Offbeat director John Waters ("Polyester," "Hairspray") might seem an unlikely candidate to write/direct a film in the ever-predictable "Female Psychos From Hell Who Kill" genre. Imagine if Waters--the man who made Patty Hearst a movie star in "Cry-Baby"--had been the director of "Single White Female." Instead of a Bridget Fonda/Jennifer Jason Leigh pairing, Waters' sensibility might have leaned to a Lola Falana/Joey Heatherton combo.
And yet, the word filtering from Columbia Pictures is that Waters' next movie will indeed be a thriller, in the tradition of "Basic Instinct" and "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle."
The movie is "Serial Mom," combining two of Waters' favorite topics--corroding suburban values and mass murder--and promises to do for the "Female Psycho" genre what "Airplane!" did for disaster movies.
Waters' she-wolf isn't a glamorous killer with a drop-dead wardrobe, but a \o7 hausfrau \f7 who wears sensible shoes. She's also politically correct: In "Serial Mom," lead character Beverly, happily married mother of two, only murders and torments those who truly deserve it.
Among her victims: a woman who refuses to recycle, a teenager who scorns seat belts and a suburban know-it-all who is offed after repeatedly returning movies to her local video store that have not been rewound.
The tale unwinds slowly, with nary a member of the household clued into Mom's demonic habit. There are hints along the way, however, that something is amiss. Over breakfast one day, Dad, scanning the morning headlines, notes with disgust that "the Hillside Strangler gets his college degree in prison! He should have been executed!" Replies Serial Mom chirpily: "We all have bad days."
Mom's secret is eventually exposed after six townsfolk bite the dust and Dad, to his horror, finds a nude autographed photo of Richard Speck and an intimate love tape from Ted Bundy in his wife's undie drawer.
Like all Waters movies, "Serial Mom" boasts several cameo parts. One cameo, in fact, is already earmarked for Farrah Fawcett, who in the story has been cast as Serial Mom in the made-for-television movie based on her life. During the film's climactic murder trial, Fawcett shows up in court to do research and disrupts the proceedings when her cellular phone goes off in her purse.
No word yet on whether Fawcett will play herself. But according to one source, Waters and the studio are aiming to cast a big star in the title role. Two names being batted about: former movie maniacs Kathy Bates ("Misery") and Glenn Close ("Fatal Attraction").