Blu-Ray Review: Crazy Mama

Melba taking matters into her own hands

The name Jonathan Demme will be well known to many film fans, largely for his work on Silence of the Lambs and, to a lesser extent, the Oscar-winning Philadelphia. They might be slightly surprised to discover that he’s gone on to make almost twenty feature films. There’s a bigger shock in store when you take a look back to where it all began; making exploitation films for Roger Corman. The second of these was the madcap Crazy Mama.

Melba Stokes (Cloris Leachman) is struggling to run a beauty salon in Long Beach after being forced off her family’s land. She has to flee, along with her mother Sheba (Ann Sothern) and daughter Cheryl (Linda Purl), when the landlord comes looking for the back rent. They decide to return home to claim what is rightly theirs. Along the way, they embark on a crime spree as they head across country to Arkansas with vengeance on their minds.

Crazy Mama is an irreverent road movie which toys with its prey in a number of inventive ways. It’s an example of exploitation cinema at its best. A manic mix of unhinged crime spree, offbeat comedy and the utterly bizarre. It has a surprisingly good cast, considering, and Demme has great fun with the concept. Don’t expect the greatest amount of logic, but Crazy Mama is a rollickingly entertaining yarn.

Special features:

  • Commentary with director Jonathan Demme and Roger Corman
  • Interview with Jonathan Demme and Roger Corman
  • Theatrical Trailer and TV Spots

Crazy Mama is released on Blu-Ray by 101 Films on 13 June.

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