With the disappearance of hack horror writer Sutter Cane, all Hell is breaking loose...literally! Author Cane, it seems, has a knack for description that really brings his evil creepy-crawlies to life. Insurance investigator John Trent is sent to investigate Cane's mysterious vanishing act and ends up in the sleepy little East Coast town of Hobb's End. The fact that this town exists as a figment of Cane's twisted imagination is only the beginning of Trent's problems.... Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Animal interaction was monitored by the American Humane Association with on set supervision by the Toronto Humane Society. No animal was harmed in the making of this film. Human interaction was monitored by the Inter Planetary Psychiatric Association. The body count was high, the casualties are heavy. See more »
"In The Mouth of Madness" is one of John Carpenter's better flicks. It features the usually bland Sam Neill in a surprisingly good and likable performance, and is packed with oodles of intriguing concepts and spiffy details. The music is good (it was cowritten by Carpenter) and the movie has a great look. There are also lots and lots of ginchy make-up effects, and while some are better than others (the kid who turns into an old man looks like a kid wearing a Spencer's Gifts Old Man mask and fright wig), but the sheer abundance of them make this unique.
Neill plays John Trent, a no-nonsense insurance investigator who loves his job and has disdain for most of humanity- but with a sense of humor. He's sent to find a missing mega-selling author Sutter Caine (Jurgen Prochnow, in a role that would have been kick-ass if played by Stephen King), whose books are a nation-wide craze. Trent ends up in Hobb's End, a town right out of Caine's books (literally) where the morbid tales of fiction are becoming reality.
The movie, although muddled in places, too repetitive (on purpose), and too reliant on flash forwards, has lots of things to say about the perception of reality and it interesting and entertaining.
The supporting cast is good: John Glover and David Warner are psychiatrists, a subdued Charleton Heston is a publisher, and Bernie "Revenge of the Nerds" Casey is Trent's boss, but the highlight is Frances Bay as the sweet Mrs. Pickman. She provides the film's high points and ends up looking like something from the director's "The Thing". The weak link in the cast is the leading lady, Julie Carmen, who delivers every line like she just chugged a case of Nyquil. In addition to her lousy acting, she's dressed in ugly outfits and has a kind of "in-your-face" ugliness. In one scene there is a special effects dummy head in place of Carmen's and the dummy head out-acts her.
This is not as great as "The Thing" but better than "They Live" as far as John Carpenter's paranoid, reality-bending flicks go, and is worth checking out.
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