Bloody Mama

'The family that slays together stays together', ran the ads. Immersed in Freudian motifs, Corman's foray into rural gangsterdom makes no bones about its anti-social anti-heroes: the Barker clan are blatantly public enemies. A prologue sees young Kate Barker raped by her brothers; 'Blood's thicker than water' says her Pa. It's advice she clings to. Cutting to the Depression years, Corman finds Ma Barker abandoning her weak husband and taking her brood off on a brutal crime spree. This family unit comprises a sadist, a homosexual, a junkie (De Niro, sniffing glue like there's no tomorrow) and a lady-killer, and it's held together by incest and murder. Despite such sleazy subject matter, the cast is outstanding, dominated by a fierce Shelley Winters, and Corman pulls no punches, delivering a searing Jacobean tragedy of a gangster movie.

Release details

Duration: 90 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Roger Corman
Screenwriter: Robert Thom
Cast: Shelley Winters
Pat Hingle
Don Stroud
Bruce Dern
Diane Varsi
Robert De Niro
Robert Walden
Clint Kimbrough
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