Picks and Pans Review: Sins of the Mother
updated 02/18/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/18/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST
Based on Jack Olsen's nonfiction crime book. Son, this movie about a rich-boy rapist in Spokane, Wash., and his domineering, demeaning mother grabs you right from the eerie opening scene: We watch Dale (Elvis and Me) Midkiff and Elizabeth (Bewitched) Montgomery dress for a party—she slips on nylons: he fastens her dress. It suggests a symbiotic, sexual and superenmeshed relationship.
Director John Patterson makes the mood so claustrophobic that the sound of a phone ringing or a lawn sprinkler ticking can jangle your nerves. Montgomery is dynamic as the possessive, shaming man-hater. Midkiff, who starred earlier this month in The Maria Hanson Story, is excellent as the charmer who acts out his repressed rage in a series of brutal rapes.
Their performances elevate this movie into the company of The Deliberate Stranger, in which Mark Harmon grippingly portrayed serial killer Ted Bundy.