This Sunday’s marathon is all about tough guys who love their mothers, but there’s no reason moms can’t be tough too. In this feature, we’ll take a look at the most frightening, violent mothers in movies.
10. Gladys Leeman, Drop Dead Gorgeous
When you want the best for your child, you’ll do anything to get it… even murder. That’s what motivates the villain of 1999 comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous to go on a killing spree in the hopes of helping her daughter Rebecca win a beauty pageant. She sure can work a sniper rifle!
9. The Bride, Kill Bill
Never get between a mama bear and her cub, especially if that mama bear has a samurai sword. Wait, I kind of screwed up that metaphor. Beatrix Kiddo, aka the Bride, slashes her way through her former Deadly Viper buddies to get her daughter back in Tarantino’s epic Kill Bill.
8. Beverly Sutphin, Serial Mom
Kathleen Turner was born to play the psychotic Beverly Sutphin in John Waters’ suburban horror-comedy. Whether it’s beating a woman to death with a leg of lamb or making harassing obscene phone calls to a woman who stole her parking space, she’s a seriously bad mother.
7. Sarah Connor, Terminator 2
When the future of humanity is riding on your ability to keep your kid alive, you better believe it brings out the best in a mother. Linda Hamilton was tough as nails as Sarah Connor in the second Terminator film, facing nuclear apocalypse and liquid metal androids with everything she had.
6. Pamela Voorhees, Friday the 13th
People sometimes forget that it wasn’t Jason swinging the knife in the first Friday the 13th movie – it was his mom. After her son drowned in Camp Crystal Lake, Ms. Voorhees was out for revenge on those irresponsible teens.
5. Samantha Caine, The Long Kiss Goodnight
Sometimes the violence in a mom’s life is bubbling just below the surface, as in this cult Geena Davis hit where she plays a small-town schoolteacher with amnesia. When her memories start coming back, Samantha realizes that she’s actually a seriously badass killer for the CIA.
4. Joan Crawford, Mommie Dearest
Real life is often more terrifying than fiction. This ’81 biographical drama – based on a best-selling memoir – tells the story of abusive actress Joan Crawford and her adopted daughter Christina. Give it a watch. You’ll never look at wire hangers the same way again.
3. Vera Cosgrove, Dead Alive
When an infected Sumatran rat monkey bites this New Zealand dowager, she mutates into a zombie killing machine capable of generating a tornado of gory mayhem. Peter Jackson’s early splatter flicks were so much better than the Lord of the Rings movies that it’s not even funny.
2. Ma-Ma, Dredd
As played by the brilliant Lena Healey, drug lord Madeline Madrigal (or “Ma-Ma” for short) in cult hit Dredd is a vicious, amoral criminal who has no qualms slaughtering innocents by the boatload to get Judge Dredd and his partner out of the way. She’s willing to bring down the entire apartment building she lives in as one last “F you” to law enforcement.
1. Ellen Ripley, Aliens
You don’t have to be a biological mom to be a mother, and Ripley’s fierce defense of her daughter Newt against the Alien Queen (a pretty badass mamma-jamma herself) pulls out all the stops. I can’t even count how much acidic blood she’s spilled over the course of the franchise.