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Bloody Mama Reviews

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Elias B.
August 17, 2014
Good low budget movie considering they based it on a real life barker family gang and shooting on location. There were some really great ideas and characters were drawn out fairly well, with the help of the talented cast, who Corman seems to have casted well. The dialogue is also pretty catchy and well written. They were some iconic lines like the 'Simon Says' game. So the story had some huge potential into making this an epic b movie, however some of the concepts were not explained well enough. Also some of the action scenes needed that extra kick to gain more emotion and suspense. This is a must see for any b movie fans and makers who like the crime drama genre.
May 24, 2014
Kinda meh. It had it's moments, but it was sort of all over the place.
March 29, 2014
Produced and directed by Roger Corman, this crime exploitation film was based on the life of Kate Barker, who along with her family was part of a violent crime spree in the American mid-west in the 1930's. Corman's version was shot fast and cheap on location in Arkansas, and it's a spirited and graphically violent caper film, but Corman has a good cast to work with here. Kate 'Ma' Barker (Shelley Winters) had a troubled upbringing where she was beaten by her brothers and father, but what didn't kill her made her stronger, and by the 1930's, she has 4 sons, Arthur (Clint Kimbrough), Herman (Don Stroud), Fred (Robert Walden) and Lloyd (Robert De Niro). After she leaves her husband George (Alex Nicol), Ma decides to make her fortune by robbing banks, with her sons carrying out the crime. After Fred and Herman are jailed for a robbery gone awry, Ma recruits experienced gunman Kevin (Bruce Dern) to help get them out of jail, and continue their crime spree. But the lawmen are closing in, and Ma is living on borrowed time. Corman states Bloody Mama to have been his finest film, and it has some good moments of action. Think of this one as a Grindhouse version of Public Enemies, and you're just about there. It's worth seeing De Niro as Ma's heroin addicted younger son, a role he lost 30 pounds in weight for, but Winters is amazing.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

October 26, 2013
Bloody Mama is an average low budget gangster film that is quite entertaining, but also has plenty of wasted potential in being a great picture. The cast are good here, but I felt that the story lacked a bit in comparison to other genre pictures. Roger Corman does assemble a great cast here, but his script does lack a bit and it is an average gangster film. Despite this, Bloody Mama is still an entertaining film, and a must see for gangster film fans; however it could have been much better as well. In terms of a low budget cult film, Bloody Mama is quite good, but like I said, considering its subject should have been a standout feature. The feel of the film feels slightly rushed, which is a great shame because the film has all the necessities to really make this a standout gangster feature. Other films of the era that deal with outlaws are better such as Bonnie & Clyde. Bloody Mama is a good film, but it's one of those movies that never realizes its potential due to an underdeveloped script. Still for what we get here, this is an entertaining ride, but considering other crime films, I expected a bit more out of this one. Bloody Mama has its flaws, but it's not a bad movie by any means, it's one that had the misfortune of having a rushed script. Luckily the cast keep it together, and Roger Corman's direction is effective to make this one soar above its limitations. For cult film fans, Bloody Mama is entertaining viewing, but like I stated, it should have been better, however it's a well crafted film nonetheless.
January 23, 2013
Several great actors in a classic depression-era tale of warped family morals gone amuck. Shot in classic Corman style, the rushed feel of the flick pushes the cast to give honest performances on the first take. Not for the faint of heart.
November 16, 2012
This is a typically hyperbolic film from Corman and although it isn't the most cultured of films it has its merits. It is notable for a very early Robert De Niro turn.
March 2, 2012
Watch it for Winters almost too over the top performance.
January 20, 2012
The movie would be good if Shelley Winters wasn't so damn annoying. A young De Niro really helps this though, you can see the star he would become in this movie.
January 8, 2012
It's just too fucking bizarre to write-off, though I'm not so sure what the message is past 'We gotta rob banks and kill people cause the system is terrible!' Shelley Winters gives it her all though, as does Robert De Niro in a supporting role though, and some of Corman's direction (especially in the climax) is inspired, at least from him.
ElCochran90
ElCochran90

Super Reviewer

July 30, 2011
Corman is in more familiar territory now and relies on his camp abilities once more. So, this is the 70s we are entering now, dangerously approaching unaware audiences to... (bam bam baaammm): exploitation times! Instead of using gangsters and a Capone as a lead role, Shelley Winters takes the wheel and gives us a mentally sick ride with his little boys. It is described as a "psychological gangster movie based on fact". That's summing up heavily the focus of Bloody Mama, but perhaps it was the climactic sequence which had audiences guessing what Bloody Mama really was.

76/100
July 1, 2011
Shelley Winters is so Good as Controlling Evil Matriarch Ma Barker, pushing her Idiot Sons into Bank Robbery & Kidnapping during the Depression.Clearly the Sociopathic Mastermind that Cracked the Whip
KevinRobbins
April 16, 2011
Mama's boys

In 1929 a depression is sweeping the country causing people to survive by any means necessary. Ma Barker and her group of inbred sons travel the country robbing banks, homes, and holding rich men hostage. How long can the Barker family keep their crime spree alive?

"The rich men were jumping out the windows; and as usual, they were landing on the poor."

Roger Corman, director of Frankenstein Unbound, The Trip, The Secret Invasion, The Raven, The Terror, Pit and the Pendulum, The Haunted Palace, House of Usher, Little Shop of Horrors, and Machine Gun Kelly, delivers Bloody Mama. The storyline for this picture is interesting and a unique take on the gangster genre. The story combines a unique blend of red neck drama and gangster behaviors. The acting is solid and the cast includes Robert De Niro, Shelley Winters, Pat Hingle, Bruce Dern, Pamela Dunlap, and Robert Walden.

"You just rob banks and stay out of trouble."

The MGM channel showcased Roger Corman in March and when I saw a preview for this movie, as one of Corman and De Niro's first films, I had to see this picture. I did find this movie interesting and a blend of Wrong Turn and Public Enemy. The movie is definitely unique and depicts a story that unfolds masterfully. I do recommend seeing this picture.

"Blood, Kate, is thicker than water."

Grade: C+/B- (6.5)
May 28, 2010
This is Roger Corman going wild making a gangster film not a true to life biopic and in true Corman fasion it is a bloody, violent mess. Carrying a strangely surreal tint, it is a crazy and uneven film, whilst some of the dialogue remains strangely insightful. For these reasons, I love it.
jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

April 17, 2010
Lurid B level junk but not like anything you're likely to run across anywhere else. Shelley consumes the scenery as Ma Barker and her crazy brood includes a young DeNiro. Something to watch at least once for the curiosity factor.
April 5, 2010
Es algo divertida, es la historia de una familia que tiene serios problemas mentales, muy muy serios, pero a la vez esta contada de una forma muy coloquial y no es larga asi que pasa muy rapido, lo mejor seria Shelley Winters, la cual da la dosis correcta de locura a este personaje, que esta escrido de una forma muy jugosa y Robert De Niro, que aunque tiene un muy pequeño personaje, es agradable verlo, en esta una de sus primeras peliculas, y Don Stroud.
February 2, 2009
this wasn't the best flick I have ever seen But Shelley Winters is a cool actress. This is a wierd saort of flick with the topic of incest and murder thrown into the mix. Can't rate this very high but will givew a decent score because it was interesting.
_kelly .

Super Reviewer

December 30, 2008
Had this pre-dated Bonnie and Clyde, it would be hailed as a classic and taught in film schools everywhere. As it is, it is a very entertaining exploitation flick from Roger Corman, featuring Shelley Winters in the lead role. I personally prefer it to Bonnie and Clyde, as this odd family is far more complicated and just as socially radical.

The dialogue feels very authentic, and the characters suffer just the right amount of sexual and developmental confusion to make them empathetic if perturbed killers. The Herman character is perhaps the most compelling and developed of the sons. The ending is directly alluded to in the beginning of Rob Zombie's "The Devil's Rejects".

Don't skip this if you want to see Depression era criminals, Corman exploitation, or Winters playing psychologically deranged.

"So Fucked Up" highlight: Mama keeps a boy in her bed every night
Blaxunshine
August 21, 2008
Shelley Winters chews up the screen as Ma Barker and she sure does love her boys. Together they crime spree across the US w/ Bruce Dern along for the ride. Corman exploitation sure is fun.
sleepykiss
September 28, 2007
RCorman classic. Type cast SWinters as the fat/crazy woman once again. Luv Shelley & Bruce always.
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