(2007) dir. Dario Argento
The notable director Dario Argento’s most recent film, Mother of Tears, is supposed to be a third and final installment of a trilogy about evil witches, and it stars his daughter, Asia Argento, as the reincarnation of good witchcraft that overcomes the evil. This trilogy began with Suspiria (1977), one of his best-known and best-appreciated films, followed by Inferno (1980), but only wraps with this film, more than 25 years later.
I’ve never been able to appreciate Argento’s films for some reason. I think that long ago, in the 1980’s, I did see Suspiria and I think I did like it. I think I also saw it again in the early 1990’s and quite frankly, I can’t remember what I thought. I think I also managed to see his film Phenomena (1985) when it was released as Creepers, but again, I don’t really have much sense of ever really thinking much of his work. But working as he has in both Horror and Giallo, the pulpy, violent crime genre of Italian cinema, he fits well into the areas of interest for me, so I keep thinking I need to give him another chance.
When this film hit the theaters, not so long ago, it got decent reviews. Why, I don’t know. It’s awful.
While there are some orgyistic scenes of witches covens and some rather well-effected moments of gore, the story is lame, other effects are cheap and horrible, and the overall effect is of something far more campy than scary, more hammy than engaging, and actually quite often, downright lame.
As all the witches converge on Rome, it turns out that they all are essentially goth-chicks who like to party. Okay, so that makes sense, but as far as costuming goes, it’s very silly, especially with their preening smiles and leers. None of it is effective.
As for Asia Argento, I have always found her attractive and she holds the screen. No one else in this film except for Valeria Cavalli is hardly worth having around.
Although it’s always enlightening to see someone strangled with their own intestines, I have to say this movie was pretty damn lame. If I journey further into Dario Argento’s more well-praised work, this movie certainly did nothing to push me along that road.