Today…February the 3rd, 2010, marks the 15th Anniversary of one of my many favorite John Carpenter films. In The Mouth Of Madness is another team effort by John Carpenter, Sandy King, and writer Michael De Luca. The cast is a brilliant ensemble of characters played by Sam Neill, Charleton Heston, Julie Carmen, David Warner, and Jurgen Prochnow. The story is loosely based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and Mr. Carpenter again delivers a fine tale woven with his great talents and unique style.
This one is a heavy dialogue piece, and it is a journey that takes a normal, well grounded in reality private investigator and follows him deep into the realm of insanity as the apocalyptic tale engulfs and makes him the main character in the story of the world’s end. Sam Neill plays John Trent who is an investigator/specialist at insurance fraud. He is hired by a publishing house to find their best selling horror novelist who has gone missing. Sutter Cain is the author’s name, and his books, if you read them, will somehow give you horrible nightmares that will soon possess you and make you a follower of Cain!!! Sam Neill is convinced this is a publicity hoax even though bizarre things start to happen around him after he leaves Charleton Heston’s office. Hell bent on proving this is all a hoax, Sam Neil buys all of Sutter Cain’s books and starts to read…yes the nightmares begin immediately, and Carpenter’s magic begins to drag you in and scare you but good. Neill’s character discovers that all the book covers have some unusual artwork and, with scissors, he cuts away revealing a puzzle that in turn represents a map that takes you to the fictional town from all of Cains stories called “Hobb’s End”. It takes a hellish nightmare to get you there, but once in Hobb’s End, you can not leave, and this is where the real horror and twists begin!!
This is a very rich tale done with great skill and John’s very dark sense of humor. The score is a wild rock and roll piece written and performed by Carpenter and Jim Lange. Carpenter is always maturing as a story teller, and unique to this film is that he frames buildings and architecture through his camera in such a way that they, too, become characters in the story!!! Carpenter is definitely a master at what he does, and this one makes for another fun Saturday night flick to watch with a bunch of friends!! Below are some pics from the film, the trailer and a couple of links to fully immerse you into the Mouth of Madness, Enjoy and Happy Anniversary.