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Mother of Tears (DVD)

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Mother of Tears DVD review (click for larger image)Reviewed by Uncle Creepy

Starring Asia Argento, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, Valeria Cavalli, Udo Kier, Philippe Leroy

Directed by Dario Argento

Distributed by Dimension Extreme


We waited what seemed like forever for Dario Argento to complete his Three Mothers trilogy, and with Mother of Tears he has done just that. After nearly three decades of anticipation the puzzle is finally complete. It’s just too bad the final piece of it sucks so bad.

Sarah (Asia Argento) has just made the mistake of opening a chest that unleashes a malevolent entity in Rome, the Mother of Tears. All of a sudden people start losing their minds. Violence erupts everywhere. It’s primal, it’s brutal, it’s everything we could want! Once letting the proverbial black cat out of the bag, it’s not long before Sarah realizes that in order to vanquish the world’s last and most powerful witch, she must use her own untapped magical abilities.

This should have been a battle of epic proportions filled with all manner of violent sorcery. Instead …

***SPOILER ALERT***

… despite everyone and their grandmother telling Sarah she must use her powers to defeat the witch, upon confrontation all she does is use a spiked curtain rod to disrobe her. That’s it.

***END SPOILER***

Mother of Tears DVD review (click for larger image)Are you kidding me? What in the world did I just watch? The ridiculousness doesn’t end there either. There is nothing about this flick that seems even moderately Argento. Gone is the dreamlike atmosphere, nowhere to be found is his skillful use of color, and to top it all off, Asia spends most of her time wandering around and giving her least engaging performance ever while asking people to “help” her because she “doesn’t understand what’s going on”. I kid you not. Mother of Tears feels like Argento doing a bad imitation of himself.

The movie’s only saving grace is its violence and overall absurdity. Things fly so far off the tracks that the average viewer will end up sitting through this just because it’s so ludicrous that it ends up being funny instead of scary. I can drone on and on for hours about what’s right and wrong with this flick. In fact, check out our initial Mother of Tears review here for more details. Plagiarize pretty much nails it on all counts though he’s way kinder than I would have been. On to the special features …

I’m pretty sure even Dimension Extreme knew it had a stinker on its hands as all we get are two trailers and two featurettes. Things kick off with a thirty-minute making-of in which we get standard cast and crew interviews coupled with some behind-the-scenes footage. From there you’ll find a seven-minute long interview with Dario that will almost make you want to watch this crap again. It’s as if your heart is telling you to like something your brain knows sucks.

I wanted this to be great. Hell, I would have settled for just above average. This just sucks. All of the key elements are in place — a solid story, great gore F/X, good sound work …. everything except Dario. The blame for Mother of Tears being as bad as it is falls squarely on his shoulders. This is one nightmare there is no waking up from.

Special Features

  • Making-of Mother of Tears featurette
  • A Conversation with Legendary Filmmaker Dario Argento featurette
  • Trailers

    Film:

    2 out of 5

    Special Features:

    2 1/2 out of 5

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    Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 152 – Cloverfield Paradox & The Ritual

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    Last week Netflix shocked the world by not only releasing a new trailer for Cloverfield Paradox during the Superbowl, but announcing the film would be available to stream right after the game. In a move no one saw coming, Netflix shook the film industry to it’s very core. A few days later, Netflix quietly released horror festival darling: The Ritual.

    Hold on to your Higgs Boson, because this week we’ve got a double header for ya, and we’re not talking about that “world’s largest gummy worm” in your mom’s nightstand. Why was one film marketed during the biggest sporting event of the year, and why was one quietly snuck in like a pinky in your pooper? Tune in a find out!

    Meet me at the waterfront after the social for the Who Goes There Podcast episode 152!

    If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

    The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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    The Housemaid Review – Love Makes the Ghost Grow Stronger

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    Starring Nhung Kate, Jean-Michel Richaud, Kim Xuan

    Written and directed by Derek Nguyen


    Vietnamese horror films are something of a rarity due largely to pressure from the country’s law enforcement agencies that have warned filmmakers to steer clear of the genre in recent years. The country’s exposure to the industry is limited, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a handful of filmmakers out there that are passionate and determined to get their art out into the world. IFC Midnight has stepped up to the plate to shepherd writer/director Derek Nguyen’s period ghost thriller The Housemaid in hopes of getting it in front of American horror fans.

    Aside from a few moments that delve into soap opera territory, Nguyen’s film is full of well-crafted scares and some surprisingly memorable scenes that sneak up at just the right times. For history buffs there’s also a lot of material to sink your teeth into dealing with French Colonial rule and mistreatment of the Vietnamese during the 1950’s. Abuse that, if you’re not careful, could lead to a vengeful spirit seeking atonement.

    Desperate and exhausted after walking for miles, an orphaned woman named Linh (Kate) seeks refuge and employment as a housemaid at a large rubber plantation in 1953 French Indochina. Once hired, she learns of the dark history surrounding the property and how her mere presence has awakened an accursed spirit that wanders the surrounding woods and dark corners of the estate. Injured in battle, French officer Sebastien Laurent (Richaud) returns to preside over the manor and, unexpectedly, begins a dangerous love affair with Linh that stirs up an even darker evil.

    Told in flashbacks, the abuse of workers reveals a long history of mistreatment that enshrouds the surrounding land in darkness and despair, providing ripe ground for a sinister spirit that continues to grow stronger. Once it’s revealed that the ghost has a long history with Laurent before her death, the reasons she begins to kill become more and more obvious as the death toll piles up. Using the real life history of indentured servants during Colonial rule, The Housemaid becomes more than just a self-contained ghost story, adding a good deal of depth to a story that could have just centered around a love triangle among Laurent, Linh, and the specter of Laurent’s dead wife.

    Powered by desire to avenge tortured workers of the past and the anger fueled by seeing her husband in the embrace of a peasant girl, the apparition is frightening and eerily beautiful as she stalks her victims. One scene in particular showing her wielding an axe is the most indelible image to take away from the film, and other moments like it are what make The Housemaid a standout. The twisted sense of romance found in a suffering spirit scorned in death is the heart of the story even if the romance between the two living lovers winds up having more screen time.

    The melodrama and underwhelming love scenes between Linh and Laurent are the least effective part of The Housemaid, revealing some of Nguyen’s limitations in providing dialogue and character moments that make us connect with these two characters as much as we do when the ghost is lurking around the frame. What does help to save the story is a well kept secret revealing a connection with the housemaid and the apparition.

    Honestly, if this was an American genre film, the limitations seen in The Housemaid might cause more criticism, but seeing an emerging artist and his team out of Vietnam turn out a solid product like this leads me to highlight the good and champion the effort in hopes of encouraging more filmmakers to carry the flag. Ironically, the film is set for a U.S. remake in the near future.

    The Housemaid hits select theaters, VOD, and digital platforms TODAY, February 16th.

    • Film
    3.0

    Summary

    Using the real life history of indentured servants during Colonial rule, The Housemaid becomes more than just a self-contained ghost story, adding a good deal of depth to a story that could have just centered around a love triangle.

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    Scorched Earth Review – Gina Carano Making Motherf**kers Pay In The Apocalypse

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    Starring Gina Carano, John Hannah, Ryan Robbins

    Written by Bobby Mort and Kevin Leeson

    Directed by Peter Howitt


    Let me preface this review by stating right off the bat that I’m a huge Gina Carano fan, and will pretty much accept her in any role that she’s put in (are you going to tell her no), regardless of the structure and plausibility behind it, and while that might make me a tad-bit biased in my opinions, just accept it as that and nothing more. Now that I’ve professed my cinematic devotion to the woman, let’s dive headlong into her latest film, Scorched Earth.

    Directed by Peter Howitt, the backdrop is an apocalyptic world brought on by the imminent disaster known as global warming, and the air has become toxic to intake, generally leaving inhabitants yacking up blood and other viscous liquids after a prolonged exposure, unless you’re one of the privileged that possesses a filter lined with powdered silver. Filters of water and the precious metal are in high demand, and only true offenders in this world still drive automobiles, effectively speeding up the destruction of what’s left of the planet. Carano plays Atticus Gage, a seriously stoic and tough-as-nails bounty hunter who is responsible for taking these “criminals” down, and her travels lead her to a compound jam-packed with bounties that will have her collecting riches until the end of time…but aren’t we at the end of time already? Anyway, Gage’s main opponent here is a man by the name of Thomas Jackson (Robbins) – acting as the leader of sorts to these futuristic baddies, the situation of Gage just stepping in and taking him out becomes a bit complicated when…oh, I’m not going to pork this one up for you all – you’ve got to invest the time into it just as I did, and trust me when I tell you that the film is pretty entertaining to peep.

    While Carano’s acting still needs some refining, let there be no ever-loving mistake that this woman knows how to beat the shit out of people, and for all intents and purposes this will be the thing that carries her through many a picture. There are much larger roles in the future for Gina, and she’ll more than likely take over as a very big player in the industry – hey, I’m a gambling man, and I’ve done pretty well with my powers of prognostication. With that being said, the thing that does hold this picture back is the plot itself- it’s a bit stale and not overly showy, and when I look for a villain to oppose the hero, I’m wanting someone with at least a shred of a magnetic iota, and I just couldn’t latch onto anything with Robbins’ performance – his character desperately needed an injection of “bad-assness” and it hurt in that particular instance.

    In the end of it all, I’d recommend Scorched Earth to fans of directionless, slam-bang wasteland pics with a touch of unrestrained violence…plus, Gina Carano is in it, so you can’t go wrong. If you’re not a fan of any of the above, feel free to skate on along to another piece of barren territory.

    • Scorched Earth
    3.0

    Summary

    Looking to get your butt kicked in the apocalypse with extreme prejudice? Drive on up, and allow me to introduce you to someone who’ll be more than happy to oblige.

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    User Rating 4 (1 vote)

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