Directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Robert Thom, Crazy Mama was the kind of movie you used to stay up late to watch on cable when your parents went to sleep.
Melba Stokes (Cloris Leachman) owns a beauty parlor and lives with her mother Sheba (Ann Sothern) and daughter Cheryl (Linda Purl, who has a career of playing relatives, as she was Matlock‘s daughter and Pam’s mom on The Office; she’s also in Visiting Hours). When their landlord Albertson (Jim Backus) kicks them out and takes their belongings, they go on the run and decide to start a crime spree, eventually joined by former Texas sheriff Jim Bob Trotter (Stuart Whitman) and pursued by Cheryl’s would-be baby daddy (Donny Most).
This was to be originally directed by Shirley Clarke. I have no idea how her dance and art background would have worked and we’ll never find out, because she was fired ten days prior to filming. Demme changed the ending to the movie, which was to have everyone die, which he just thought was too much.
Hey — it’s also Bill Paxton and Dennis Quaid’s debut! And John Milius is a cop!