Mother’s Day the Troma Way – By Jordan Garren

 Jordan and Blake looking all butch with their DVDs.Well it’s been two months since Blake Monahan and Toxie invaded Endless Mountains Theater during the screening of Lloyd Kaufman’s Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV and things didn’t go exactly as planned this time around. First off, the movie of the evening was originally going to be Cannibal! The Musical, a film I hold dearly to my heart. Midway through May, the announcement was made that Cannibal! would be shown in July because they wanted to do a big show for that particular film. (Some of the plans include handing out kazoos to the crowd, having a live act of some sort, and Blake and a gang of mondo movie-philes plan on shooting a humorous intro that will be screened before Cannibal! is played!) On my end, I had problems getting off Saturday from work in order to see Mother’s Day on the big screen, but as you can see, I did in fact work something out. Also, I had a bad case of diarrhea kick in just before leaving for the theater. Had it not been for the miracle drug given to me by my future brother-in-law, I may have ended up sitting in the bathroom of Endless Mountains Theater all night. (Thanks Earl!)

All problems aside, the night was an extremely fun one and was a break from the hellacious week I had been having. (Discovering that you’re a candidate for the unemployment line because you don’t take crap from your boss’ "favorite" brown-nosing manager, sort of puts a damper on things.) After helping my future father-in-law with a bit of home remodeling (that’s right folks, I actually picked up a hammer and used it! There was even a photo taken as proof!), my girlfriend Tara got home from work. She quickly cleaned herself up and changed her clothes and about a half hour later we were on our way to the Endless Mountains Theater. Once we got there, we discovered that a group of punks (for sake of a better term) were lined up outside in order to see Mother’s Day. At least two of them had colorful spiked, mohawks while one of them showcased his impressive collection of cigarette burns on his arm. (After seeing that, Tara clung to my arm with an iron grip! Hahaha.) Once we were inside, we saw a few familiar faces and chatted for a while and I got chastised by J.W., the theater’s promotions manager, for seeing X-Men 3: The Last Stand at a non-independently owned theater! (Sorry man!).

 Moments later I found Blake outside of the doors of "Theater 6," peddling some Troma goods and sporting a "Jack Black deluxe hair-style." We talked for a bit and got a few photos before I went into the theater and sat with Tara and a few acquaintances. Some of the people we sat with were new to the event and seemed aghast when I said that they shouldn’t plan on really watching the movie because everyone’s allowed to talk and yell things out in the theater. (However, they were quick studies and started riffing on the movie mercilessly after fifteen minutes or so.) Eventually Blake and J.W. strolled down the middle aisle and gave their respective speeches before the movie began. J.W. gave his usual "help support this theater speech" but offered some cool news. Apparently J.W. is hunting for a 35mm filmstrip of The Monster Squad to show at the theater. For those that need a reminder, Monster Squad is an 80’s horror/comedy classic in which a club made up of pre-teen kids (and Frankenstein’s Monster) battle Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, and a Gillman. (J.W. also mentioned getting James Cameron’s Aliens for a screening as well!) Blake is working on shooting a (currently) untitled "punk-kickball" film (that may be the launch of his own indie production company) and still doing his usual chores at Troma HQ! After delivering this ultra-cool news, Blake asked for some volunteers for a possible contest.

Instead of getting off my arse to join in, I sat there, sure that I had already owned all the DVDs that were being given away… but I was wrong. One guy strolled up and earned himself a brand new DVD of Sgt. Kabukiman, N.Y.P.D.! DOH! (Yeah, that’s right… I’m a moron!) And to add insult to injury, all the guy did was walk up front. There was no contest!!! ARGH! After losing out on my Kabukiman DVD, I prepared myself for Mother’s Day and had fond recollections of watching this twisted flick with my equally twisted siblings. But before I could take a stroll down memory lane, Blake treated us all to a trailer for Troma’s upcoming flick, Poultrygeist: Attack of the Chicken Zombies. This latest Lloyd Kaufman flick looks hilarious and should be a guaranteed cult classic in no time! The small audience in the theater cheered after the trailer ended and then quieted down a bit before Mother’s Day took center stage. For those of you who haven’t seen this film, Mother’s Day was directed by Lloyd Kaufman’s brother Charles and was actually filmed at the same time and at the same location as Friday the 13th! (Sadly, Mother’s Day pretty much slipped into obscurity while Friday the 13th became a popular series of films!)

Mother’s Day follows the backwoods exploits of three girls that are former college roommates. Every now and then they get together and take a little trip to escape their crazy lives. Unfortunately for them, they’re current trip may be their last. While camping out in a remote forest and having a wonderful time scaring each other, the girls are suddenly assaulted and kidnaped by two deranged brothers named Ike and Addley. The girls are dragged to a secluded house and soon meet the boys’ viciously eccentric mother. One of the hapless girls is tortured, beaten, and raped by the hellish hillbillies and dies soon after, from the massive trauma she has undergone, thus leaving her two surviving girlfriends to fend for themselves. In true I Spit on Your Grave fashion, the two babes head back to Ike and Addley’s house of horrors, and murder the crazed family members, one by one. (Poor Addley gets the worst of it and receives a hatchet to the crotch! OUCH!) With the family dead, you’d expect a bitter-sweet happy ending with the two girls wandering back to civilization, coated in blood and scarred for life. Well the movie heads toward that route but suddenly veers into a little twist ending that definitely caught some first-time viewers off guard in the theater. (Heeeeee-eeere’s Queenie!)

 After the credits began rolling, everyone marched out of the theater and gave thanks to Blake for a fun night. Though the crowd on that fateful Saturday night was fairly small (mostly because Cannibal! The Musical wasn’t the film of the night), it was very lively and everyone had a great time. The army of (creepy and annoying) punks that Tara and I saw outside, sat together in the front row and constantly shouted out a series of quotes and obscenities that elicited some laughter from the rest of us Troma movie patrons. Apparently these guys had seen Mother’s Day about two dozen times before the screening because they knew some of the dialogue word for word. And they, as well as I, knew the true joy of Ike’s famous one liner from the film: "You bitch!" I lost count of how many times everyone in the theater yelled "You bitch" during the film, and it was just great to see the entire audience participating. I guess all it takes is a few loudmouths in the group to get things going and that night we had at least a dozen. The only thing the event was lacking was a decent-sized crowd, and that’s where you come in dear reader.

If you are in the Scranton, PA area on July 29th, you best show up at Endless Mountains Theater at 11:30 P.M. (And no, you don’t have a choice, you must show up, it is your destiny!) As I stated earlier, the film will be Trey Parker’s hilarious historical epic Cannibal! The Musical and Blake and the Troma gang are preparing to go all out for this show. To make it a true success they’ll need to get some butts in the theater seats so please be sure to attend the event. (And even if you can’t, please help spread the word about it!) If you do show up, you may just see me there, decked out in a ZZ-Top inspired, crepe-hair beard or better yet, see me dressed up as a snowman! (That alone should give you some incentive to attend this extremely fun event.) And before I close this article out, if you’re a fan of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, you can catch a screening of the film at the end of June at Endless Mountains Theater. For details on this event and others, be sure to visit: www.endlessmountainstheare.com/events.html! Have a Shpadoinkle Day!