#225 | Serial Mom 2: Serial Family

As we touched on in last week’s episode, the films of John Waters continue to exert a huge influence over modern LGBTQIA+ filmmaking. Not only are his movies iconic in their own right, they’re a constant reference point for the queer creatives who came after him.

Despite this legacy, Waters never really had a major box office hit in his own right. Best known for low-budget cult comedies, Serial Mom was one of his most overtly commercial efforts, with established actors largely replacing the cast of drag queens and misfits who populated his earlier works. But it was considered a box office bomb on release, and like most of his movies, it was a slow-burner that took several years of late-night TV screenings and VHS rentals to gradually build an audience.

Nowadays, Serial Mom is deservedly hailed as a classic, and one of the most outrageously quotable movies in his repertoire. Turner throws herself into the title role with gleeful abandon, showcasing physical and vocal comedy talents that would have merited serious Oscar attention in a fairer world.

Turner plays Beverley Sutphin, a housewife in suburban Baltimore who seems to live in a bubble of 1950s chintz – despite the fact that her children, played by Matthew Lillard and Ricki Lake, are clearly teens of the 90s. Her butter-wouldn’t-melt facade quickly melts though as she pursues a variety of luckless neighbours to increasingly grisly ends.

On this week’s episode, we discuss some of our Serial Mom highlights – including the iconic pussy willows scene, a truly demented Basic Instinct reference and an unusual use for a leg of slow-cooked lamb! We also brainstorm some drinking games, check in with our listeners for their reactions and pitch some sequel ideas to give this film a much deserved new lease of life.

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Next week, we’ll be keeping the crazy factor high with the return of one of our favourite action directors. Until then happy listening and remember, never wear white after Labour day!