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The 10 worst moms in movies

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You’ll probably be calling your mom to tell her that you love her on Mother’s Day. Maybe some of these movie moms wouldn’t have been so bad if their kids had told them that more often. Then again, it’s hard to imagine anyone — offspring or otherwise — expressing anything resembling affection to these matriarchal monsters. This year, show your love even more by thanking your mom that she’s not one of the unfortunate parents below.


10. Mrs. Wilson, “Natural Born Killers” (1994)

The mother of future notorious mass murderer Mallory Knox deserves points for trying to keep a cheery attitude even as her disgusting, belligerent husband Ed (Rodney Dangerfield) poisons the suburban Wilson household with his foul-mouthed rage and stain-covered wife-beaters. But she must ultimately be charged with extreme negligence for choosing to quietly suffer rather than interfere every time her husband sexually abuses their daughter. “You didn’t do nothin’,” Mallory says to her mother after her soon-to-be-husband and partner-in-crime Mickey Knox ties Mrs. Wilson to a bed and douses her with lighter fluid. Thusly, Mallory’s Mom goes up in flames for being an accomplice through inaction.


9. Other Mother, “Coraline” (2009)

True, Coraline’s “Other” parents are fun and cheerful and give their daughter a lot more freedom than her “real” folks, but they ultimately show their true colors (of which there are many, actually) when they reveal the price that must be paid for choosing to stay in this “Other” world: having buttons sewn onto your eyeballs, using a needle “that’s so sharp, you won’t feel a thing!” Young Coraline vehemently protests this radical re-design of her peepers, of course, which makes her “Other” parents — particularly her usually doting, sweet “Other Mother” — rather angry. Like, homicidally so. Like, maybe it’s time for our heroine to get back to reality, and pronto.


8. The Woman, “The Road” (2009)

There are many ways in which one can deal with the end of civilization as we know it. You can hold onto your humanity and practice compassion and kindness, like The Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee). You can become fiercely protective yet uncompromising and suspicious, like The Man (Viggo Mortensen). Or you can just fall into selfish despair and completely abandon your family, like The Woman (Charlize Theron). The key is to not lose hope or the will to live when everything else is literally burning up around you, but this mother would seemingly rather leap into the chaos (and certain death) than stay and hold her ground with her husband and son. Thanks a lot, Mom — now Dad has to worry about finding food and a decent pair of shoes for the little twerp all by himself.


7. Esther Cobblepot, “Batman Returns” (1992)

Tucker and Esther Cobblepot were a wealthy and well-to-do Gotham City couple, peers of the billionaire surgeon and philathropist Thomas Wayne and his wife, Martha. Fate dealt them a Joker card, however, when the heir to their legacy turned out to be a freak mutant baby with an inhuman appetite for cats. Filled with despair and shame, they tossed young Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot into the sewer, where the unfortunate child ended up being raised by penguins and carnival freaks and later emerged as the Penguin, a deformed criminal mastermind with a plan to murder all of Gotham’s first-born sons. Oswald sums it up after visiting his parents’ graves: “I was their number-one son … but they treated me like number two.”


6. Momma Lift, “Throw Momma From the Train” (1987)

Momma Lift isn’t so bad … at least on paper. Sure, the character as written in Stu Silver’s screenplay, which borrows heavily from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train,” is belligerent, nagging and high-maintenance. But is she so horrible as to drive her put-upon son, Owen (Danny DeVito), to want to kill her? Nah. However, when you cast Anne Ramsay — the woman who played Mama Fratelli, the truly frightening and dangerous crime matriarch in “The Goonies” — in the role, well, then Momma Lift transcends the page and becomes a much more loathsome creature, the true stuff of Oedipal nightmares and murderous fantasies. Ramsay’s also in on the joke the whole time, which makes her performance — and character — even more brilliant and unforgettable. “Owennnnn!!”

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

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Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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