Bad Mothers on Film

Mother’s Day is upon us once again, reminding us of our obligation to the woman whose loins we ripped asunder during our birth, and of our obligation to occasionally stop by the drug store and pick up a cheesy piece of folded paper signifying our gratitude for that act (and maybe some other stuff too). This Mother’s Day celebrate by checking out some of the baddest moms ever to appear in film.

First up we’ve got Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” As the mother of a child conceived of a time paradox and destined to save humanity, there’s no length to which Sarah won’t go to protect her son. She even goes as far as to try and murder the man who will create her son’s nemesis in front of his family. This movie is truly excellent, almost making up for the extended product placement that that was the third movie and the moronic, special-effect-reliant crapfest that was the fourth movie. Just remember when watching that your mom probably won’t take as many bullets for you as Sarah Connor did for her son.

Next up is the alien queen from the movie “Aliens.” The queen walks both sides of what it means to be a bad mother, because while she’ll eviscerate you for messing with her eggs, she’s quick to leave them behind when she smells someone she really wants to kill. Like “Terminator 2,” this is another James Cameron movie that features a strong female at its center in the form of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley. Also like “T2” this movie is a definite classic, and it reminds us that Cameron once coined movie clich©s, instead of wallowing in them.

Moving right along we’ve got Piper Laurie as the mother from 1976’s “Carrie,” a bad mom in the most literal sense. Not only does she smother her daughter with religious zealotry, she even goes so far as to try and stab her to death. While the movie is not outstanding by any standard, it does stand out as one of the better early Stephen King adaptations, and surely it reminds us that the emotional abuse our own mothers laid on us wasn’t really that bad.

Lastly we have Mrs. Bates from the film “Psycho,” not the 1960 classic, but the 1998 remake. Here we have a mother that meets multiple definitions of bad as well, a bad mom not just because her brow beating may have driven her son insane, but also because this is a genuinely bad movie. The part of Mrs. Bates is played by a fresh-faced Vince Vaughn, and watching the film may make you ponder how he salvaged a career following the film’s release.

This Mother’s Day, be glad your mom isn’t any of these ladies, because if she was a giant space alien, a religious nut, a hard ass who’s handy with an assault rifle (you’d have to spend your life fighting an army of robots), or Vince Vaughn, your life would definitely suck. Remember to give mom a call this Sunday, she misses you terribly, or she’s dead, I don’t know, you better check.