July 24, 2008

Italian Director Takes Evil to New Depths

By Phil Villarreal, The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson

Jul. 24--For Italian splattermaster Dario Argento, there are no boundaries. "Mother of Tears," one of his few recent films to have made theatrical rounds in the United States, proves how badly he needs them.

Not disgusted by a blood-gushing disembowelment? Well how about a throat-slitting murderess who turns the knife on herself after the fact? Or maybe a couple eye gouges?

A grotesque, intentionally offensive girl-on-the-run sex-and-slaughter flick, "Mother of Tears" seems determined to offend you and gross you out no matter the cost.

The lead is Argento's daughter, Asia -- the star of three of Dario's other films -- as Sarah, an American student in Rome who accidentally unlocks the spirit of an evil witch who causes mass suicides and an influx of worshippers. Sarah scrambles to scuttle the threat, which systematically kills her friends and associates.

The movie is billed as the completion of Argento's trilogy -- the other two films are "Suspiria" (1977) and "Inferno" (1980) -- and the distinction is important because only Argento fans hard-core enough to have seen and loved the first two films will be able to tolerate this bloodthirsty, aimless mess.

Like the unspeakable evil the film represents, "Mother of Tears" should be locked away for the sake of mankind. Review Mother of Tears


--Rated: R for strong graphic violence and gore, language and some sexuality/nudity.

--Cast: Asia Argento, Cristian Solimeno, Adam James.

--Director: Dario Argento.

--Family call: Not for kids.

--Running time: 98 minutes.


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