Italian horror-meister Dario Argento is in too deep with unspeakable evil in finally completing a trilogy started over three decades ago.
The silly, if oddly subliminal Mother of Tears is cruelly dubbed into English to sate fans beyond his fanbase of slaughter and sex. It's a family affair with daughter Asia ("Marie Antoinette") and longtime companion Daria Nicolodi in front of the camera.
Argento was never patted on the back for his writing expertise, more for his stylish compositions filled, of course, with blood and gore. Here, there is much to behold when it comes to things like eye gouging, disembowelment, and throat slitting. It does conjure up some of the tricks of The Da Vinci Code without as much ominous malevolence.
Asia fits into the part of student Sarah Mandy who accidentally or foolishly unlocks an ancient urn while working for Rome's Museum of Ancient Sciences.
Soon, a witch, a tall, bald fellow, and a loud simian come to life and all hell breaks loose in the Eternal City when it comes to death and destruction.
Asia is game for a shower scene that is staged with a nod to Psycho and this offensively trippy supernatural tale has her swimming in a river of human sludge. Her Sarah is at the mercy of a spirit that has her on the run from mad, upset people, mainly women. There is some consolation in the form of Nicolodi, who appears to Sarah as her ghostly mother.
Maybe too soft-core for some, too hard-core for others, Mother of Tears keeps churning with little originality, mostly to the detriment of the faint of heart. It shocks more than chills one out in taut fashion. Still, it has the guts with a soaking sanguine stream of violence to fervently be looked at as a B-movie with camp value.
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