Mother of Tears: A Bloody Blast!

Opening this Friday is a must see: Mother of Tears, the Italian maestro of the macabre Dario Argento’s, long-awaited finale to his ‘"witch” trilogy, which began with the nightmarishly brilliant Suspiria (1977), continued with the artfully insane Inferno (1980) and now concludes with this campy, baroque, gory, frightfully enjoyable entry. The director’s talented daughter Asia Argento stars as a museum curator named Sarah who unwittingly opens an ancient, recently unearthed, urn -- a pandora’s box which sets into motion the return of Mater Lacrimarum (the Mother of Tears), the cruel and beautiful occult queen of the damned. In no time mothers are killing their babies, people are attacking each other in the streets and witches start arriving in the city (riotously looking like extras in an '80s rock video), for the second fall of Rome. It’s up to Sarah, who discovers she’s the offspring of a white witch, to stop this witchapalooza. The film is filled with the usual Argento tropes -- a pounding score by Claudio Simonetti and peppered with outrageous deaths. Argento purists will grumble that it may not be the aural, visual, surreal assault of Suspiria, but it’s still a bloody blast.

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