Monday, June 30, 2008
I was first exposed to Dario Argento’s The Three Mothers trilogy 1977 with the garish, violent, and almost unbearably loud Suspiria, then in 1980 I saw the confusing, garish, violent, and ridiculously loud Inferno. Finally after 27 years I have gotten to see the third chapter, The Mother Of Tears.
In preparation for the big event, to tell you the kind of geek I am, I watched both Suspiria and Inferno right before I went see The Mother of Tears. Once again I was enthralled with Suspiria. It was just goofy enough for smirking, but then something would jump out of the red, blue or purple lighting that made me jump. Inferno, still sucked. At least in Suspiria, you could care about Suzie Banion. In Inferno, I just wanted everyone to die.
Then I got to see The Mother of Tears. The kind of geek I am, I thought there would be a line to get in. It was only playing one night in the bay area, and I got there two hours early to make sure I got a good seat. There were mabey 25 people in the place. Being in my forties, I was the oldest guy in the room. The rest were Berkley students just bored and looking for air conditioning on a 100 degree plus day.
The Mother of Tears takes place in modern Rome and begins in an unconsecrated section of church grounds, where workers unearth a 19th-century casket and urn. After the local priest figures out what the urn is, he sends it and the casket to a museum guy named Michael. Michael’s two assistants, Giselle and Sarah (Asia Argento), decide to break protocol and open the urn. Asia argento leaves the room for a minute and in the meantime Giselle read the engraved words on three mokey like statues. Soon appears a monkey, and three guys in big robes and bad Halloween masks. The three gargoyle-like creatures, now full-sized and embodied, tear into Giselle and strangle her with her own entrails, and ripp her jaw appart with some cool device they must have been packing in their robes. Sarah would be next, the monkey did it’s best to make sure, but for the mysterious beneficent voice that guides her to safety. The monkey makes many appearances in the pursuit of Sarah through out the movie which start an audience wide synchronized “Fucking Monkey!” This was always followed by laughter.
All kinds of crazy crap happens after that night. People are raging in the streets, mothers are killing their babies, and all the witches in the world, all of which remind me of an old girlfriend's “Girls Night Out" pals converge on Rome cackling and acting as stupid as the biker gang in Mad Max.
Asia Argento runs up with an old friend of her mother who was killed before Suspiria. Sarah learns to talk with her deceased mother through the coaching of this older lesbian. We find out she is a lesbian due to a gratuitous lesbian scene. Sorry no Asia Argento there. But we do get to learn that Sarah has special powers, though we never get to see them, and that she can say Mommy” repeatedly, in a loud scratching, pleading voice that I may never get out of my head.
Except for a brief display of Sarah’s courage, and her slog through Satan’s sewer, the film ends pretty predictably, sunrise and all. When Mater Lachrimarium, the Mother of Tears (Moran Atias), finally appears, it’s not only too little too late, but it’s also not scary. Cool shirt though, apparently 19th century witches were into extreme bikini waxing.
With all of the goofiness, Asia Argento’s hacting, yes HACTING, and silly script, it was everything I expected and I loved it. Favorite scene: When the Japanese Witch gets her head squished by a plastic sliding door. Best aspect: I finally was able to make some sense of the whole story and Inferno in particular. Stupidest scene the phone booth. Just hang up the phone Sarah, just hang up the phone.
Inferno will soon have it’s day on this blog, as soon as I figure out what was up with the hot dog guy. Those in the know, know what I am talking about!
Over all I can see the dvd set coming out in a year or so and I will own it. I may never unwrap Inferno, but I will own it. It is entertainment.
One last note, Mother of Tears played one night only in the Bay area and my daughter took me to see it as a fater's day gift. She could not have thought of a better gift.
Thank You Sasha, I will always remember it.