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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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1,419 ( 1,394)

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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:

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:

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

John Trent occupies cell number 9 at the asylum, and rents room number 9 at the Pickman Inn in Hobb's End. See more »

Goofs

The bar code for the book being printed out in the open ending sequence is "1234567890" See more »

Quotes

Sutter Cane: [to Trent, while in a confessional inside the black church] Do you want to know the problem with places like this? With religion, in general? It's never known how to convey the anatomy of horror. Religion seeks discipline through fear... yet doesn't understand the true nature of creation. No one's ever believed it enough to make it real. The same cannot be said of my work.
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

John Carpenter delivers again.
12 February 2001 | by zmaturinSee all my reviews

"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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