Movie Review: IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS was directed by John Carpenter from a screenplay by Michael De Luca and stars Sam Neill, Jürgen Prochnow, Julie Carmen, David Warner, John Glover, Bernie Casey, Frances Bay and Charlton Heston. The score was composed by John Carpenter and Jim Lang.

Inspired by the tales of H.P. Lovecraft, this shocking story is, in the words of its acclaimed director, “horror beyond description!” Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow) is the best-selling author whose newest novel is literally driving readers insane. When he inexplicably vanishes, his publisher (Charlton Heston) sends special investigator John Trent (Sam Neill) to track him down. Drawn to a town that exists only in Cane’s books, Trent crosses the barrier between fact and fiction and enters a terrifying world from which there is no escape.

“Do you read Sutter Cane?” In the Mouth of Madness follows John Trent (Sam Neill), an ace insurance investigator who gets hired to track down the horror novelist Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow) who has gone missing. The task is also to retrieve a new manuscript by the author. Cane’s publisher, Jackson Harglow (Charlton Heston), hires the skeptical Trent who is paired up with the novelist’s editor, Linda Styles (Julie Carmen), and the two of them embark on a journey that gets much darker as they close in on the answers they’re searching for and the elusive Sutter Cane.

John Trent’s world slowly descends into madness as he gets closer to the truth about Sutter Cane and his whereabouts and it’s a world full of unimaginable horrors. Trent and Styles come across several oddities, anomalies and unsettling visions during their adventure that also serve as hints and clues that Cane has left behind for them. It’s simple because the more clues they solve, the closer they get, and in the end they finally locate Sutter Cane and the terrifying world that comes along with him. Trent witnesses first hand how frightening the world of Sutter Cane actually is, and in the end, the skeptic finally becomes a believer but it’s also an experience that leaves him a mentally broken man.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/0-card. The front features the fantastic all-new artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some original artwork and movie credits so you have your pick of which side you’d like to use for the front cover. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. This release features a brand new 4K scan from the original film elements. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition upgrade were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, In the Mouth of Madness is probably John Carpenter’s most underappreciated movie out of his entire arsenal, but make no mistake about it, this one here is a chilling horror classic in its own right plus it’s also one of my personal favrorites from the horror master. Carpenter slowly builds the suspense just right as we watch this man descend into madness because he opened a door he shouldn’t have. Sam Neill delivers a powerful performance as this man who loses himself as he gets too close to the truth about what really happened to this mysterious author. Even though Jürgen Prochnow is only in a few scenes, it’s enough to give the movie an extra dose of terror because he portrays this man turned monster perfectly. Julie Carmen sort of gives the movie its innocence lost element because she gets trapped in this dark otherworld by simply trying to help out. The Lovecraft influence is evident and there’s some impressive special effects used to bring the creepy crawlies to life and you gotta love the old school practicals. Even the music rocks and it’s all courtesy of the legendary horror master. To me, this is a fantastic horror classic that’s just as entertaining today than it was when it first released twenty-four years ago. In the Mouth of Madness is now available on a pristine Collector’s Edition Blu-ray and is definitely worth adding to your Scream Factory collection.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 95 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.35:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English

Special Features: Good Stuff!The impressive list of extras include two audio commentaries, a new interview, three featurettes, vintage behind-the-scenes footage, theatrical trailer and fifteen TV spots.

  • 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 (11:30)
  • NEW The Whisperer of the Dark – an interview with actress Julie Carman (09:46)
  • NEW Greg Nicotero’s Things in the Basement – a new interview with special effects artist Greg Nicotero including behind-the-scenes footage (16:34)
  • NEW Home Movies from Hobb’s End – Behind the Scenes footage from Greg Nicotero (12:07)
  • Audio Commentary with director John Carpenter and cinematographer Gary B. Kibbe
  • Vintage Featurette – The Making of In the Mouth of Madness (05:02)
  • Theatrical Trailer (01:46)
  • TV Spots (09:34)


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