(aka "La Terza Madre" or "The Third Mother")

 

directed by Dario Argento
Italy/USA 2007

 

During an excavation of a Viterbo cemetery, a strange urn is found in an unmarked grave and sent to a Rome museum for analysis. Giselle (Coralina Cataldi Tassoni, OPERA) and Sarah (Asia Argento, STENDHAL SYNDROME) open it and discover a dagger, three demonic statues, and a red, bedazzled "dress" they refer to as a "talisman" (it turns out to be one but there's not really anything to indicate its anything more than a tacky sleeveless top this early on). While Sarah goes to get a book to translate the writing on the dress, Giselle is violently murdered by three demonic figures (and one monkey) and Sarah only just escapes with some supernatural assistance. Her boyfriend Michael (Adam James) investigates and finds out that the dress in the urn was believed to belong to a powerful witch called The Mother of Tears. When Adam's son disappears and a wave of violence overtakes the city, Sarah investigates and finds herself pursued by cackling, goth witches. Everyone who tries to help her meet violent deaths and Sarah soon realizes that she must destroy the Mother of Tears herself before the witch brings about the second age of witches upon the world.

Incredibly distasteful and just plain bad upon first viewing, the film is not as off-putting upon further viewings (though one death scene late in the film will always be unforgivably misogynistic). The American screenwriters have put their generic twist upon what might have been a more interesting idea. There's the requisite discovery of an artifact, goth witches, cult conspiracies, and fully explanatory text (in place of the more cryptic clues offered by the same esoteric text in INFERNO). The killings seem to be conceived to outdo American "unrated" horrors and lack the aesthetic distance of the more operatic violence of Argento's earlier films. The Mother of Tears here compares poorly to her wordless cameo (as embodied by Ania Pieroni) in INFERNO. Simonetti's score is intermittently interesting and Frederic Fasano's cinematography occasionally manages some interesting images but compares poorly to the Technicolor work of Luciano Tovoli on SUSPIRIA and Romano Albani on INFERNO. Sergio Stivaletti's make-up effects are convincing but the CGI work of Lee Wilson is distracting. The supporting cast includes Udo Kier (SUSPIRIA), Philippe Leroy, and Asia Argento's mother Daria Nicolodi.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 31 October 2007 (Italy)

Reviews    More Reviews  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Genius Products/Weinstein Company (Unrated) - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Genius Products/Weinstein Company

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:41:12
Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.64 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Subtitles English HoH, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Genius Products/Weinstein Company

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• The Making of Mother of Tears (4:3; 33:18; in Italian with English subtitles)
• A Conversation with Dario Argento (4:3; 7:55)
• U.S. Trailer (16:9; 2:13)
• Italian Teaser (4:3; 0:14)

DVD Release Date: September 23rd, 2008
Amaray

Chapters 16

 

Comments

The Weinstein disc presents a fine 2.35:1, progressive, and dual-layered transfer with strong 5.1 English audio (the Italian production was shot sync sound with several of the cast performing in English while many of the supporting performances were post-dubbed) and Claudio Simonetti's score which quotes his work with Goblin on SUSPIRIA and Keith Emerson's work on INFERNO amidst Eastern motifs and some cliche OMEN-esque Gregorian chanting set to a techno rhythm which drives some of the action sequences. The film's post-production work was done on a digital intermediate so the colors are vivid when needed but lack the Technicolor texture of the previous two films (which sported vastly different looks). English SDH subtitles are not always on the mark (during the opening credits, they say "Choir singing in Italian" when it is actually Latin).

 

Extras include the U.S. theatrical trailer (though the DVD is probably the first place most people will be seeing the trailer given the film's limited release), an Italian teaser (though the film was released almost a year ago in Italy so a theatrical trailer should have been available), and two featurettes. The "Making of" segment seems to be ported over from the Italian release as several of the Italian actors who do speak English respond in Italian with English subtitles (the only English input comes from visual effects supervisor Lee Wilson who had also worked with Argento on his two MASTERS OF HORROR episodes). The segment has some interesting anecdotes but it is mostly P.R. fluff (such as Moran Atias going on about trying to convey the human qualities of the witch). The other featurette is a conversation with Dario Argento.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Genius Products/Weinstein Company

Region 1 - NTSC

 

 





 

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