Bloody Mama - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bloody Mama Reviews

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June 13, 2011
Although not gripping like Bonny and Clyde, I was a bit surprised by the film's raw energy and decent performances including from Shelley Winters. However, it was the film's climax that brings everything above and beyond and leaves one cruel ending.
April 23, 2011
Good story.... Crazy as shit to watch.
½ 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)
August 22, 2010
'You gotta' believe... You gotta' have faith... But first, you gotta' get rid of the witnesses!'

'The family that stays together slays together!'

Roger Corman movie featuring a very young Robert De Niro and Bruce Dern
August 11, 2010
Bloody Mama is a delightfully deranged piece of early-70s Corman. As with most Corman films, Bloody Mama is B-movie to the core--it is cheep and makes up for its lack of money by incorporating a variety of exploitative elements: violence, nudity, etc. all parade before the camera. But Bloody Mama is a psychological gangster/outlaw film that will delight Corman and B-Movie cinema fans as well as perhaps surprising a few "normal" viewers/ Twisted to its core, Bloody Mama is a Freudian, Oedipal tale of a mother's influence over a family as well as a critique of the American ideal that we can all become whatever we want. It is a delightfully violent and psychopathic tale that features a poignant and brutal performance from Shelley Winters as well as a childlike, drug-addict Robert DeNiro. A truly fun film that I enjoyed way more than Michael Mann's star-studded Public Enemies.
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.
½ May 8, 2010
Great Shelly winters! this is one of inspiration of Tarantino's film....great idea people who make picnic in front of house during the fight police- Mama!:)
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ 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.
½ April 13, 2010
After a young girl is raped by her father she vows that her sons that she will be having will stand by her to the bloody end. A hell of an opener to Roger Corman's slighty uneven gangster film that seems to want to expose everything. However the film is about Ma Barker and her hoodlum sons as they rob and rape the countryside. Good vehicle for Winters as the matriarch of the family and an early role from De Niro as her dope pumping son.
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.
½ January 17, 2010
true story of a insane family. Shelley Winters portrays Kate Barker, a memorable and distinctive performance.
December 12, 2009
Bloody Mama is a delightfully deranged piece of early-70s Corman. As with most Corman films, Bloody Mama is B-movie to the core--it is cheep and makes up for its lack of money by incorporating a variety of exploitative elements: violence, nudity, etc. all parade before the camera. But Bloody Mama is a psychological gangster/outlaw film that will delight Corman and B-Movie cinema fans as well as perhaps surprising a few "normal" viewers/ Twisted to its core, Bloody Mama is a Freudian, Oedipal tale of a mother's influence over a family as well as a critique of the American ideal that we can all become whatever we want. It is a delightfully violent and psychopathic tale that features a poignant and brutal performance from Shelley Winters as well as a childlike, drug-addict Robert DeNiro. A truly fun film that I enjoyed way more than Michael Mann's star-studded Public Enemies.
July 15, 2009
Never saw this movie before but the name Shelley Winters was all I needed to know to want to see it plus of course the fact that she portrayed the infamous Ma Barker that I have heard of but never in great detail. Well, this movie is sort of a short version on what happened, no doubt - albeit there is narration as to what is happening around it all and even a reason given why she became the way she was, whether it is factual or not, it was convincing overall.
The story centers more on the sexual and violent exploration of Ma Barker and her four boys, concentrating in particular on one kidnap story that introduces us to all the characters involved, including the two 'outsiders' travelling with the gang. The oldest (portrayed by a most and forever convincing Don Stroud) took his girl-friend and later wife along that did not exactly please mommy and the gay son found himself a playmate during a stint in prison, while the other two boys turned to alcohol and glue sniffing although the youngest may have escalated to harder drugs later on. History tells that they went out in a blaze of glory - one major last shootout - though whether it occurred the way it was portrayed in this movie is very unlikely, particularly the close contact of an extensive audience not far away. Yes, I know, times change but I am pretty sure that even in those days people did not get quite as close 'to the action' as it was shown ... but that is a detail, albeit one that put me off somewhat.
The overall performances - as expected with the likes of Shelley Winters, Pat Hingle, Don Stroud and a very young Robert De Niro - were excellent despite a bit of a mediocre script and one-sided storyline, the gist of the family way of life did come across loud and clear and the audience did get a chance to get to know the various characters and what they were all about. I don't really know much about director Roger Corman to comment whether it was his doing or simply the acting of the impressive cast that made this movie an enjoyable view but that is beside the point, really. The feature was entertaining and got across the essence of Ma Barker and her boys - yet another piece of history well worth seeing.
½ July 1, 2009
Tiene la letra B incrustada en la frente, pero esta pelicula de Roger Corman me fascina. Tiene a una Winters frenetica, De Niro jovencisimo y Bruce Dern es Bruce Dern. Me encanta esta pelicula.
½ February 7, 2009
This is a pretty depraved mess!!! Shelley Winters is psycho as hell; be forewarmed the movie includes prostitution, graphic murder, shootings, drownings, prison male-on-male rape, aging female rape of a younger man, child molestation, blasphemy, incest, dope snorting, armed robbery, cursing, premarital sex, animal cruelty, Ku Klux Klan members, illegal firearms, etc... everything for the ideal Friday Night Family movie experience!
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.
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
½ August 23, 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.
August 12, 2008
Shelly Winters at her finest. Corman has a gift with bringing you into his films. Can't wait to see more. De Niro is great, but you've got to give a big hand for Don Stroud and Shelly Winters dynamic. Yet another great film from one of the greatest eras in film making.
½ July 13, 2008
One of the many Depression-era gangster films to come out in the wake of Bonnie and Clyde (leave it to Roger Corman to capitalize on a popular film and genre). This is however not only Corman's most deranged picture but also the most deranged Gangster picture ever.
Good performances and interesting psychological character-driven script (takes Bonnie and Clyde's whole Freudian phallic symbolism to new heights by just having every character be blatant sexual deviants - the boys sleep with their mother, the mother sleeps with her boy's homosexual lover, one brother screws the other brothers fiancee in front of him. Hell, the opening scene is a teen-age Kate Barker being held down by her brothers and raped by her father!), but a bit too scattered and light on the action. For a damn good AIP gangster picture watch John Milius' Dillinger, released three years later.
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