By admin | February 21, 2000

Minnie Gentilbelle (a chilling Joelle LaMer), should be president of the Grrrl! Power Men Haters Club. Traumatized by a never-revealed incident from her past, the prim and proper southern belle is convinced that all men are animalistic scum; so much so, in fact, that she’s raising her son Robert (Beau Rutherford) as a little girl. Now on the cusp of adolescence, however, “Roberta” is starting to question his upbringing. This can have cruel results, as his strict maternal taskmaster routinely punishes Robert’s errors by cruelly and gruesomely killing the terrified boy’s pets before his eyes. Desperate for answers, Robert befriends the kindly but haunted gardener Drake (David Brainard) at great risk, only to discover that the forbidden man plans to help him escape his mother’s sick and sadistic clutches. The question then becomes, can help arrive before something other than animals gets hurt? Ew!
This one’s the kind of squirmer that’ll make you want to take a shower in battery acid. Not since “Psycho” has a place generated as much creepy foreboding as the Gentilbelle Estate and indeed, this powerful and unnerving film from Tara M. Miele could easily pass as a sort of “Psycho” prequel; a “Young Norman Bates,” if you will. LaMer is terrifying as the vicious bright-eyed maternal zealot, while Rutherford is equally as strong as her emerging foil. Don’t watch this rugged and disturbing film while eating, (as I attempted), but do watch it. Mother commands you…

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