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Film: Serial Mom
Serial Mom is a 1994 American satirical comedy film written and directed by John Waters. The film centers around Beverly Sutphin, a stay-at-home housewife who appears to be a sweet woman, but in reality, turns out to be a serial killer who kills everyone who would get in her way. The case turns into a media frenzy and Beverly becomes the object of attention by heading into trial. Hilarity Ensues

The films stars Kathleen Turner as Beverly, as well as Sam Waterston as her husband Eugene, Ricki Lake as her daughter Misty and Matthew Lillard as her son Chip.


This film provides examples of:

  • The Bad Guy Wins: Beverly gets an acquittal after she's arrested and put on trial. She even kills one of the jurors who acquitted her on her way out.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: One teen, while his parents are getting murdered.
  • Depraved Dentist: Eugene
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Beverly kills people for what most would consider trivial reasons. This includes one of the jurors who acquit her, for wearing white shoes after Labor Day and contemplating on killing someone for not recycling.
  • Mistaken for Prank Call: Beverly invokes this in the midst of her regular prank calls to Dottie Hinkle. She calls Dottie back immediately after her last prank call, pretending to be a normal caller at first:
    Dottie: Didn't I just say fuck you!?
    Beverly: [in a different voice] I beg your pardon!
    Dottie: Who is this?
    Beverly: Mrs. Wilson from the telephone company. I understand you're having problems with an obscene phone caller?
    Dottie: Yes, I am; I'm sorry, Mrs. Wilson, but this is driving me crazy! I have my number changed twice already. I'm a divorced woman, please help me.
    Beverly: Well what exactly does this sick individual say to you?
    Dottie: I can't say the words out loud, I don't use bad language.
    Beverly: Oh well, I know it's difficult, but we need to know the exact words.
    Dottie: I'll try. Cocksucker, that's what she calls me.
    Beverly: [reverting to the original voice] Listen to your filthy mouth, you fuckin' whore!
    Dottie: Goddamn you!
    Beverly: Motherfucker!
    Dottie: Cocksucker!
  • Serial Killer
  • She's Got Legs: Taken to the extreme when Beverly realizes one of the witnesses in the trial is fascinated with her legs and exploits that distraction to the point that he recants his earlier testimony.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Beverly bludgeons one of her neighbors while the lady is singing along with "Tomorrow".
  • Stepford Smiler: Beverly is a subversion.
  • Stepford Suburbia
  • Villain Protagonist

The Santa ClauseFilms of the 1990sThe Shadow
Sea PrincessesWorks Needing TropesShadow Grail

alternative title(s): Serial Mom
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