs. Loomis included that in her upbringing of Billy.
1. Pamela Voorhees, mother of Jason Voorhees – Friday the 13th (1980)
Having a list of mothers in horror, no matter the topic, would not be complete without Mrs. Voorhees (Betsy Palmer). Just like Mrs. Loomis, we never got to see any sort of interaction between Mrs. Voorhees and her son, Jason. But if fan theories are correct, we can assume that Jason was out in the woods watching her slash her way through the counselors that one fateful night. Indirectly, she was teaching Jason the ways to take care the ones who caused his accident: sex is bad, drugs are bad, use a variety of sharp objects, and save one girl for the last victim.
Nightmare on Film Street sends out a Happy Mother’s Day! to you mothers that are reading. Let us know which mothers in horror you think did their best at raising their eventual bad children over on our Twitter, reddit, Instagram, and on The Horror Movie Fiend Club on Facebook!