10/5/08

Mother of Lousy Movies


Dario Argento's Mother of Tears (La Terza Madre) is so damn awful, so twisted, so over the top, so poorly acted, so ridiculously plotted that the appearance of a demonic monkey in the first few minutes of the action, seems to make perfect sense in the universe the film is set in.

Let me see, what else?

Oh, how about an enchanted, bedazzled sweat shirt that seems to hold some monumental magical power to it? Yes, a sweat shirt ... though to be fair, it is not referred to as such... still though, to the untrained eye, it looks like something Jennifer Beals might have worn back in the day.

Anything else?

Yes, the witches! Groups of gals (and a few guys) descending on Rome in packs who seemingly forgot to change hair and makeup since sometime in 1986. With the exception of one (an Asian woman who looks like she stepped out of a Duran Duran video - who gets her comeuppance by way of a bathroom door that smashes her head in) , most of these harpies just travel around in ugly clothing, talking wildly and hoping everyone else notices them ... sort of like that other pack of harpies from Sex and the City.

Oh, and ...

... forgive me, but who told Asia Argento that she can act? My god, I am sure she's a sweet gal, but she's about as compelling as a plate of cold pasta.

And finally,

The Third Mother; the title character, the reason for all of this crazy shit going down. Sorry, but this strega was about as scary as a Project Runway reject. Moran Atias is one hot babe, for sure, but she's got no screen presence whatsoever. Her tits look good, so there's that. And those knockers go on display every chance they get.

So there you have it. A real piece of crap. Yes, there a few Grand-Guignol type murders (my fave being the woman choked by her own entrails), and a scene concerning a mother disposing of her infant baby (which put me in mind of a similar scene in Warhol's Women in Revolt); and if that's enough for you, then by all means, seek it out. As for everyone else ... just rent Suspiria again and call it a day.

11 comments:

Adam said...

I'm definitely an Argento fan but this one's quite the mess. Cheap, schlocky and embarrassing, and not in the right way. You mentioned most of its questionable bits although I was equally repulsed by the whole Ghost Mom angle, and that ending... Yikes. I so looked forward to this one, and even with the lowest of expectations I was baffled. I don't think Asia's a terrible actress though her performance was weak here, I'm just assuming she's constantly scared her dad's going to make her to show her tits again. Which of course he did.

Pax Romano said...

Adam,

You mean the "They laughed as the sun rose" ending? Oy!

And yes, I sort of blocked it, but Asia did show her tits.

Drew said...

Coincidentally, I just Netflixed this one and watched it yesterday. On the whole, I agree with you. Not even as good as Inferno, which itself was kind of a mess. Gory, yes, but not psychedelically so. Ghost Mom was infuriating, and the living characters were pretty poorly developed. I mean, why exactly did the British professor cowoker guy suddenly turn evil? Was he dead already? I realize the movie was attempting this whole coming apocalypse widespread lunacy thing, but that doesn't necessarily make for a good film plot. And the CGI was downright terrible.

In answer to the question "Who told Asia Argento she could act" I must offer the answer "Her dad. Splains a lot, no?

Fortunately for me, I happened to have Netflixed it alongside Phenomena, which I had never seen before. I enjoyed the latter much more so than this new Argento.

Nice blog, by the way. Longtime reader, first-time commenter, save for possible drunk commenting that I do not remember.

Pax Romano said...

Drew,
Thanks for finally speaking up! And, hell I welcome drunken comments...

Jenn said...

This is the first review I've seen that didn't go on and on about how great the movie is. I get to see it on the big screen in a few weeks as part of a local thing and I get the feeling I'm not going to like it as much as most people.

Pax Romano said...

jenn,

Gee, I dunno, maybe it works on the big screen.

Would love your take on it after you see it.

Thanks for stopping around!

L.W. "Skinny" Rydell said...

I found it quite enjoyable, though a far cry from the first two movies, especially Suspiria. On my blog I described it as an absurdist gore comedy. I don't at all believe Argento was trying to make a serious movie, which is probably off-putting to fans of the first two films who wanted a finale with the same oneiric tone.

Drew said...

Skinny: I'm willing to give Argento the benefit of the doubt, just because I like him so much. Can you elaborate on your absurdist gore comedy thoery? The only joke I can think of would have to be the so-hammy-I-can't-take-it-seriously Ghost Mom parts. Or perhaps the especially anticlimactic death of the Mother of Tears. (Splat. The end.) Then of course there is the inexplicable laughing at the end...

In short, tell me more.

Pax Romano said...

Skinny, I am with Drew on this one ... tell us more. Oh and thanks for the comment, but I'd really like to hear your take on this movie.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

most surely people deserve real crap like Saw and all the remakes...

The Divine Ms. Jimmi said...

Argento movies are usually hit or miss.