Patty McCormack was the original bad kid after The Bad Seed. What if she survived the end of that movie and had kids of her own?
Well, maybe. McCormack is Mrs. Sterling, the single mother of 12-year-old Jessica Ann. She sets the tone of the film by visiting her daughter’s school to ask why she hasn’t won student of the year again. When she doesn’t get the answer she likes, she shoves a teacher off a stepladder like she stole her penmanship medal.
This movie boasts a great cast as it tells its story, with Jason Miller (The Exorcist) as the cop on the case of the murder, Brinke Stevens as Sterling’s sister, Majel Barrett as the teacher who dies early and Mickey Spillane — yes, the writer! — as an attorney.
Both Stevens and Spillane signed on because they knew writer and director Max Allan Collins, who is a mystery writer of some renown as well as the comic book writer of Dick Tracy, Ms. Tree, Wild Dog, Batman and more. He’s also written several C.S.I., NYPD Blue and Criminal Minds books*. Probably his most famous book would be Road to Perdition, which was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks.
After an entire movie consisting of McCormack killing everyone that may implicate her in the murder and stealing that Student of the Year trophy for her daughter. Despite nearly killing her daughter, she does defend her from a vicious dog who mauls her, with the scene only ending when the police take her away.
Mommy isn’t a perfect film, but it’s a lot of fun. As always, McCormack is at her best when she’s obsessing about perfect things in an imperfect universe.
*He also wrote novelizations of In the Line of Fire, Maverick, I Love Trouble, Waterworld, Air Force One, U.S. Marshalls, Saving Private Ryan, The Mummy, U-571, The Mummy Returns, The Scorpion King, Windtalkers, I-Spy, The Pink Panther, American Gangster, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, The X-Files: I Want to Believe and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Both of the Mommy films are available from VCI.