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Film / Mother of Tears

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A 2007 film written and directed by Dario Argento and starring his daughter, Asia Argento and Udo Kier.

Workers excavating outside of a cemetery in Viterbo, a town near Rome, unearth an urn chained to the coffin of a medieval knight. The urn is sent to an art museum, where student Sarah Mandy and a friend decide to open it. This reveals a tunic belonging to a centuries old and long dormant witch known as Mater Lachrymarum, the Mother of Tears. The artifact restores the Mother's powers, bringing about a wave of murders, suicides and vandalism. As witches from all over the world flock to Mater Lachrymarum's side to witness the second fall of Rome, Sarah learns that her mother was a white witch, and that she herself may be the only one capable of stopping Lachrymarum's evil reign.

The third and final film in the 'Three Mothers' trilogy, following 1977's Suspiria and 1980's Inferno.


This film provides examples of:

  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The idea of what some reviews referred to as a “magical t-shirt” might seem odd, but were not at all unheard of in the medieval period.
  • Artifact of Doom: Mater Lachrymarum's tunic.
  • Big Bad: Mater Lachrymarum
  • Bury Your Gays: Marta and her lover.
  • Call-Back: The history of The Three Mothers is discussed. Suzy Banyon is mentioned, and a copy of Varelli's book from the second film appears.
  • The Chosen One: Sarah, by virtue of being one of the last white witches around. Not that it does her a lot of good.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Sarah vs Katerina, Sarah vs Mater Lachrymarum.
  • Curiosity Killed the Cast: Giselle
  • Death of a Child: At least three times. A mother throws her baby off a bridge for no discernable reason (though narm in the form of a Special Effects Failure keeps it from being too brutal). A posessed woman chops her toddler in half with a kitchen knife, and Michael's son is kidnapped and never heard from again, though arguably the body being eaten by the witches late in the film is his.
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  • Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: The Mother's witches
  • Dug Too Deep
  • Fanservice: The title character spends most of the film either bottomless or completely naked. Also, the lesbian sex scene.
  • Gorn: A lot of it.
  • Gutted Like a Fish: Giselle has her belly slit open and is then strangled to death with her own intestines.
  • The Hecate Sisters: The Three Mothers. Also, the trope's use in mythology is lampshaded.
  • Informed Attribute: Sarah had no idea that her mother was a witch, or that she herself had any dormant powers. Apart from going invisible a couple of times, said powers serve no purpose whatsoever.
  • I am a Humanitarian: "Who wants to eat the girl?"
  • Idiot Ball: Sarah grabs hold of it a few times.
  • Kensington Gore: Sadly averted in favor of more modern effects.
  • Monster Misogyny: Certain elements of the film may lend fuel to the fire that Argento has issues with women.
  • Noodle Implements: An urn contains artifacts sacred to the Mother of Tears, but except for her tunic, they're forgotten about immediately after the first murder.
  • Nothing Can Stop Us Now!: Played straight, and almost word for word. Guess what happens the second it's said.
  • Papa Wolf: Michael, who goes after the witches on his own when his son is kidnapped. He fails.
  • Scenery Porn: Averted in comparison to its predecessors.
  • Thematic Series: This is the final part of the Three Mothers Trilogy, which includes Susperia and Inferno.