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In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational.



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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sutter Cane (as Jurgen Prochnow)
Guard #1
Gene Mack ...
Guard #2
Conrad Bergschneider ...
Marvin Scott ...
Katherine Ashby ...


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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Reality isn't what it used to be... See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for images of horror, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)


$8,946,600 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The R.C. Harris water filtration plant was also used for the exterior shots of the asylum. See more »


(at around 1h 11 mins) When Sutter Cane peels himself away to reveal the abyss, although most of his upper half is no longer "in reality" his shadow on the wall behind him remains perfectly intact. See more »


Linda Styles: Why don't you try reading his stuff? See if you can get it.
John Trent: Got any on tape?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »


References Prince of Darkness (1987) See more »


Written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams
Performed by The Carpenters
Published by Irving Music, Inc. (BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

2/3 brilliant, final third not so brilliant
24 January 2006 | by (Iceland) – See all my reviews

It's hard to go deeply into the story of In the Mouth of Madness without spoiling it. It's best to know absolutely nothing at all. That was my experience with this film and I was completely blown away. The story is very original and inventive and also has a good critique about the influences of the horror franchise.

The first 2/3 of the film are masterful, the old John Carpenter seems to have returned at full force. Effortlessly creating a creepy atmosphere, astounding visuals, some gross-out horror combined with a Chandleresque detective mystery, In the Mouth of Madness seems to be competing for the title of Carpenter's best ever film. But the final third is a letdown, the conclusion not satisfactory and the terribly slow pacing kills the momentum so memorably established before.

Still, overall this is one effective horror film made by a master filmmaker. Although it misses the bull's eye, it ranks as the best of Carpenter's later works. He has a good cast to work with here; Sam Neill is terrific in the lead, Jurgen Prochnow is creepy and it's fun to see Charlton Heston in a small role.

For horror fans and Carpenter disciples this film is a must see.

30 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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