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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Flesh Eating Mothers
Flesh Eating Mothers
Elite // R // April 12, 2005
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted April 9, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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"My mother's on the rag again."
"Whoa. What is going on around here, man?"
"I don't blame her, really. It's all society's fault."
"It's not just yo' mutha. When Linda came home from school t'day, she said she saw huh mutha eating huh baby brutha."


Flesh Eating Mothers is about these...y'know, flesh eating mothers. The transition from not-flesh eating mothers to flesh eating mothers comes about when a philandering husband infects a bunch of the housewives of some small, sleepy town with a cannibalistic venereal disease. That's pretty much it for the plot. I mean, there's a police conspiracy, a coroner determined to uncover the truth behind this plague, and all, but it boils down to 'Mothers eat children; teenaged children try to help mothers and not get eaten', and that's all you really need to know.

Flesh Eating Mothers tries to be a lot of things, although it doesn't do any of 'em particularly well. The movie attempts to juggle some sort of moderately serious social commentary (infidelity, spousal abuse; there's even a religious angle), low-rent splatter effects, and comedy. Most of the humor pretty much revolves around the goofy premise of halfway-zombified mothers eating their children, inspiring bad puns like "what's eating you?" and "what are we supposed to do, Nathan? Just sit around here and wait to get our asses chewed out by our mothers?" Then there are non-jokes like one of the flesh-eating mothers wondering if she left the iron on and a gabby bit of windowshopping. The kill scenes are the best thing about the movie. Sure, the effects look ridiculously cheap, but it's an endearing kind of cheap, and the effects guys pile on as much gore as the skimpy budget would allow. There's just nothing of interest stringing the flesh-gobbling together. It's a lot like suffering through Troma's Beware! Children at Play. The scene with the townsfolk butchering the murderous kids is brilliant, but the rest of the movie's pretty much unwatchable. In Flesh Eating Mothers, it's kinda funny to see a mother chomping on a severed arm with a baseball glove still attached or kissing her baby son a little too enthusiastically, but every moment in between is borderline agony.

Bad acting is one thing, but bad acting with a Joisey accen' (or whateva' it is) is far scarier than any of the flesh-eating. Since we live in such a wonderful digital age, rather than continue to rattle off some sort of description of how awful the acting is, I've whipped together a quick downloadable soundbite.
A look under the microscope at the contagion, and yes, this really is from the movie.
It probably goes without saying that the writing's not too hot either (try taking a shot everytime Rinaldi's mom says "Rinaldi"), and character motivation in particular makes no sense. The teens in the movie initially react to their cannibalistic mothers as more of a minor annoyance than anything to be really concerned about, and the fact that they decide they're responsible for their mothers' actions is baffling. The copyright date may be 1988, but with as dated as the photography, hairstyles, and clothing look, I'd have a hard time believing it was shot after 1983, and even that's probably being generous.

Flesh Eating Mothers is lousy enough that it's not hard to see why it apparently took the better part of a decade to find a distributor the first time around. So, yeah, this isn't turning out to be a particularly positive review, although in a way, I wish the movie were worse. Flesh Eating Mothers is a crappy movie, but it's not brilliantly inept like the A·P·Es and Troll 2s of the world. There are enough scattered worthwhile moments to make this DVD worth renting for schlock completists, but you probably knew before clicking on this review whether or not you'd buy a flick titled Flesh Eating Mothers.

Video: Judging by the somewhat soft and extremely grainy photography, Flesh Eating Mothers looks like it was shot on fairly mediocre 16mm stock. The movie looks about as good on DVD as it probably ever will, presented in anamorphic widescreen at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The image is pretty clean, not marred by any speckling or obvious wear, and no artifacting or anything crept in during authoring. One complaint is that the image is somewhat jittery early on, although I'm not sure if that's an issue with this transfer or the way the movie's always looked. Still, this is a nice presentation of an awful looking movie.

Audio: The soundtrack is strictly utilitarian Dolby Digital mono, encoded at a bitrate of 384Kbps. The quality of the dialogue varies from shot to shot (with one glaring instance with looping by a different actor), the foleyed sound effects are hysterically unconvincing, and the score has about as much punch as the built-in speakers on the $20 Casio special used to compose it. The monaural track is it in terms of audio options -- no dubs, no alternate soundtracks, no subtitles, no closed captions.

Supplements: Just a full-frame trailer dubbed from some old VHS tape.

The DVD sports a set of static 4x3 menus, and its twelve chapter stops are listed on an insert tucked inside the keepcase. The packaging isn't exactly the best Elite's whipped out to date, but, y'know, Flesh Eating Mothers and all.

Conclusion: Flesh Eating Mothers is as stupid and campy as you'd probably expect a movie titled Flesh Eating Mothers to be. Best suited for a rental if you can scrounge up a copy.
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