John Waters, 1994
USA | Format: 35mm | 95 minutes
Introduction by John Waters and Kathleen Turner on September 5.
In this scathing suburban satire—a kind of spiritual sequel to Polyester—Waters continued to develop his interest in unorthodox, tight-knit domestic groups, his obsession with the connections between cruelty, criminality, and fame, and his deep feeling for the closeness of humor to disgust. Serial Mom, like its immediate predecessors, was another polished Hollywood production, but with a harsher MPAA rating than Hairspray or Cry-Baby to go along with its edgier premise: a conscientious mother of two (Kathleen Turner, in a rafter-shaking performance) casually takes up serial murder out of a combination of boredom and mild irritation at perceived slights and faux pas. The result is one of Waters’s most sustained critiques of a world in which life is supposedly safe and secure—unless, that is, you wear white shoes after Labor Day.