Bloody Mama - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bloody Mama Reviews

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½ May 27, 2016
An irredeemable piece of lurid trash despite the star power that it boasts. Don't waste your time.
May 23, 2016
a loose Hollywood version bio-pic
January 16, 2016
Roger Corman rarely delivers a dud, but the one is pretty close. Shelley Winters, who I've never liked all that much or ever really understood how she got into so many films, play Ma Barker who leads her unpleasant brood (Don Stroud, Pat Hingle, Bruce Dern, Robert De Niro) on a crime spree in the depression era dust bowl. It's far cry from Arthur Penn's "Bonnie and Clyde" or even John Milius' "Dillinger". It's watchable, but good performances can't overcome a mess of a script. Like most of Corman's film, it's scrappy, fast paced and visually engaging. However, this film feels like an amateurish mix of trying to mix lowbrow action and an overreaching as a psychological character study. Scatman Crothers also appears in the film.
March 22, 2015
Trashy gangster film about depression era band, consisted of Ma and her 4 boys, interesting for the role of young De Niro.
½ March 12, 2015
You might be curious as me to see this one on account of the names Shelley Winters, Bruce Dern, and of course a very young Robert De Niro. Young Robert De Niro hooked me, he played a pretty good southerner. It's hard to explain why the movie itself was so bad. It lacked any quality that might hold the attention of it's audience.

There can be something said about seeing the Rotten Tomato score prior to watching a movie and expectation influencing opinion. If I watched it again with a different attitude I might like it better.
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.
½ 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
Super Reviewer
October 27, 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.
½ June 29, 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.
½ May 31, 2013
Good cast, dumb movie!
November 17, 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.
October 26, 2012
Great movie,I would like to see it.
½ May 25, 2012
Shelly Winters gave one completely batshit crazy performance after another. The best maybe coming in Kubrick's Lolita, but she does a bang up job here as Ma Barker. Bloody Mama tells the story of Ma and her boys as they rob and kidnap and shoot it it out in rural America. The movie's filled with great performances and some awesome bloody action violence. It's also a great story, well told, reminding me of Bonnie and Clyde's gritty surrealistic realism. All told, a hell of a good time courtesy of the Corman movie making machine and heralding the arrival of one Mr. Robert DeNiro.
½ March 2, 2012
Watch it for Winters almost too over the top performance.
½ 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.
½ 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
Super Reviewer
½ 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
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