This sick and twisted flick is one of the first Exploitation films out of England in decades. Clearly influenced by the works of Pete Walker, Tobe Hooper, and Wes Craven, MUM & DAD tells the tale of a poor Polish immigrant that is kidnapped and tortured by a perverted family led by mum and dad, who take pleasure in inflicting pain and sexual torments on the new family 'pet.' The film encompasses all of the same qualities and standards that would have had it banned under the Video Nasties act in the 1980s, depicting disgusting and brutal acts of violence in a downward degenerative spiral without tapping in to any sort of social commentary or redeeming moral consequence. It is purely Exploitation for the sake of Exploitation. It also provides critics with a perfect example used to justify their demeaning term "Torture Porn," since the film blends elements of both within its perverse framework. While all of this would seem to belittle the film, it actually has quite the opposite effect. MUM & DAD is one of the few films to achieve the same disgusting and unsettling moods generated in the first wave of true Exploitation films since the early 80s. In all of its nastiness, it provides two powerful and hated villains that are sure to draw an immediate emotive response from the viewer. The exclusion of any musical score leaves the audience defenseless as they are forced into uncomfortably close and intimate quarters with the events unfolding on screen. It often recalls the stronger elements of FRIGHTMARE, THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, and even THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, and provides great technical work, design, and acting for a film that was made for under $100,000₤. MUM & DAD is not a perfect film, however it does its best to recreate an era of film sleaze that is rarely recaptured in recent Horror efforts. Highly recommended for fans of the Exploitation sub-genre, but equally recommended against for anyone that finds the films named above distasteful.
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