Archive for the ‘H.P. Lovecraft’ Category

in-the-mouth-of-madness

John Carpenter, has been a name I’ve dropped consistently over the last two weeks, and for good reason. I love the man, and his entire body of work. Even when he’s slumming it, he still produces an enjoyable film. Carpenter is one of the most prolific faces in the horror community, having been responsible for the iconic Michael Myers as well as a handful of cult classics like They Live, Big Trouble in Little China, and the subject of today’s post, In the Mouth of Madness.

In the Mouth of Madness, released in 1995, is the third film in Carpenter’s Apocalypse trilogy, preceded by The Thing, and Prince of Darkness.

The story follows an insurance investigator named John Trent, (played by Sam Neill) tasked with investigating the disappearance of popular horror author Sutter Cane, and recovering his final manuscript. On his journey to uncover Cane’s whereabouts Trent soon realizes that his reality may not be what it seems.

In the Mouth of Madness is inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, namely his novella, At the Mountains of Madness. Insanity is the driving theme of the story, a popular trope in much of Lovecraft’s work, and the majority of the film is played out in flashbacks, another common technique employed in his writing. The film is also peppered with references to the Old Ones from the  Cthulhu mythos, and many of Sutter Canes novels are variations of his stories.

The film did well enough to recoup its eight-million dollar budget at the box office, but it released to lacklustre reviews, and quickly faded into obscurity after being released on home video.

I was lucky enough to snag a copy on VHS in my teens after my local video store went out of business, (a tape that has since burned out from repeated viewings) but thankfully for those who may have missed it, the film was rereleased on blu ray by New Line Cinema back in 2013. If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely find a copy, and check it out.

In the Mouth of Madness is a divisive film that most either love or hate. Instead of the eerie synch-pop prevalent in most of Carpenter’s films, he opted to compose a more hard-rock inspired soundtrack that purists may find jarring, and the pacing stumbles a bit throughout. In spite of these issues, I fall into the former category, and rank it in my top ten Lovecraftian films