You know that we as a society have plunged irretrievably into the abyss when Nadya Suleman, a pathological baby machine with a nickname like a Marvel Comics supervillain, can criticize famed TV harpy Kate Gosselin for being "exploitative" and "superficial." Fortunately, neither of these real-life mothers can hold a candle to the worst the movies have to offer.
Not yet, anyway. Talk to us again after the new season of Jon & Kate Plus Eight wraps up.
5. Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) -- Mommie Dearest (1981)
Dunaway's subdued and nuanced performance is of critical historical significance, as it provides a vital bridge between ABBA and "Serge" from Beverly Hills Cop on the Campy Gay Icon Continuum.
4. The Anne Ramsey Combo (The Goonies and Throw Momma from the Train)
Not many people know this, but Ramsey was actually born a 57-year old woman, which came in handy portraying such characters as "Battleaxe," "Edna Sneer," and "The Hag." Here are her two most famous maternal roles, Mama Fratelli and Mrs. Lift.
3. Eleanor Iselin (Angela Lansbury) -- The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Is it really so bad to want your son to excel at something? Most kids can't even get in the starting lineup on their JV baseball squad, much less assassinate the leading Presidential candidate and deliver America into the hands of the Reds.
2. Norma Bates (Anthony Perkins) -- Psycho (1960)
Nowadays we're used to the idea that mothers inflict horrible psychological damage on their children, but back in 1960 it was still a novel concept. And even if your own mom was distant and disapproving, it's unlikely she could superimpose her dead face on yours from beyond the grave.
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SHOW ME HOW
1. Margaret White (Piper Laurie) -- Carrie (1976)
The 1970s ushered in a new era of communication between parents and their children, but it's one thing to have Dad confess he didn't get very good grades either and quite another for Mom to admit she should have "given you to God" when you were a baby. Oh, and the knife in the back isn't much of a warm fuzzy, either.