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In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

R  |   |  Horror  |  3 February 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 40,007 users  
Reviews: 219 user | 114 critic

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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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lived Any Good Books Lately? See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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
See  »

Did You Know?


The Mrs. Pickman creature was shot as a miniature. Originally it was a man in a suit prosthetic, but John Carpenter didn't find it convincing enough. See more »


(at around 16 mins) When Linda Stiles is introduced for the first time and is speaking about Sutter Cain's book, she takes her glasses off and folds them twice. See more »


Linda Styles: A reality is just what we tell each other it is.
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 »


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

An unexpected treat
20 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

Insurance claims expert John Trent (Sam Neill) Goes off on a search for missing horror author Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow), convinced his disappearance is a hoax. Once Trent goes looking for the missing author, he's lead to Hobb's End, a supposedly fictional New England town, to discover that something very wrong is going on…and Sutter Cane is responsible. "In the Mouth of Madness" came as a delightful surprise to me.

I rented the DVD solely because I'd been wandering the video store shelves for close to 45 minutes (I have a little too much free time) and figured I'd be kicked out so I grabbed a handful of movies. This was one of them, and let me tell you I'm sure glad I did, because this is a damn fine flick!

To start, Sam Neill is excellent, as is Mr. Prochnow. The only bad performer here is Julie Carmen (Regina from Fright Night 2), who gives a wooden and thoroughly unconvincing "when-the-hell-do-I-get-my-paycheck?" performance.

Michael De Luca's script is sharp enough to never takes itself too seriously, while at the same time it can be very scary and dark. John Carpenter's direction was top-notch. Some of the guy's recent films have been…disappointing, to say the least, but here he delivers the gore, suspense and action like a pro.

The special effects are great. The boys over at KNB effects studios cook up lots of monsters, gore and slime, delivering the goods as usual. The creatures here are indeed reminiscent of Carpenter's "The Thing", their creative and all look very lovecraftian in design.

At times the film can be extremely scary. The old trick of using darkness and shadows to convey creepiness that Carpenter's so good at are present and good as ever.

"In the mouth of madness" pulled all the right strings and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Highly recommended.


Oh, and great ending.

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