34 user 45 critic

I, Madman (1989)

A bookshop clerk finds that an insane and murderous doctor from one of the store's horror novels has come to life.


Tibor Takács (as Tibor Takacs)


David Chaskin

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jenny Wright ... Virginia
Clayton Rohner ... Richard
Randall William Cook ... Dr. Alan Kessler / Malcolm Brand
Stephanie Hodge ... Mona
Michelle Jordan Michelle Jordan ... Colette
Vance Valencia ... Sgt. Navarro
Mary Baldwin Mary Baldwin ... Librarian
Raf Nazario ... Lyle, Hotel Clerk (as Rafael Nazario)
Bob Frank Bob Frank ... Hotel Manager
Bruce Wagner ... Pianist
Kevin Best Kevin Best ... Black Actor
Steven Memel Steven Memel ... Lenny
Vincent Lucchesi Vincent Lucchesi ... Lt. Garber
Murray Rubin ... Sidney Zeit
Tom Badal Tom Badal ... Composite Artist


Virginia works at a used book store. She's really into horror novels and discovers a really good book. It's called "I, Madman" and it's about an insane doctor who cuts off people's noses, ears, and hair and puts them on his face to please a girl he likes. Only Virginia discovers that the book is nonfiction, and every time she picks up the book to read it, she sees him. The insane doctor from the book has escaped the book into our reality. Written by Jason Mechalek

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


How Can A Dead Man Touch You? See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

7 April 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Capa do Terror See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Was retitled "Hard Cover" for Australia. See more »


Brand reaches through a bookcase to grab at Virginia with his left hand, but when the camera cuts to the other side of the bookcase, Brand has his left hand propped against the shelf and is reaching with his right hand. See more »


Little Sister
Words and Music by Michael Beers
Performed by Michael Beers
See more »

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User Reviews

A Different Kind of Slasher
5 July 2015 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

Virginia (Jenny Wright) works at a used book store and is into horror novels when she discovers an engrossing book from an estate sale. It is called "I, Madman" and it is about an insane doctor (Randy Cook) who cuts off people's noses, ears, and hair and puts them on his face to please a girl he likes.

This film never achieved a wide audience in its day, which is unfortunate, and is not as well remembered as the other film featuring the collaboration of Randy Cook and Tibor Takacs, "The Gate". Heck, writer David Chaskin had previously done "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge" and "The Curse" (with Wil Wheaton), so he has a good pedigree, as well. Maybe with the new Scream Factory release, this will change.

The movie is a lot of fun, with all the slasher touchstones, plus some excellent cinematography that brings out a variety of lights, darks and vibrant colors (particularly in a flashback scene). Even early on, we have some visual cues to "Nosferatu" which were clearly intended: the mad doctor who looks like Max Schreck, and the hotel employee going up the stairs following his own shadow... not to mention Cook "ripping off Lon Chaney" (his words) in the creation of a villain.

The special features on the Scream disc really show how much work and love went into this. A short (roughly ten minute) behind-the-scenes feature has Randy Cook explaining how he had to act, apply his own makeup, and also be responsible for the animation. So after hours on set, he would still be up until two in the morning working on making the creatures fit the scene just right. It is impressive, especially the Jackal Boy, and shows a real dedication (no wonder the man has three Oscars).

If that alone was not good enough, there is also a full commentary track with Cook and interviews with various people involved with the picture. Scream has taken a better than average slasher film and made it one of the must-own Blu-rays of 2015: any horror fan will delight in seeing (and hearing) how films such as this are made.

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