Inferno (1980) Script

“The three mothers.”

I do not know what price I shall have to pay for breaking what we alchemists call silentium.

The life experiences of our colleagues should warn us not to upset laymen by imposing our knowledge upon them.

I, varelli, an architect living in London, met the three mothers...

And designed and built for them three dwelling places.

One in Rome, one in New York and the third in freiburg, Germany.

I failed to discover until too late...

That from those three locations...

The three mothers rule the world with sorrow, tears and darkness.

Mater suspiriorum, “the mother of sighs,” and the oldest of the three, lives in freiburg.

Mater lacrimarum, “the mother of tears,” and the most beautiful of the sisters, holds rule in Rome.

Mater tenebrarum, “the mother of darkness,” who is the youngest and cruelest of the three, controls New York and I built their horrible houses.

The repositories of all their filthy secrets.

Those so-called mothers are actually wicked stepmothers, incapable of creating life-infamous!

Thereby giving these creatures a single, yet terrifying name.

In effect, however, those three were sisters as well as mothers, just as there are three muses, three graces, three fates and three furies.

The land upon which the three houses have been constructed...

Will eventually become deathly and plague-ridden, so much so that the area all around will reek horribly.

And that is the first key to the mothers' secret.

Truly, the primary key.

The second key to the poisonous secret of the three sisters...

Is hidden in the cellar under their houses.

There you can find both the picture and the name of the sister living in that house.

This is the location of the second key.

The third key can be found under the soles of your shoes.

There is the third key.

My dear brother Mark-

The second key is hidden in the cellar.

Good evening. I'd like to talk to you about that book.

Ah? Which one?

The one that you sold me.

The three mothers.

Have you read it?

Some of it.

Is that story just made up, or is there some truth to it?

Did it upset you?

It's nothing more than a book written by some alchemist.

Lots of books have been written about houses of the damned.

The bagheria villa of monsters, near palermo, the house of peacocks in Brussels, the salamander Maison in France.

Some people think of these books as pure fantasy.

Others believe every word.

Women are usually the worst readers of such stuff, or the best, if you prefer.

They want very much to believe.

Not really.

That book mentions a horrible odor, for example.

And all around here there's a very strange, bittersweet smell.

They say that comes from the cake factory. It's been here as long as I have.

Does it bother you?

You'll get used to it after a while.

You'll stop noticing it.

That's not the only weird coincidence.

If you read the book-there are mysterious parts in that book, but the only true mystery is that our very lives...

Are governed by dead people.

Good night.

[ Cat meows I the second key is hidden in the cellar.

She's been nosing around.

We'll have to hide everything right away.

Yes. We'd better get it all out of sight.

Be careful though. He doesn't want anything changed.

Ju This is the famous “va, pensiero chorus.” Finale ju Terza parte.

From giuseppe verdi's nabucco.

Ju [ Chorus swells I

“My dear brother Mark, as you know, here in New York, I've been living in a rather old building for quite some time.” Ju

Ju [ Chorus swells I




Excuse me.

I want to go someplace else.

Via dei bagni, number 49.

What a strange smell.

Sickly sweet.

What's wrong?




J-27. All of that?



[ Wom an how?!



I'm looking for an old book.

Well, what book would you like?

Its title is the three mothers.

Yes. The three mothers.

Why, it should be there, right behind you.


“This book is neither fictional, nor a work of imagination.

It includes instead fragments of a diary...

Which I discovered among the personal papers of a friend, an architect and highly respected alchemist by the name of varelli.

Varelli disappeared under mysterious circumstances many years ago.”

“This diary may help clear up the reasons for his strange death.

Since it was written in Latin, we've decided to publish it in that form.” Sara.



Closing time.

Oh, really? Where?

It's out in the back. I think it's-

it's about the relationship between zen buddhism and-


Pardon me.

Sir, excuse me.

I can't find the way out.

The other door.

The book!

No! No!

Here! No!

I think we should have a meeting of the condominium.

Yes. We have to put a stop to it.

What floor?

What floor?

The fourth.



Anything I can do for you?

I'm afraid.

I'm afraid to be left alone.

All right. I've got nothing to do for the next couple of hours.

I could keep you company if you like.

What do you do, Sara? Study or work?

I'm a music student. What about you?

Oh, I'm in sports. I'm a sportswriter for television.

May I ask you a strange question? How strange?

Have you ever heard of the three sisters?

You mean those black singers? No.

I'm talking about mythology.

The triad. Hold on.

If you're talking about spooks and stuff, I don't believe in any of that.

How can you be so sure? I don't believe in such things. That's all.

And without any philosophical discussion.

And what do you believe in?

In whatever I can see and touch.

Ju [classical you've probably heard this before.

It's verdi's “va, pensiero.” Ju

Ju [orchestra swells I


Hello, Mark?

I found your sister's letter. You left it at the academy.

Have you read it? Well, you have to read it. It's important.

Come over to my place right now. I want to tell you what happened to me.


Jw [ Stops, resumes I ju

J» [ Resuming, stopping I what's going on? I don't know.

Maybe there's an overload on the wires.

Ju Carlo! Yes?

Hey. Where's the main fuse box?

Jw" [resumes I in the storeroom.

The door's at the end of the hall. But don't go there.

Don't worry. I just want to check the fuses.

All right. But keep talking, so I know where you are. Ju I will.


Where are you? In the storeroom. I found the fuse box.

I'll be right there. I'm afraid.


Ju" [resumes I Carlo! Carlo! What's happening? J» [ Stopping, resuming I just a second. I fixed it now, I think.

Jw" [resumes I you see?


Ju [ Chorus swells I




Ju [ Chorus swells I




Sara, it's Mark.

“My dear brother Mark, the house I live in-'the third key is under the soles of your shoes.' kazanian.”

No. Nothing.

What about you? You know what happened?

I don't know anything about it. She was already dead.


Hello? Can you hear me? It's Mark.

Mark. Finally.

Talk louder, Rose. I can hardly hear you.

Did you get my letter?

Yes. It came, but I didn't get a chance to read it.

Why not?

A lot's happened.


L- I can't hear a thing.

So, come to New York right away, Mark. If you care anything about me-

I can't hear you. I don't understand a thing. What's going on, Rose?

Promise you'll come right away.

Sure. Of course I'll come, but- hello?

Rose, hello.



J» [vocalizing continues I


This goes to the usual place.

Uh, ma'am?


I"m Mark Elliot, Rose Elliot's brother.

Oh, yes.

She's in apartment 45, fourth floor.

If you'd like to go up, I have another set of keys.


Well, are you going up or not?


Fourth floor, to the left.

This is miss Elliot's brother. He's just arrived.

From Rome.

Ah! Italy!

Thank you.

He'd like to speak to you.

He does that whenever he has something to say.

His name is professor Arnold. He's been quite ill for many years.

And you? What do you do?

Oh. I'm a student. Musicology.

Oh! Wonderful. A professor of toxicology.

We know two other young men who- no, no, no. It's not toxicology.

Musicology. It's got nothing to do with medicine.

What is it then?

The study of music.

Oh, yes. Your sister's involved in rather strange work too.

A pastime especially suited for women.







Was that you? Yes.

I was calling Rose. I saw the lights on and thought maybe she was back.

I'm a friend. I live upstairs.

Rose isn't back.

I'm her brother Mark.

How did you do that? I heard your voice coming from everywhere.

Oh. That's something your sister and I discovered.

It's our little secret. Look here.

See this hole in the wall? There's one going into my flat too.

It connects with open pipes in all the rooms.

When you speak into it, your voice becomes amplified.

This weird old building is full of secrets like that.

Would you like to come in?

All right. But just for a moment.

No, no, don't close it.

Someone's coming to get me for the phone call.

My name is Elise Stallone Van adler.

I've been living here for five years-alone.

My husband's job keeps him traveling all the time.

I can't travel with him because... I'm not well.

What's strange is that Rose knew I was coming.

L- I thought she'd be here waiting for me.

I can't understand why she's not back yet.

What kind of people live in a building like this?

There aren't many tenants.

A lot of the apartments are empty.

What I mean is- is there anyone special?

I- I don't know how to explain it, but Rose mentioned something in a letter.

All I know is that this building used to belong to a rich old eccentric.

They closed it down after he died, but eventually an investment company took it over.

Who's kazanian?

He's a bookseller and antique dealer who owns the shop next door.

Rose buys a lot of rare books from him.

He also-

Excuse me.

You're wanted on the telephone, madam.

All right. I'm coming.

See you tomorrow, Mark.

Did madame cut herself?

No, no, it's paint, not blood.

Who's there?

Who's there?


Damn cats.

What was the dosage this time?

The first was 200 milligrams.

The second, 400.

That's the most you can take.

Shall I prepare your bath?

Thank you.


Your bath is ready, madame.

Good night. I'll see you in the morning.

Good night. I hope you rest well.


I'm sure I stepped on blood.

Did you notice the door handle was broken?

Yes, I did. I want to tell you something.

I used to wonder about Rose's ravings.

Her nervousness, her fear of death.

The myth of the three mothers.

What's that?

She has a fixation.

Three Latin names- mater suspiriorum, the mother of sighs.

Mater lacrimarum, the mother of tears.

And mater tenebrarum, the mother of darkness.

Rose read about them in an old book, and she talks as if it were a true story.

Rose thinks that someone living in this building- no, I can't explain it. She'll have to tell you.

Such strange, impossible things.

She's convinced that this building is in some way connected with those three mothers.

She mentioned an architect. Marelli or varelli-an Italian name.

I don't know what the connection is aside from that.

But I too have begun to feel very nervous and uneasy lately.

It's as if I were constantly being watched.

And at times, I think I actually feel a presence, as if someone were in the room with me.

I suppose the doctors are right. I am a nervous wreck. I need a lot of rest.

Did you hear that laugh?

What laugh? I don't know.

It sounded like-you were right.

It really is blood. Come look.

Where does this door lead to? To the service entrance.

But nobody ever uses it.

Well, somebody's been through here. I'm going to go look.

Do you want to come? No. I'll wait here. I'm scared.




Mark! Where are you?


Answer me!

Open the door, please!

Oh! No! No!

Help me. I'm sick.

My heart.

He says it's his heart.

Then he needs some heart medicine.

Oh, god, I feel awful.

Drink this now. You'll feel better.

My sister Rose-where is she?

Why doesn't she come back?

Let's take him up to the apartment.

[ Gasping I where is she?



Elise, it's Mark. Can you hear me?

Elise, it's Mark.


Elise, it's Mark.

It's disgusting. There must be dozens of them.

They walk right into my shop.

Last night, one of them scratched me and broke an expensive statue.

I'm telling you. This is the very last time.

I'll go to the police or to the board of health.

I want all of those damn cats away from here.

Do as you please, Mr. kazanian.

Ah, good morning.

I see you're well again, Mr. Elliot.

Yes. I can't even remember what happened to me last night.

You weren't feeling well. It was your heart.

But I don't have heart problems. We gave you some heart medicine all the same.

Who was that man? That gimp?

His name is kazanian. He's got the antique shop.

Well, thank you. And thank you very much for last night.

A pleasure.

Mr. kazanian. Hmm? Yes?

I"m Mark Elliot, Rose's brother. I-1 think you know her.

She bought some books from me.

Do you know her well? No. Why?

No one's seen her for the last two days. I was hoping- now look here. I just sell books to her. That's all.

What kind of books?

Old editions, that sort of thing.

If you can't find her, why don't you do what people usually do?

Such as?

Call the hospitals or the police.

I've already done that. They don't know a thing.

Does this mean anything to you?

“The key is under the soles of your shoes”?

What's that, a riddle?

I'm not good at riddles.

How long have you been here?

Since yesterday.

Ah. You know what?

There's going to be an eclipse of the moon tonight.

Oh, I didn't know. Uh-huh.

It's been 46 years since we've had a total eclipse around here.

I heard them talking about it on television a little while ago.

You ought to watch. It ought to be interesting.

Okay, I'll watch.

You'll like it a lot.

Good-bye, Mr. Elliot.



There you are.

That's a nice cat.


Come along.

Ah. Nice.


You don't want to leave, huh?

Come on! Sink, damn you!

My crutch!

Oh, god!






Help me!

Get off me!

Help me!

Oh, my god!

The rats are eating me!


Help me! For Christ's sake! Please, god, somebody- they're eating me alive!

[ Groanin help! ¢

Help! Help!

They're eating me alive!

Help! The rats are eating me alive! Help me! Help!

God, help me!

Come here. Look at this.

Oh! All that stuff.

La comtesse, that bitch.

She thought she'd hidden it, so no one could find it.

I spent a good 15 minutes looking for it.

You've been drinking. Not a drop.

I can smell it all over you.

I said I haven't.

All right.

Now run upstairs and give her husband a call.

Know where to find him at this hour? Mm-hmm.

Tell him la comtesse left all of a sudden and took all her valuables with her.

What if the bitch comes back?

Don't worry. She won't be back.

How can you be so sure? Let's say she does come back.

I told you. She's not coming back.

You just take care of calling her husband.

Now it's our turn to enjoy life.

Now we are going to live it up like the comtesse Elise...

And all the other rich bastards.

Who's there?

Who's there?




[ Shutters banging I

Wh-what was that line?

“Under the soles of your shoes.”

“The key is under the soles of your shoes.”

Mater tenebrarum, mater lacrimarum, mater suspiriorum.

[ Continues speaking Latin I

J» [operatic rock I

J mater suspiriorum jt j lacrimarum j j tenebrarum j j domine, domine j ju

J mater suspiriorum j j lacrimarum j j tenebrarum j j mater, mater suspiriorum jt j lacrimarum j j tenebrarum j j domine, domine j ju

J lacrimarum j j tenebrarum, tenebrarum j ju

J lacrimarum j j tenebrarum j j mater, mater suspiriorum jt j lacrimarum j j tenebrarum j j"



You've found the way down, I see.

And now I suppose... You know who I am.

No, I don't.

When I lived in London many years ago, I called myself varelli.

I use another name these days...

To be forgotten.

Are you surprised to hear my voice?

I can speak only with this.

I built the houses for the three mothers- houses which became their eyes and ears.

Then I buried myself here.

This building has become my body.

Its bricks, my cells, its passageways, my veins.

And its horror, my very heart.

M-my sister-where is my sister?

Come nearer. They should not hear you.

She's the cruelest of them all.

The mother of shadows.

Come closer.

You can't be afraid of a man who can hardly move.

A little closer, so I can whisper.

I may be dying now, but nothing will change.

They don't want anything to be different.

I'm not the master.

I am just a slave.

Who is it? Who lives in this damned house?

Someone who is waiting.

But who?

You are being watched.

But to them...

We are nothing but dust.


It's on fire.

It's all going to burn down, just like before.

We have to get out of this place.

You can't leave!

Your journey has come to an end.

Everything around you will become dark, and someone will take your hand.

You'll be pleased, not unhappy.

You'll enjoy moments of incredible brightness.

You think it's magic.

No. I'm not a magician.

Now we have to hurry, because we still have to pass through a number of strange phases, and you'll change.

You were looking for me, just like your sister.

This is what you wanted. I'm coming to get you!

Tell me who you are!

The three mothers.

Haven't you understood?

Mater tenebrarum.

Mater lacrimarum.

Mater suspiriorum.

But men call us by a single name- a name which strikes fear into everyone's heart.

They call us... death!


Get 'em out of here!

Get me a unit around the back immediately!

Get them out of the space and send more equipment!

Get everybody back!

I need medics!

J» [operatic rock I

J mater suspiriorum jt j lacrimarum j j tenebrarum j j domine, domine j ju

J mater suspiriorum j j lacrimarum j j tenebrarum j j mater, mater suspiriorum jt j lacrimarum j j tenebrarum j j domine, domine j ju

J lacrimarum j j tenebrarum, tenebrarum j ju