|Mother of Tears
||[Sep. 24th, 2008|10:11 pm]
International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
Dario Argento has become a parody of himself. I don't think he's made a good film since 1987's Opera, and in fact I have avoided most of his later work. (You should ask glvalentine about Argento's baffling 1998 take on the Phantom of the Opera sometime.) So it was with a great deal of excitement and a great deal of trepidation that I learned he was finally going to complete the Three Mothers trilogy he started with Suspiria in 1977 and continued with Inferno in 1980.
Mother of Tears came out in 2007, but wasn't given a wide release in the States. Now it's finally on DVD and after having seen it, all I can say is the movie is so bad I don't even have words for it.
It opens with a completely crazy kill scene. Some unfortunate soul opens an ancient urn covered with arcane symbols -- which we'll call the Clue Box -- after it's unearthed in a church cemetery. Then some monsters show up and break her face. Then they cut her open so her intestines fall out. Then they strangle her with her intestines.
Then the crazy part happens.
It is revealed that the monsters are under the command of an evil monkey. No really. Ask anyone who's seen the movie. It's an evil monkey.
Asia Argento, the director's daughter, witnesses the murder and goes on the run, being chased by the evil forces (and evil monkey!) of the recently awakened Mother of Tears, who has stolen the Clue Box. Meanwhile, witches from all over the world descend on Rome. You can tell they're witches because they look like they just walked out of a 1980s music video, all big hair and stockings on their arms and too much eye makeup. (The scene with the witches arriving at the airport is particularly hilarious. It looks like something out of a Pat Benatar video.) Rome falls into chaos, and by chaos I mean people brawling in the streets and yelling "Fuck you!" at each other. Then Udo Kier shows up for twelve seconds to supply some exposition before he gets axed to death.
Then, while the evil monkey hops up and down on a chair and shrieks at its handler off-camera, the lead singer from Midnight Oil shows up and sticks a spear up a woman's cooch. Tacky! But if you think that's phallic, wait till you get a load of the giant stone obelisk that
penetrates impales the Mother of Tears at the end!
Oh yeah, the Mother of Tears. For a villain, she's actually barely in the movie. She's a thousand-year-old witch, but she's still young-looking and likes to walk around naked, even though all her power is apparently tied to wearing a red robe from the Clue Box that everyone mistaken calls a talisman instead of a robe. Also, this thousand-year-old witch has fake boobs and a shaved cooch. Authenticity!
But Asia is a witch too, kind of. During a scene when she is running from the police for no reason, her dead ghost mother (played by Asia's real-life mom Daria Nicolodi) teaches her how to turn invisible so they won't find her. Handy, no? Too bad Asia promptly forgets she has this ability and spends the rest of the movie running from bad guys when she could just turn invisible and not have to worry.
Then she meets up with the police detective who's been chasing her, but who apparently no longer cares why, and in a spooky old house, behind a door marked "catacombs" they find some unexplored catacombs (I AM NOT KIDDING!) where the witch and all her naked, booby followers are hiding out. Cue the removal of the witch's clothes, and thus her powers, and the arrival of the aforementioned giant stone
penis obelisk that rams into her naked body, killing her. The evil monkey gets squished by a falling rock. Then Asia runs away, leaving the detective to die as the house falls down around everyone, but then the detective shows up, remarkably healed from his deadly chest wound, and helps her escape even though she left him to die.
Then they escape, and they laugh and laugh and laugh. End of movie. Roll credits.
Oh, Dario. You never cease to disappoint. I think it's time for us to break up. I'll always have my DVDs of Deep Red, Suspiria, Inferno, Tenebre, Phenomena and Opera to remember our time together, but I just don't know who you are anymore.