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The Mother of Tears
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The Mother of Tears (2007)

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Plot Summary:
"An ancient urn is found in a cemetery outside Rome. Once opened, it triggers a series of violent incidents: robberies, rapes and murders increase dramatically, while several mysterious, evil-looking young women coming from all over the world are gathering in the city. All these events are caused by the return of Mater Lacrimarum (Moran Atias), the last of three powerful witches who have been spreading terror and death for centuries. Alone against an army of psychos and demons, Sarah Mandy (Asia Argento), an art student who seems to have supernatural abilities of her own, is the only person left to prevent the Mother of Tears from destroying Rome."

Review by
Ryan McDonald
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Review Date: 23 July 2009 My Rating: out of 5


The title mother (Moran Atias) is the sole survivor of a trio of powerful witches, and an evildoer who unleashes all manner of unholy hell on the city of Rome. It is up to Asia Argento, a museum curator's intern (who inadvertently unleashes The Mother of Tears in the first place, it must be noted) to save the day. Argento's mother (played by her real-life mother Daria Nicolodi) a white witch, died under mysterious circumstances, but her spirit (!), and lesbian white witch (Woo-hoo!) Valeria Cavalli, help Argento to realise that she has special powers she must use to defeat The Mother of Tears. In a casting decision that might send the most devout of believers to consider atheism, cult icon Udo Kier plays a padre with expertise in the occult.

Twenty-seven years after the enjoyable “Inferno”, giallo master Dario Argento brings his ‘Three Mothers' trilogy (started by the immortal “Suspiria”) to a close with this 2007 offering. I kinda wish he left it at two films. The Argento prerequisites are mostly evident- Excavations, Roman Catholicism, choral music, paintings/murals. He even co-wrote the script and wrote the story. But the giallo specialist seems to have lost all of his inimitable style. The look is somewhat cheap (especially the awful FX) and nondescript. Just about anyone could've directed this.

The story is cheesy, the film is overloaded with talk, none of it convincingly acted (Argento's charismatically skanky daughter Asia comes off best), and overall it comes off like a mixture of “The Exorcist” and “The Omen”, but with all the good bits missing. This is it? Really?

A nice hammy turn by Kier, a large helping of throat slashings (it's a really impressively gory film, especially the bizarre and disturbing finale which boasts one of the best deaths I've ever seen), lots of boobies (including briefly, one of Asia's!), and top-notch score by Claudio Simonetti (unsurprisingly of Goblin fame), aren't enough to save this stinker.

Even die-hard fans hated it, though I'd place it higher than Dario Argento's “Phantom of the Opera”. Either way, you do not need to see this dull, disappointing film.

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