A psychological gangster film based on fact. Machine gun totin' Ma Barker lead her family gang (her sons) on a crime spree in the Depression era. Her loyal brood have every perversion imaginable. The sadistic Herman sleeps with his Ma. When Fred Barker is released from prison, he brings home his cell mate/lover Kevin Dirkman, who also sleeps with Ma, much to Fred's chagrin. Lloyd Barker is a spaced-out drug addict who sniffs glue if nothing better is around. Ma kidnaps happy-go-lucky millionaire Sam Adams Pendlebury and holds him for ransom. Arthur Barker - Ma's wallflower son - and Herman's hooker lady friend Mona Gibson also figure in the story. The bloody finale is virtually choreographed and a visual stunner. Filmed in the Ozarks. Written by
You gotta' believe... You gotta' have faith... But first, you gotta' get rid of the witnesses!
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Did You Know?
was such an extreme method actress that she spent the entire evening before the grave scene at a funeral parlor staring at a real corpse in a coffin convincing herself she was staring at her dead son, in addition to listening to loud opera just before shooting a scene to work herself up emotionally, and throwing a very real wine bottle at Lloyd (Robert De Niro
) in order to make him cry. See more
In the prison cell when Freddie is walking on Dirkman's back, if you look on the cell wall behind him, you'll see graffiti of a Nazi swastika on the wall. The movie takes place circa 1930 and the Nazi symbol didn't even exist (at least in America's consciousness) until the late 1930's-1940's. See more