"She became the most cold-blooded killer to lead a gang in modern times—buying her brood more murder time with blood money."
People often ask me (they don't; but for the sake of this post I'll say they do) what attracts me to exploitation pictures. Well, many things do, but complete disregard for three-dimensional characters is certainly a big draw. Exploitation characters can't be one-note enough as far as I'm concerned: which is why I love the shit out of Ma Barker's Killer Brood. In fact, to say the characters in this movie are one-dimensional is not only an insult to the one-dimensional characters we've come to know and love from sitcoms of old, but also to the number one—as well as the very idea of dimensions. These characters are negative dimensional.
And none more so than the titular Ma Barker herself. Never have I seen a character so single-minded, so dogged in her pursuit of malevolence. When Ma's husband suggests that training their children to steal money from the church collection plate might not be completely ethical, she dresses down her pointless-excuse-for-a-human husband for trying to raise sissies. And that's just in the first couple scenes. She gets oh so worse from there.
People looking for fully-developed characters with well-realized arcs, best look elsewhere. This movie ain't cotton to that sissy shit.
As is to be expected, with the Ma Barker trailer you get only but the slightest taste of this bad mama's cruel demon heart. But, oh, isn't it so enticing. You wanna watch the movie now; don't you? Don't you?