Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Greatest Movie...

... in which The Pointer Sisters' International Fan Club
descends upon Rome and takes to sticking all manner
of enormous, deadly phalluses into lesbians?

Mother of Tears: The Third Mother (2007)

Oh Dario. While Mother of Tears isn't really fit to be a boil on the ass of the beauty and horror of something like Suspiria, I still managed to enjoy the heck out of it, and for that I suppose I ought to feel dirty. It's just I've seen you make some real clunkers - like, completely unbearable to sit through (yes, I'm looking at you, Do You Like Hitchcock?) - over the years, and something about Third Mother sat differently with me. While it was still, by all accounts, a totally ridiculous film, I felt as if you knew how ridiculous it was and were just having fun with it. Everything was just silly, from the brutal, brutal violence to Ghost Mom's CG Battle to those 80s faux-goth witches... ya know, I'd been sitting on writing about the movie for a couple days now, and I really have no defense for why I enjoyed it. I just did. Yes, the violence - most of it directed at women, natch - was some of the most brutal I've ever seen, but it went SO far over the top (strangulation by one's own innards!), and in such obvious directions (post-coital lesbian impaled from, er, bottom to top) that it just seemed, to me, that you were making fun of some of the giallo conventions that you've gotten yourself associated with in the past. I don't know. Stop looking at me funny. I mean, not only did he exploit his own daughter's breasts, but he then threw her in a pool of gruel and hit her - over and over and over again - in the head with plastic skulls and waterfalls of muck! If you can't appreciate that, I don't know what else I could say.

And while all the above nonsense is true, I also get what Tenebrous Kate is saying over in her post over here (found via Arbogast). A conundrum wrapped in an eye socket coated with intestinal lining and a thick smear of eyebow pencil, it is.


Ross said...

About half the movie I enjoyed immensely (loved the monkey), but for the other half, I was just bored, which is really inexcusable for an Argento movie. I mean, Phantom of the Opera was horrible, but it never bored me.

Joe Reid said...

I'll admit, that first kill was impressively brutal, and the Italian Girl Posse was campily hilarious, but the rest? Having not seen any other Argento, I'm totally talking out of my ass, but I didn't see winking self-parody so much as a retro yearning for the days when it was cool to stab dykes in the vadge.

Jason Adams said...

But Joe, Argento has never left the days when it was cool to "stab dykes in the vadge" as you put it, so he has no reason to yearn for it. It's his life's work! ;-)

Seriously though, he's been finding new and creative ways to mutilate all sorts of people, although yes they''re usually females, for thirty years, and half of those kills he never even really bothered to make sense of, but this was the first time they seemed truly, spectacularly ridiculous to me. It seemed intentional, to me. It might just be a slight tonal shift that I'm noticing because I have seen lots of his other work, or who knows maybe I'm just projecting what I want to see. Like I said, it's certainly not a great film, or even a great Argento film I don't think, but I personally was never bored by it.

Anonymous said...

We drank every time the want-to-be-creepy soundtrack voice whispered "Mother" and it helped a bit.
I want that monkey.

RJ said...

All the talky scenes were a bore a minute, but I was certainly entertained and grossed out by the rest of it.

BUT . . . part of this movie was just lazy. When that women threw the baby off the bridge, the plastic arm from the doll POPPED OFF! Why not reshoot that? said...

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