From a monstrous Meryl Streep to a few murderous matriarchs, here are 13 movie parents who will make you want to celebrate your mom to the fullest this Mother’s Day. Just don’t buy her any wire hangers.
1. Violet Weston, August: Osage County
Before Meryl went witchy for Into the Woods, she did so here. During this dysfunctional family drama’s knock-down, drag-out dinner brawl, Streep rips into Julia Roberts -- her onscreen daughter -- with the longest of hate-spewing mom claws. All Julia wants Meryl to do is eat her fish. But no. Ugh. What a big… witch.
2. Mary, Precious
Poor Precious. Every time the illiterate, inner-city 16-year-old gets closer to the life she envisions for herself, her mother hurls another frying pan her way. One step forward, two steps back.
3. ‘The Other Mother,’ Coraline
Moms who do your sewing for you: Godsends. Moms who replace your eyeballs with buttons BY SEWING THEM ON: Godawful. “The Other Mother,” the soul-stealing alt mom Coraline encounters when transported to the place where ungrateful kids go to feel grateful again, is no match for the one you already have. Because you have pretty peepers. And because buttons don’t belong there.
4. Beverly Sutphin, Serial Mom
“Mom, are you a serial killer?” Beverly Sutphin’s son bluntly asks. To which she responds: “The only ‘serial’ I know anything about is Rice Krispies.” Hahahaha. OK, so, watching Kathleen Turner clobber someone over the head with a leg of lamb in this John Waters’ classic was, admittedly, a mother effin’ good time. But imagine her as your own mom. No gum-chewing. No wearing white after Labor Day. DEATH. Moms who pour you a bowl of actual cereal are just so less… homicidal.
5. Lady Tremaine, Cinderella
Wash the dishes? Do the moppin’? And wait, you’re not gonna let me go to the ball?! Nice try, lady.
6. Viola Fields, Monster-in-Law
“Jenny from the Block” would have been “Jenny OFF the Block” if Jane Fonda had her way. Fonda’s caricature-like mom character poked, slapped and tried to poison her nemesis… and this was before the “Booty” song polluted pop culture.
7. Mrs. Voorhees, Friday the 13th
Would you rather be her slasher son, Jason, than one of the camp counselors she bludgeons to death? Of course you would. Still, Jason didn’t have it easy, you know; his mother, Mrs. Voorhees, was a nagging nuisance even after she bit the dust. “Kill, kill, kill,” she insisted. Gosh. Sooo demanding.
(FYI: There are better ways to honor your mother than with a shrine featuring her decapitated head as the centerpiece. Maybe just stick with flowers?)
8. Martha Baring, Hush
As a living hell in this hilariously bad thriller from 1998, American Horror Story’s Jessica Lange made all future daughter-in-laws fear for their lives. Lange’s Martha stopped at nothing to get Gwyneth Paltrow, as her in-law, away from her son and out of the family. Talk about conscious uncoupling!
9. Sharla Smith, Killer Joe
So your mom wears clothes? Then you’re already better off than the Smiths. If not, careful -- yours might sell you as a sex retainer to Matthew McConaughey. Those are the dirty doings of a fully-exposed Gina Gershon, who takes part in offing her family’s blood mother so they can collect her life insurance. Happy Mother’s Day?
10-11. Corrine Dollanganger and Olivia Foxworth, Flowers in the Attic
One’s bad enough -- but two?! In this classic novel-turned-film-turned-Lifetime movie, it’s double the mother trouble as the Dollanganger kids have to fend for themselves and survive the savagery of their moms’ wicked ways. See, at least you’re not locked in an attic. (If you are, at least you have Wi-Fi?)
12. Erica Sayers, Black Swan
Are you a dancer? Does your mom want you to succeed because she didn’t? Is your name Natalie Portman? Is your mom played by Barbara Hershey? THEN RUN GIRL.
13. Joan Crawford, Mommie Dearest
You didn’t seriously think we’d leave the mother of all bad mothers off the list, did you? Nope. Never. Who could forget Faye Dunaway in full mom meltdown mode in this camp classic’s key scene during which the actress, as Crawford, demands once and for all: “NO! WIRE! HANGERS! EVERRRRR!”