Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mother of Tears

You know what? Let’s just do this and get it out of the way. After putting ourselves through Inferno, the second part in Dario Argento’s “Three Mothers” trilogy, we figured why not pull the band-aid and watch the third film, Mother of Tears. Per usual, we do not recommend watching either film without a scorecard handy.
  • For being, at this point, still tangentially related to Suspira. = +13pts
  • For being much closer to Inferno. = -12pts
  • For making a movie after his daughter is of legal age that doesn’t feature her naked. = +18pts
  • The 90’s-era Image-like graphic “EXTREME” that smashes the Dimension Films logo. = 0pts (Somebody call Rob Liefeld’s lawyer!)
  • Note: All we can hope for right now is that Argento has not seen Saw
  • Starting off with a bang. “Bang” in this case being your standard Omen-esque wailing choir played over ancient paintings of murder and debauchery. = +2pts
  • Creepy gothic credits featuring glowing yellow eyes. = +2pts
  • Bringing in a Cardinal to look at a coffin wrapped in chains and covered in satanic symbols so that, after looking at it for 3-seconds, he can say, “Cut the chains.” = +4pts (Bad Cardinaling is always a plus in movies. But not in real life.)
  • The look of utter disappointment on the Cardinal’s face when they open the Satan coffin and he sees just a skeleton, followed by his dejected order to bury the Satan coffin, “On the other side of the cemetery.” = -3pts (Mainly for putting in our mind the idea that, if the Cardinal could speak freely, he would have added “with all of the blacks and Irish” to that sentence.)
  • Digital cameras sure have come a long way! Remember when you would take a picture with one and a Demon face screaming “BOO!” (demon for “cheese”) wouldn’t come up on your lens? = +3pts (Supporting advancements in technology.)
  • Aaaannnd we’re back at the Roman Museum of Ancient Art, otherwise known as that place where the alchemist killer/librarian from Inferno likes to hang. = -2pts (USE THE FRONT DOOR PEOPLE, IS ALL WE’RE SAYIN’!)
  • Opening up someone else’s Satan urn. = -2pts (Not cool, dude. Not cool.)
  • Note to self: When opening a Satan urn, be sure to do so using very sharp razors. That way, when you inevitably slice open your hand and bleed onto the box, the resurrected spirit isn’t all “WTF?!” = +1pt
  • Random live tiny baboon appearance in ancient art museum. = +8pts
  • Teeth and intestine removal by mysterious baboon wrangler. = +4pts
  • Dental/intestinal removal not being the thing that kills you. = -9pts (Hint: Intestines have so many more practical applications.)   
  • SCORECARD BULLETIN: Apparently, Argento has seen Saw. There is no way this is a good thing.
  • Causing us to wonder if Asia Argento is more shocked at seeing tiny were-people hack her friend to pieces OR the fact that this came from the mind of her father. No points. Just a survey.
  • Is there anything to do besides running when a baboon the size of a tabby cat is coming after you? = +2pts
  • Watching said tiny baboon try to open a door. = +3pts
  • Even the cops think the tiny baboon is hilarious. = +4pts (Although we should dock them points for calling it a “monkey.”)
  • Anytime someone promises to not think you’re crazy after you ask them to, chances are their first thought is, “How crazy is this motherfucker?” = No points just an observation.
  • Having sex with your boss in order to cope with having just seen your friend strangled with her own intestines. = +3pts
  • Throwing your baby off a bridge in such a half-assed manner that it doesn’t even clear the concrete underbelly of the bridge before it hits the water. = -10pts (Put your back into it!)
  • Scene of rabid goth chicks (possibly European models) cackling and walking through the airport and then kicking a nerd’s suitcase off his luggage trolley and laughing about it. As true a sign of the coming “darkness” as we’ve seen. = +3pts
  • Apparently a bookstore is kryptonite to a coven of homicidal European goth models. = +8pts
  • The best use of a door for murder since Lethal Weapon 2. = +2pts
  • Udo Keir. = +6pts (This was either: A great call back to Suspiria OR A desperate attempt to remind us that Argento directed a movie we liked once. Both merit positive scores.)
  • Letting Udo Keir speak in his real voice and not overdubbing him with an awful American accent like he did in Suspira. = +3pts
  • Um, all we can say right now is that, apparently, Argento really hates babies. = -12pts
  • For directing a scene in which a man has his throat slit (including vocal chords), yet somehow remains able to groan and scream in agony for a good 3 minutes while he is hacked to bits. = -2pts (That’s just bad science!)
  • Seriously, who knew intestines had so many uses? = +1pt
  • Random flash of hot lesbian scene after talking to the spirit of your dead mother via make-up compact. = +4pts
  • Sight of mini-baboon Mission Impossible-ing its way into your home using what appears to be a ship-rope tied to a rafter out of the frame. = +13pts (Almost off the charts hilarious.)
  • Murdering lesbians with a knife post erotic coitus. = -13pts
  • Doing so in the most misogynist and phallic way imaginable. = -53pts
  • Nagging ghost moms. = -8pts
  • Lighting your boss on fire. = +5pts (Pre-economic downturn. = -7pts, post-economic downturn, = +12pts)
  • •Nope…there it is! Being unable to resist the urge to film an awkwardly gratuitous nude shower scene featuring your own daughter. = -20pts
  • For adding to our daddy issues. = -15pts 
  • Waiting till the 3rd movie to introduce the concept of “good” witches. = -1pt
  • For saying “Stop!” to your cab driver at the sight of roving homicidal European goth models and not, “Run them down! Run them all down! Now back over them ! Again! And again!” = -7pts
  • The bored reaction to the presence of a dirty old homeless man in the lair of the Mother of Tears. = +2pts (That’s so European.)
  • Barbed wire make-outs and tongue piercings are two things we would have thought naturally didn’t go well together. = -4pts
  • You figure the Mother of Tears would have at least had the pull to get a better boob job. = -3pts
  • You really don’t want us to tell you what’s happening in the den of the Mother of Tears. You really, really, don’t. = -13pts
  • Apparently all you need to be the Mother of Tears is a bomb ass T-Shirt from Threadless. = -3pts
  • Making a movie in which most of the deaths of the female characters occur by vaginal mutilation. = -25pts
  • Bathing your own daughter in what appears to be corpses and poop water. = -15pts
Total Score = - 118pts
Available on: Netflix DVD, hopefully some kind of federal sex offender list that will keep Argento from coming within 50 yards of a school building

Argento had been keeping the third film in his “Mothers Trilogy” in his back pocket for a long time. Unfortunately, it appears that in the 20+ years since Inferno, he never changed his pants. What emerges from that fetid pocket is a flattened, stinky, moldy bit of cinema that, at best, is suited for a midnight grindhouse feature at a prison full of rapists. Not a good thing. Argento used to be a filmmaker known for integrating splashes of shocking violence into scenes of escalating tension and claustrophobia. In the post-Saw world, one wonders if he felt the need to rise to the current culture of horror of that (much better) movie. In the climactic “den” scene, one can practically hear him bellowing, “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED!!” off-camera. No, sir. No we were not. Now, if you’ll excuse us, Jigsaw has been dead for 5 films now and his intricate post-mortem plan to cure people through suffering isn’t going to run itself. Now there’s a man/woman/cop/divorced father/doctor/teacher we can get behind!

Score Technician: Sean McConnell

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