Ma Barker and her four sons terrorize the 1930s South and Midwest with a string of kidnappings, robberies and murders, and even get to work with such famous criminals as John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson.
From dust-bowl days in Oklahoma to an opulent Florida hideout under siege, Ma Barker (Lurene Tuttle of "Psycho"), leads her sons astray while maintaining a consultation sideline for the likes of John Dillinger, Alvin 'Creepy' Karpis, Baby Face Nelson and Machine Gun Kelly. Written by
Ignore that the film is a historical mess--just enjoy it for its nutty performances.
"Ma Barker's Killer Brood" is a bad film. Most of the exploits of Ma Barker and her boys in this film are complete fiction. The gang did not have parties attended by all the most-wanted criminals (Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly and many others). Additionally, the writing and characterizations were far from subtle. Yet, despite being a bad film, it has a certain kitschy quality that makes it fun viewing. I am pretty sure that Lurene Tuttle had a grand time acting as the leading lady!! In many ways, I think this film was an inspiration to John Waters, as you see a lot of Divine in this film. Don't believe me? Try watching "Pink Flamingos" and "Female Trouble" and you'll see what I mean. Herein lies the beauty of the film. It never strives for accuracy but instead tries very, very hard to be loud, outlandish and ridiculous--and VERY enjoyable. Although I gave the film a 5, it IS a must-see for bad movie freaks!
By the way, in a case of interesting casting, look of future "My Three Sons" actor Don Grady as a member of this hellish clan!
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