Monday, October 26, 2009

Film Review: MOTHER OF TEARS (2008, Dario Argento)

Stars: 4.8 of 5.
Running Time: 102 minutes.
Notable Cast or Crew: Asia Argento, Udo Kier, Dario Nicolodi (back in an Argento film for the first time since their breakup during 1987's OPERA), Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni (the seamstress in OPERA, the birthday honoree in DEMONS 2), Jun Ichikawa. Music by Claudio Simonetti.
Tag-line: "What you see does not exist. What you cannot see is truth."
Best one-liner: "Who wants to eat the girl?"

MYTH: Dario Argento has never made a completely coherent film.
FACT: He has, it just doesn't happen to be this one.

Udo Kier angrily demands a coherent script.

MYTH: Dario Argento has never been able to resist gratuitously showing his daughter Asia naked.
FACT: He has. Back when she was 11, in DEMONS 2. But, then again, he didn't direct that one, he wrote and produced.

MYTH: Dario Argento has never been able to resist gratuitously torturing his daughter Asia.

Asia in a skull and maggot pit, in homage to his own PHENOMENA (1985).

FACT: Actually, that is a pretty accurate statement.

MYTH: Argento's films have gotten less gory over time.

Dario preps one of his buddies.

Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni gets wrapped in her own entrails or something.

A witch hoochie (Jun Ichikawa) is about to be messed up real bad.

FACT: This is a common belief among people who have just seen 2004's THE CARD PLAYER or 2005's DO YOU LIKE HITCHCOCK? Those of us who have seen the uncut JENIFER, PELTS, and MOTHER OF TEARS realize that Argento is undergoing probably not only the goriest stage of his career, but perhaps of all film history.

MYTH: This movie has a lame ending.

FACT: Only if you think Asia Argento destroying a witch by disrobing her with a giant spear is lame. Which, if you do, you probably shouldn't be watching Argento movies anyway.

MYTH: There's no way you could make a good drinking game out of this movie.
FACT: Try a drink every time they whisper 'Motttthhherrr.' If that's not enough, do one for every time you see an evil monkey or a member of the international army of witch hoochies.

MYTH: This film does not make for a good double feature with anything.

FACT: Try it with Mr. T's BE SOMEBODY OR BE SOMEBODY'S FOOL, specifically the "Treat Your Mother Right" rap, which seriously would have made amazing closing credits music.

Not that there's anything wrong with Daemonia's heavy metal effort, "(SHE'S OUR) MUTHAH OF TEARS!"

MYTH: This movie dishonors the reputation and visuals of SUSPIRIA and INFERNO.
FACT: You will be laughing too hard to care.

-Sean Gill

2009 Halloween Countdown

31. PROM NIGHT (1980, Paul Lynch)
30. PHENOMENA (1985, Dario Argento)
29. HOUSE OF WAX (1953, André de Toth)
28. SILENT RAGE (1982, Michael Miller)
27. BASKET CASE (1982, Frank Henenlotter)
26. THE DEADLY SPAWN (1983, Douglas McKeown)
25. PELTS (2006, Dario Argento)
24. ANGEL HEART (1987, Alan Parker)
23. KILLER WORKOUT (1986, David A. Prior)
22. FREDDY'S DEAD: THE FINAL NIGHTMARE (1991, Rachel Talalay)
21. THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES (1971, Robert Fuest)
20. FRANKENHOOKER (1990, Frank Henenlotter)
19. HELLRAISER (1987, Clive Barker)
18. GEEK MAGGOT BINGO (1983, Nick Zedd)
17. ALLIGATOR (1980, Lewis Teague)
16. LIZARD IN A WOMAN'S SKIN (1971, Lucio Fulci)
15. THE CARD PLAYER (2004, Dario Argento)
14. SPASMO (1974, Umberto Lenzi)
13. C.H.U.D. (1984, Douglas Cheek)
12. FRIDAY THE 13TH PART III (1982, Steve Miner)
11. SWAMP THING (1982, Wes Craven)
10. DIARY OF THE DEAD (2008, George A. Romero)
9. THE LAIR OF THE WHITE WORM (1988, Ken Russell)
8. PIECES (1982, Juan Piquer Simón)
7. THE NEW YORK RIPPER (1982, Lucio Fulci)
6. MOTHER OF TEARS (2008, Dario Argento)

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