In the Mouth of Madness
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Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow, Dune, The Seventh Sign) is the best-selling author whose newest novel is literally driving readers insane. When he inexplicably vanishes, his publisher (Charlton Heston, Soylent Green, Planet Of The Apes) sends special investigator John Trent (Sam Neill, Jurassic Park, Dead Calm) to track him down. Drawn to a town that exists only in Canes books, Trent crosses the barrier between fact and fiction and enters a terrifying world from which there is no escape.
Inspired by the tales of H.P. Lovecraft, this shocking story is, in the words of its acclaimed director, "horror beyond description! ",
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Previously released on blu-ray by New Line back in 2013, that disc was actually no slouch at the time featuring a good transfer and an encode usually topping out in the upper 20's in terms of megabytes per second. It was pretty bare bones however featuring a commentary track with John Carpenter and the beyond bored sounding and uninterested cinematographer Gary B. Kibbe. Carpenter tries his best but Kibbe just sounds like he does not want to be there. The theatrical trailer was also included.
Leave it to the fine folk at Scream Factory to give the film some collector's edition attention 5 years later. Their new disc features a new 4K transfer from "original film elements" which I am assuming would be the original negative if they went with a full 4K transfer and not the interpositive which is odd that SF would list it that way. Regardless this transfer is a marked improvement on the original 2013 disc. Color saturation is much better and more natural. It also features a higher bit rate staying around 35 mbps. One other thing that I noticed doing direct comparisons between the two discs is that the SF edition features more picture information on all sides of the frame, most noticeably on the bottom. The 2013 disc looks zoomed in comparison. No digital sharpening or noise reduction appears to have been done on the new disc as well. Detail is immaculate on the new transfer. Audio is presented in lossless 5.1 sounding full and well balanced. English subtitles are also included.
As for the rest of the disc, here is the full list of specs:
NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Film Elements
NEW Audio Commentary With Director John Carpenter And Producer Sandy King Carpenter
NEW Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – A Look At The Film’s Locations Today
NEW The Whisperer Of The Dark – An Interview With Actress Julie Carman
NEW Greg Nicotero’s Things In The Basement – A New Interview With Special Effects Artist Greg Nicotero Including Behind The Scenes Footage
NEW Home Movies From Hobb’s End – Behind The Scenes Footage From Greg Nicotero
Audio Commentary With Director John Carpenter And Cinematographer Gary B. Kibbe
Vintage Featurette – The Making Of In The Mouth Of Madness
While the extras are definitely more plentiful on the new disc, it still feels a bit light for it to be labeled a collector's edition. However all of the new stuff is quite informative and the new commentary track is a huge improvement on the original one which was also included.
This new edition of this often underappreciated film is well worth double dipping on if you have the 2013 disc. The new transfer is immaculate and the host of new special features are most welcome too.
Even though this is a original tale in the sense that it does not take from really anyone story written by Lovecraft, it certainly is inspired 100% by his horror fiction.
This movie is just so much macabre fun, that I can't recommend it highly enough. The only way I would think that you may not like this film is if you just cannot stand the writings of lovecraft. Then you might not like it. But even if you are un aware of his stories, well, my friend, you are in for a wild and creepy ride!