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Monday, June 5, 2017

You Know I Hate The Brown Word: Serial Mom: Collector's Edition Blu-ray Review + Screenshots- Scream Factory


Scream Factory brings us this underrated gem of a film from the Prince of Puke, John Waters. Serial Mom is a comedic look at our obsession with true crime and our worshiping of murderers, rapists, and other heinous crimes. Released the same year as Natural Born Killers, Serial Mom pulls no punches and delivers a funny, though provoking film that will have you laughing for days







THE FEATURES ⭐⭐⭐⭐


In Conversation with John Waters, Actress Kathleen Turner, and Actress Mink Stole (34m 27s, HD)

This is a nice gathering of old friends, as the three relive the shooting of Serial Mom. Everything is sweet and nice as it should be.

The Making of Serial Mom (6m 6s, SD)

A vintage featurette made during production.

Serial Mom: Surreal Moments (29m 6s, SD, 1.33:1)

This is the making of that appeared on the Universal disc and, while it is a bit dated, offers up some nice info about the making of the film.

The Kings of Gore: Hershel Gordon Lewis and David Friedman (11m 26s, SD, 1.33:1)

A nice, brief look back at the first gore film, Blood Feast, which is shown in the film. Lewis and Friedman even show up to tell some stories.

Theatrical Trailer (2m 28s, SD, 1.33:1)

Commentary with John Waters (found in the set-up menu)

Waters is one of the best speakers out there and this commentary is no different. He goes through the trials and tribulations of shooting Serial Mom as well as the fight to even get the film released. I am a firm believer that Waters could read me my date of death and how and I would still be riveted.

Commentary with John Waters and Kathleen Turner

While the solo Waters track was a bit more technical, this track is two friends watching the film they made years ago, for the first time in a long time. The two swap stories and wonder off topic more than once, but we don’t care because the track is that good.

THE PACKAGING ⭐⭐⭐1/2

If there is one area that Scream and Shout! Factory really shine, it is with the packaging. They always include the original artwork and most of the time commission an artist to give them a new cover that they can use for the slip cover.


The slip features the newly commissioned artwork, which is very similar to the theatrical poster.


The front cover is reversible so you can choose between the new art or the film’s original theatrical 
poster.


The back cover gives us the tech stats as well as the special features and a few stills from the film.


The disc art features the family having breakfast together and feels like a Norman Rockwell painting come to life.

The disc is REGION A (locked)

THE PICTURE ⭐⭐⭐


Scream Factory gives us a decent transfer here. It is clear that this transfer is dated as a newer scan would feel fresher. That is ok though because the transfer isn’t all bad. Detail is pretty good and colors seem to be right. It just feels like the same transfer that the DVD from Universal received. The 
transfer could have been better, but it is good for what it is.

THE SOUND ⭐⭐⭐


We are given 5.1 and 2.0 tracks of the DTS-HD Master Audio variety, but neither one of them is given much to do because Waters doesn’t really utilize the surrounds too much. The soundtrack is not a bad one by any means, though. The Foley effects here are front and center and mixed very well with the dialogue. Any time that Waters can make us squirm he does so and that is why this track gets a slightly higher score than if Waters had held back.

THE FILM ⭐⭐⭐



Serial Mom is the last film that John Waters made that had any type of real budget. After this he went back to making smaller films like Pecker and A Dirty Shame. That is a real shame as Waters is a true original voice and that is very apparent in Serial Mom, a film that flopped when it hit theaters, but has gone on to become a beloved cult classic.

Kathleen Turner gives one of her best performances as the titular character, who kills for the smallest things like wearing white after Labor Day, which is something that I have never understood. (The wearing white after Labor Day, not the murder.) Waters gives Turner a lot to work with and Turner makes the character her own. The turning off and on of the picture wife/mother is done to perfection and there are big laughs to be had.

Waters' favorite subject is true crime. He reads all the time and used to go to trials but stopped because he became too famous and didn't want someone's sentence to get longer because he was there. Many laughs come from the skewering of different facts from different famous cases and the fact that we love celebrities, no matter what they have done, more than our own families. There are even some things in the film that Waters' would go on to predict like the slow police chase.

I wish that Waters' would make more films. Even though his films can be crude, there is something about them that are enduring. His films are never mean-spirited, even when his characters are. Waters likes to look at the extremes and we always like joining him for the ride.

OVERALL ⭐⭐⭐1/2


Serial Mom isn’t John Waters best film, but it is still very enjoyable. Waters never seems like he is trying to hold back to get a certain rating, but you do kind of wish that he had pushed the envelope a bit harder. The film is still very funny and enjoyable and any John Waters is good John Waters.

The blu-ray from Scream Factory is pretty nice. The picture quality may not be the best, but it is better than many would think. The sound is really nice and the special features are entertaining. This is a definite pick up for fans of Waters or those who can’t get enough of 90’s cinema.
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