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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.

Director:

John Carpenter

Writer:

Michael De Luca
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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Neill ... John Trent
Julie Carmen ... Linda Styles
Jürgen Prochnow ... Sutter Cane (as Jurgen Prochnow)
David Warner ... Dr. Wrenn
John Glover ... Saperstein
Bernie Casey ... Robinson
Peter Jason ... Mr. Paul
Charlton Heston ... Jackson Harglow
Frances Bay ... Mrs. Pickman
Wilhelm von Homburg ... Simon
Kevin Rushton ... Guard #1
Gene Mack Gene Mack ... Guard #2
Conrad Bergschneider ... Axe Maniac
Marvin Scott ... Reporter
Katherine Ashby Katherine Ashby ... Receptionist
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 February 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,946,600
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Line Cinema See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The silly monster movie that Trent sees on the television was a real movie. The scene was from Phil Tucker's Robot Monster (1953). See more »

Goofs

(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 »

Quotes

John Trent: Never, Never, Never... throw chips at a driver.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Animal action 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 »

Alternate Versions

The original theatrical release had the 1987-1994 New Line Cinema logo at the opening. The 2013 Blu-ray from Warner Bros. plasters it with the modern New Line logo. But the 2018 Blu-ray release from Shout! Factory restores the original logo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

WE'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN
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

 
Carpenter does Lovecraft!
10 February 2015 | by sideriteSee all my reviews

Carpenter is a genius of horror movies. They are not just mindless boo scares and gory torture porn, they have a story, they draw you in, they make you part of it. That is why In the Mouth of Madness is ironic, since it is about people getting drawn in someone else's story.

What I didn't know, but I suspected, was that this film was inspired by H.P.Lovecraft. And if you know anything about that guy, not only was he an influential horror writer himself, kickstarting the horror genre in the 20th century, but his books and stories are almost impossible to translate to screen, as they are always introspections of people of a certain type, people that would feel really outdated and out of place in the modern world. Yet the writer does manage to bring H.P.'s grand madness to the screen, by mixing it up with a little Stephen King magic.

Indeed, this is like a horror fan's dream come true: Carpenter making a movie to answer the question "What would Stephen King write if he had Lovecraft's madness?". The writer is Michael de Luca, who also wrote the script for Lawnmower Man, another movie about breaking the limits of reality.

Now, the film is not perfect. It is a bit cheesy at times and the movie feels dated, even for 1994. The cast helps bring it to life. Even if Sam Neil is basically carrying the film by his lonesome, you can still enjoy Jurgen Prochnow, Charlton Heston and David Warner in secondary roles, as well as a kind of weakly written role for Fright Night's Julie Carmen.


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