In the Mouth of Madness (1994 film)
Sutter Cane is the best-selling author whose newest novel is literally driving readers insane. When he inexplicably vanishes, his publisher sends special investigator John Trent to track him down. Drawn to a town that only exists in Cane’s books, Trent crosses the barrier between fact and fiction and enters a terrifying world from which there is no escape.
In the similar short film "Cigarette Burns", a man hunts for a copy of a rare film that is said to have incited its audience to a frenzy before the theater in which it played burst into flames.
- Release Date: 1994
- Country/Language: USA, English
- Setting: Modern Lovecraft Country ("Hobbs End", New Hampshire) (perhaps Cthulhu End Times)
- Genres/Technical: Horror, Fantasy, experimental
- Runtime: 1 hr 35 min
- Starring: Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen
- Director: John Carpenter
- Writer: Michael De Luca
- Producer/Production Co: New Line Cinema
- View Trailer: (link), (Cigarette Burns)
- TVTropes page: (link)
- Film Website: (link)
- IMDB page: (link)
- Rated: R (Violence and gore, Adult Content, etc.)
A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:
- SS___ (Two Tentacles: Barely Lovecraftian; could be a very loose adaptation)
The film makes numerous nods towards Weird and pulp horror fiction, such as the titles of Sutter Kane's fictional horror novels, In the Mouth of Madness, The Hobb's End Horror, The Thing in the Basement, The Haunter Out of Time; Sutter Kane himself seems to have been constructed from equal parts H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker.
Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.
- Mike at HorrorFreak News (3.5/5 Stars]) (link) - "Although In the Mouth of Madness is one of those movies that you really have to pay attention to, it is worth every minute. Just remember to hit pause before going for a restroom break. If not, you will be as confused as a goat on astro-turf."
- David Becker at 2500 Movies Challenge (link) - "...In the Mouth of Madness gets inside your head, and will likely have you nervously peeking over your shoulder as its horrific tale unfolds."
- Richard Scheib at The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review (3.5/5 Stars) (link) - "...the moment the heroine reaches up to caress the face of the missing writer and the camera moves behind him to show that it is a tentacular monstrosity that is wearing his body like a marionette... and a sequence where Sam Neill is pursued by a massive horde of monsters from the abyss, which are all the more horrific for only being subliminally glimpsed, the one moment when the film goes some way to capturing the essence of H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘indescribable’ horrors. The film is fun in these parts but on a wider thematic level In the Mouth of Madness is dissatisfying."
- Cecil Trachenburg at Good Bad Flicks (link)
Spoiler Section (Highlight to Read)
IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS: Sutter Cane is the best-selling author whose newest novel is literally driving readers insane. When he inexplicably vanishes, his publisher sends special investigator John Trent to track him down. Drawn to a town that only exists in Cane’s books, Trent crosses the barrier between fact and fiction and enters a terrifying world from which there is no escape.
CIGARETTE BURNS: A man hunts for a copy of a rare film that is said to incite its audience to a frenzy before the theater in which it plays bursts into flames.
Comments, Trivia, Dedication
Associated Mythos Elements
- Sutter Kane and his fictional horror novels:
- In the Mouth of Madness
- The Hobb's End Horror
- The Thing in the Basement
- The Haunter Out of Time
- The Feeding
- The Breathing Tunnel
- Tentacle Monster
- location: Hobbs End, New Hampshire