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In the Mouth of Madness


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen, David Warner, John Glover
  • Directors: John Carpenter
  • Writers: Michael De Luca
  • Producers: Artist W. Robinson, Michael De Luca, Sandy King
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: New Line Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2000
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (326 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 078062856X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,343 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "In the Mouth of Madness" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The mind-bending worlds of author H.P. Lovecraft have long interested horror directors, but the films have rarely successfully captured his nightmarish mix of madness and mythology. John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness is not directly based on

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The mind-bending worlds of author H.P. Lovecraft have long interested horror directors, but the films have rarely successfully captured his nightmarish mix of madness and mythology. John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness is not directly based on Lovecraft's work, but screenwriter Michael De Luca draws his inspiration from Lovecraft's Cthulu mythology and then adds his own ingenious twists. John Trent (Sam Neill), an insurance investigator recently fitted for a straightjacket, tells his story to a psychiatrist. Hired to track down the missing pop-horror phenomena Sutter Cane, a Stephen King-like author whose fans are literally made for his books, Trent finds the supposedly fictional Hobb's End. He watches the town collapse into madness, murder, and monstrous transformations: the fantastic horrors of Cane's novels played out in front of his eyes. "Reality isn't what it used to be," deadpans one zombielike townsperson. In fact, it is how Cane writes it--but is he Devil, dark oracle, or simply a preacher in the service of an evil that grows stronger with every soul his books convert? The script never quite gets a grip on the blurry relationship between fact and fiction, but those details fade in the face of Carpenter's demented imagery, shiver-inducing twists, and dark wit. It's more eerie mind game than straight-out horror, a portrait of a world gone mad, and Carpenter relishes every hallucinatory moment. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Overall, a great creepy movie.
Keith W. Johnson
This movie stays with you and can even make you think about your very of existence if you watch it late at night when you're really tired and have drank too much.
Kevin McVicker
One of John Carpenter's best and one of the best examples of Lovecraftian horror on film.
BF

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

116 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Tony R. Tucker on July 15, 2003
Format: DVD
Before I get into my review of the film itself, let me say that one of the other reviewers is quite correct. The commentary on this DVD is hands-down the most mind-numbing exercise in boredom ever. "So, you used a soft focus back lighting here to deepen the shadows, right?" "yep". Not a real quote from the commentary, but it gives you a taste of the tedious nature of their conversation.
The movie, on the otherhand is anything but boring. I had been a Carpenter fan for quite some time when I went to see this in the theater. Most of Carpenter's films seemed to be centered around a certain atmosphere. IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS is wrapped around a concept. If enough people believe something, does it become reality?
Sam Neill plays John Trent, an insurance investigator who specializes in smoking out con artists. He is hired to find Sutter Cane (played with relish by Jurgen Prochnow), the world's leading author. The search leads to a town that shouldn't exist; Hobb's End, a town featured prominently in Sutter Cane's books.
What follows is a mixture of John Carpenter atmosphere, H.P. Lovecraftian madness, and deep concepts. Even if you don't want to think that much, you can still enjoy the film for it's terrifying beauty, disturbing images, and great performances by a fine cast that includes Charlton Heston and Bernie Casey. Although not taken directly from any one H.P. Lovecraft story, the locations and creatures are probably the best depiction of Cthulhu-type content ever filmed. Even the title of the movie sounds very much like "In The Mountains of Madness", a Lovecraft story. It does a fine job of honoring Lovecraft's work without copying any of his ideas directly.
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55 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Matthew N. Hunt on November 4, 2006
Format: DVD
If you're a horror fan this is the movie for you. If you're like me and you love supernatural horror more than slasher horror, than this is THE movie for you. Scares and a deep, strong story, through and through. A superb ending. Can't be beat. This should be in any horror fans library to watch whenever you they can.
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53 of 62 people found the following review helpful By David M on December 27, 1999
Format: DVD
Much more than a simple horror movie, In the Mouth of Madness takes the viewer on the twisted tale of insurance fraud investigator John Trent (Sam Neill) sent to find world famous pulp horror writer Sutter Cane (Jurgen Prochnow of Das Boot, Dune). Carpenter's cinematic style reaches its pinnacle in this wild ride and his self-composed score completes the masterpiece. Full of outstanding introspective scenes juxtaposed with Carpenter's trademark wit, ITMOM delves into the core of reality and, more importantly, the perception of reality. What is reality but what the mass populus believes it to be? Sutter Cane's twisted books have become more believable than the Bible in the world of ITMOM and John Trent finds himself an unwitting pawn of Cane's warped apocalypse. A visually astounding, thought provoking movie that is not to be missed.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Tyler Durden on November 9, 2006
Format: DVD
this is a severely freaky movie! it's a MUST OWN for HP Lovecraft fans. If you're not a Lovecraft fan, it's still good, but some of the subtle points might get overlooked. I love this movie! Sam Neil plays a great "freak out" character. But again, if you don't know Lovecraft's "style" you might get a little lost in the ending and events leading up to it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A. Sandoc on August 13, 2006
Format: DVD
John Carpenter has had quite a bad string of films that fail to live up to the standards he has set with his past works and those fans of his films who have seen him as a master of the genre. In 1995 he came up with a very good film that paid homage to two master writers of the horror-fantasy genre. Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness was a very good film that thrilled both his fans and those of the horror genre.

Sam Neill stars as insurance investigator John Trent who's hired by publishing editor Jackson Harglow (played by Charlton Heston in a brief role) to find one of their star novelist: the extremely popular horror novelist, Sutter Crane (played with weird creepiness by Jurgen Prochnow). It seems Crane has disappeared and cut off all contact with his handlers just as his latest horror novel's released. Throughout the beginning of the film there's a sense that Crane's latest book has more than an entertaining effect on those who've bought and read it. Homicidal individuals Trent encounters throughout the film and all linked to Crane's book and what he thought was a fictional New England town used in all of Crane's books. The town of Hobb's End was a definite homage to Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft who also created the fictional towns of Castle Rock and Arkham to locate many of their stories.

Neill does a great job of conveying Trent's bewildered, confused and ultimate descent into the mouth of madness Crane's writings seem to have opened in reality itself. From the weirdly peculiar to obscenely homicidal going ons by the townspeople of Hobb's End, Trent's logical nature is put to the test by the Lovecraftian situations and events he witnesses as his search for Sutter Crane leads from him from one horror to the next.
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