Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Dario Argento's "Mother of Tears" is the long awaited finale to the "Three Mothers" trilogy. The trilogy started with "Suspiria"(1977), an insanely aural and visual roller-coaster ride that was about the witch The Mother of Sighs. Next came "Inferno"(1980), a more subdued but still highly visual treat that was about the Mother of Darkness. Finally, after 27 years of waiting comes "The Mother of Tears"(2007).

"The Mother of Tears" is a movie that I had highly anticipated and had lofty expectations for. It is about an ancient urn that is opened that contains the third mother, the most powerful witch in all of the trilogy. Her resurrection brings about a literal hell on earth, with crime, murder, and gore running rampant through the streets of Rome. All of the witches across the world are converging on the city, ancient to meet the third mother and bring about an unleashing of evil of apocalyptic proportions. This movie does have a strong end of the world vibe, as you are hit mercilessly with shocking images of gore and brutality one after the other. Of course there is also nudity and lesbianism a plenty, which is ok by me. Someone has to stop this witch, but who? And how?

'The Mother of Tears" does tie the trilogy together, something that has not been done before in the previous two. It ties together the story of the three witches, and how their rise to power came about. You also learn about the centuries long battle to destroy these witches. The main character's(Sarah Mandy) parents were white witches that died fighting the The Mother of Sighs, the witch that Suzy Banyon killed in Suspiria. It answers many questions that any fan of the first two movies might have.

All in all, "The Mother of Tears" left me with mixed feelings. It is lacking the overwhelming lighting and visual effects of the first two movies. It makes up for some that though with the signature dream-like quality and eye for suspense that permeates all of Dario Argento's work. The sound track is not as wild as Goblin's music in "Suspiria", but it is still creepy and powerful, scored by ex-Goblin member Claudio Simonetti. There are some parts of the movie where the budget seems a little strained, and the effects aren't as convincing as they are in the previous two. I have had no complaints about the casting of Dario Argento's daughter Asia Argento in his previous movies, but her acting in the lead role as Sarah Mandy in this movie seems rather strained and overdone at points. Lastly, there is the ending, which I thought was a little rushed.

All that being said, "Mother of Tears" is still a great movie and a fitting end to the "Three Mothers" trilogy. I think my expectations were just too high. Don't go into this movie expecting another "Suspiria" and "Inferno", but do expect to be entertained.

Here's two trailers. The first is a tame one tailored to American theaters, and the second is more graphic and revealing.

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