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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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    Friends Don’t Let Friends Review – A Haunting Mixture of Psychological Turmoil and Brutal Supernatural Horror

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    Starring Brittany Anne Woodford, Jenny Curtis, Kanin Guntzelman, Brendan McGowan, Jake White

    Directed by James S. Brown

    We all like to think of ourselves as being surrounded by friends, but let’s face it, if we were to ever truly hit hard times, there are probably very few, if any, people we could truly rely on. So on some level, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film we can all relate too, as it deals with this very issue.

    Stephanie is an emotionally unstable young woman who strangles her boyfriend to death after he insults and breaks up with her. She calls her friends to help her dispose the body out in the Joshua Tree National Part area, and instead of reporting her to the police, they reluctantly comply. As their car breaks down, the four friends find themselves alone at night in the Californian wilderness with the rotting corpse in need of disposal. Given their dire circumstances, they begin to become more and more aggressive towards each other, and this was where the film was really at its best. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering how far the limits of their friendship could be stretched, and who would be the first to crack and turn on the others.

    Anyway, their body disposal endeavor soon proves to be a mistake, as Stephanie’s ex rises from the grave as vengeful zombie demon thing with claws as long as knives. I’ll admit, I first I thought Friends Don’t Let Friends was going to be a movie purely about the limits of trust, so I was pretty surprised when the supernatural elements came into play. And when they did, the trust and friendship elements of the plot were somewhat downplayed in favor of a more traditional horror approach, and while it was still entertaining, I still would have preferred for the film not to have strayed from its initial path. At least the ending came as a shocker. I won’t go into spoilers, but let’s just say the even the most attentive viewers probably won’t see it coming.

    As you can probably guess from a psychologically-driven film of this kind, the performances were top notch, with Brittany Anne Woodford being on particularly top form as the manipulative and unstable Stephanie, a character who revels in the revels in the power she felt when ending another human life.

    With its mixture of psychological turmoil and brutal supernatural horror, Friends Don’t Let Friends is a film I would certainly recommend, but keep in mind that it may make you think twice when confiding in people who you think of as being your friends.

    8 out of 10.

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    Coulrophobia Review – One of the Most Entertaining Killer Clown Films in Quite Some Time

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    Starring Pete Bennett, Warren Speed, Daniella D’Ville, Roxy Bordeaux

    Directed by Warren Speed


    The word ‘Coulrophobia’ refers to the fear of clowns, and if you happen to suffer from it, you might want to avoid director Warren Speed’s film of the same name. However, if you can stand the sight of clowns with gaping wounds in their manly parts, then you’re in for one heck of a fun time.

    An all-female hockey team get lost deep in the Scottish woods on their way to a match (don’t ask), and are captured and forced to participate in a series of horrific games by the Grock family of clowns. All of the members of said family are absolutely fucking insane, but the one that really stood out was Twitch (Pete Bennett), who wears jester cloths and it said to have a short attention span. He longs to be a violin player and wishes he could blend in with normal society like the other members of his family. And you almost feel sorry for him, even though he’s a mad killer with bells on his head.

    Director Warren Speed also appeared as Milo, a grunting mute who had his tongue cut out when he was a boy. As mentioned above, we see a close-up shot of a open wound in his penis being stitched up, which is not an image that will be leaving your mind anytime soon. Speed is clearly fearless when it comes to his art.

    Inter-spliced with all the torture and mayhem, we also see documentary-style telling the sad history of the family involved, and this was where the film unfortunately faltered, because these scenes seemed out of place and just didn’t flow with the rest of the plot.

    Ultimately, however, Coulrophobia almost seems like a film Rob Zombie might have made before he lost his way and started churning out trash like 31. Comparisons to House of 1000 Corpses are inevitable, and I absolutely mean that as a compliment. This is one of the most entertaining killer clown films in quite some time.

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    User Rating 2.94 (17 votes)
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    The Gatehouse Review – What Is Found in the Woods Should Be Left in the Woods

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    Starring Scarlett Rayner, Simeon Willis, Linal Haft

    Directed by Martin Gooch


    Now while no one will sneeze at the prospect of bringing up a bit of a rebellious child alone, it’s those damned kids that like to tempt fate by pissing off creatures in the woods…oh kids, they do the funniest things, don’t they?

    In Martin Gooch’s moderately spooky presentation, The Gatehouse, a struggling writer named Jack (Willis) finds himself behind the 8-ball following the tragic drowning death of his beloved wife, and if that isn’t enough to torque your drawers, his young daughter, Eternity (Rayner) is becoming quite the salty soul herself. Unfortunately the little one has been finding herself bullied at school, and her recourse of sorts is to simply toss attitude around as if it was pleasantly acceptable. Her pastime has become lonely wanderings in the deep woods, digging for hopeful treasures…and we all know what problems reside in the woods, don’t we, horror fans? Well, Eternity’s father is attempting to re-start his writing career with a frightening backstory – taking the reigns on a novel that was abruptly ended when the author committed suicide, and supposedly the tome is quite the dark piece of literature.

    Eternity’s never-ending quest for fortune and glory in the forest leads her to a most interesting (and ultimately) dangerous discovery (don’t sweat it – I won’t spill it for you). Bottom line here is this: the little girl has taken possession of something that should have been left in the friggin’ woods, and now someone (or something) wants it back PRONTO. What follows is a lackluster series of “spooky” events, and far be it from me to say, I’ve seen creepier stuff watching the evening news. Gooch then tries to bombard the audience with a plethora of instances and swerving plot direction – it’s fun at the beginning but can grow a bit tiresome over a duration.

    Performance-wise, both Rayner and Willis play the perfect combination of mentally-shot dad and determined-to-be-independent daughter – their scenes are ripe with subtle contempt, and the right amount of indecision. Overall, the film is best suited for those fans of fantasy/fable-like horror, and while it might not scare the pants off of you, it definitely will give us all another reason to stay the hell out of the woods once and for all.

    • Film
    3.0

    Summary

    Children in a forest-setting don’t always add up to cutesy-pie encounters with furry creatures – this one’s got a few scares to keep fans of coppice-horror appeased.

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    User Rating 3.56 (18 votes)
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