Flesh Eating Mothers (DVD)

Starring Robert Lee Oliver, Donatella Hecht, Neal Rosen, Valorie Hubbard

Directed by James Aviles Martin

Released by Elite Entertainment

What can be said about Flesh Eating Mothers that hasn’t already been said by men and women the world over, far more intelligent and articulate than myself, who have broken apart this movie piece by piece and reached all the subtleties and underlying messages that Martin fully intended when he set out to shoot this movie?

Wait, maybe I’m thinking of another film…oh right, The Godfather. Sorry! They’re so easily confused!

Flesh Eating Mothers comes across as one of those films where the story, what there is of it, was built around the title more than anything else. First and foremost, don’t let this cover fool you at all. There is only one even faintly attractive, large-bosomed woman in the entire movie and, despite how much more enjoyable it may have made the film, she never once dons an apron and nothing else. The rest of the women are the kind that, if seen dancing at a strip club, you would gladly pay to see their clothes put back on.

Okay, enough of the aesthetics, what’s the film about? Well, one day in quiet, seemingly Midwestern suburbia, all the mothers in the neighborhood suddenly become outrageously hungry. Nothing will satisfy their appetite (as is evidenced by one of the more stomach-turning sequences in which a mother manages to shove an entire sandwich in her mouth…just plain nasty), and soon they realize the only thing that might help curb their appetite is the flesh of their loved ones. Some of the kids (and that term is used very loosely, as most of them are easily in their 20s, possibly 30s) in town ban together after realizing what’s going on (“My mom ate my dad…”) and attempt to stop them.

For some reason at the same time a “scientist,” actually the city mortician, gets a blood sample from one of the mothers and discovers that the cause of the cannibalism is some sort of virus. This scene is laugh-out-loud hilarious, since the virus is represented by an angry circle with eyes and big teeth devouring other circles in a cheaply animated sequence. I guess they come up with a cure or something; I really wasn’t paying too much attention toward the end.

Flesh Eating Mothers is one of those films that will either make you question the advent of filmmaking in general or inspire you to go out and make your own nasty, cannibalism-in-the-suburbs tribute. Or perhaps just give you a good laugh, as long as you’re sure you don’t ever, ever take it seriously. Especially not when they try to explain the reason for the sudden cannibalism as being the wrath of God for all the adultery that’s going on in today’s society. For a second there it almost seems like a message is trying to be conveyed, but then there’s more baby eating and you realize how ridiculous this whole affair really is.

Pretty much the only thing the film has going for it is the gore, of which there are copious amounts throughout. Sadly, a film with this title today would probably actually be some kind of psychological art film, but back in the 80’s when they said “flesh eating,” they meant “flesh eating”. Cats, six year olds, husbands; no one is safe from these ravenous mothers and their insatiable appetite. If you’re a fan of the good old-fashioned over-the-top gore effects that seem to be part of a bygone era, check this one out. If you’re looking for high art and something you can walk away feeling better about yourself and your place in the universe from, look elsewhere.

Oh, and since this is a DVD review, I should mention the fact that the movie did get a widescreen transfer, making it look far better than it really has any right to, and the disc features a trailer. That’s about it. I guess Elite figured the movie was powerful enough on its own and didn’t need any pesky “supplements.” That or the filmmaker, who from what I could find never made another film after this, had nothing to give.

2 out of 5

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Johnny Butane