Mother of Tears (2007) dir. Dario Argento
Starring: Asia Argento, Asia Argento, Cristian Solimeo, Adam James, Moran Atias, Udo Keir
Dario Argento is back with another horror film – A noble attempt but bad execution of a gothic witch horror film. "It’s a sad reminder of once great filmmakers like John Carpenter who just can't make good movies anymore.
It’s present day Rome and by accident a construction crew unearths a medieval pandora’s box of sorts (ok, the characters don’t know it’s a ‘pandora’s box but we do). A gorgeous museum intern Sarah (Asia Argento) and her colleague open the box releasing supernatural demons which proceed to brutally kill the colleague.
Sarah’s investigation into the death (of course the police are baffled and ineffectual) reveals that the box released the spirit of an ancient witch - The Mother of Tears. But it so happens Sarah is the daughter of a once great witchkiller. Sarah’s latent anti-witch powers are the only way to stop a new horde of witches which is descending on Rome.
I can say that the opening credits are fantastic. Claudio Simonetti’s rather large baroque music, which recalls Jerry Goldsmith’s score the “Omen”, creates a great atmosphere of doom and gloom. But once the opening scenes fades in we’re witness to an exercise of b-grade gore and hokey thrills and chills.
Asia Argento’s good looks just can’t mask her inability to say the bad dialogue very well. At times her father, the director, is reaching really far to satisfy us. The opening kill is over-the-top, replete with arms and heads being ripped from the poor woman’s body – no suspense or intrigue, just some physical gore, bodyparts, slit throats and some blood. At one point a woman Sarah meets along her journey is a lesbian and we see a gratuitous scene are her having sex with her hot wife. And then Argento puts her own daughter naked in the shower! Talk about an awkward shooting day that must have been.
“Mother of Tears” in technically the final part of his ‘mothers’ trilogy following “Suspiria” and “Inferno”, so for Argento enthusiasts there’s may be some inside references to cling onto – for everyone else, it’s just some T&A and some blood.
“Mother of Tears” is available on DVD in Canada from Alliance Films