it was Crappah Moovah Fridah again, and this week's feature
was "In The Mouth Of Madness", a John Carpenter
horror flick starring Sam Neill, Charlton Heston, and some
and Carpenter have kind of a love-hate relationship. Mostly
it's the 'hate' part. Of the movies of his I've actually seen,
he's only 1 for 3 (counting this one). Not a great average.
For reference, the only movie of his I've seen that's worth
watching is Big Trouble in Little China. Which is excellent.
You should watch it often.
Big Trouble was good. They Live was bizarre and stupid. That
leaves us In The Mouth Of Madness (herein referred to as Mouth).
How does it rate?
Ha ha ha! But let's find out why, shall we?
film opens with Mr. Neill being dragged into an asylum while
he rants and raves and kicks someone in the testicles. Oh,
and before I go on, I'll answer your question: Yes, Sam Neill
is "that guy" with "the hat" from Jurassic
Park. You know, the main character. Andrew seriously
didn't figure that out until we were halfway through the movie.
Looking back now, I can see that this could cause confusion
for anyone. So, in order to help you I will be periodically
putting up dinosaur pictures as a memory aid. Like this!
a psychiatrist shows up and starts talking to Sam, who in
the span of hours has managed to cover his entire room, and
himself, with insane crosses and scribbles with a single black
crayon. Andrew and I nearly came to blows as we argued over
whether or not he only had one crayon to work with. In fact,
I think we did come to blows, but Andrew took the cheap way
out and hit that soft spot on my head that makes me smell
burnt toast. Bastard.
middle third of the movie is a blur as I faded in and out
of consciousness from our fight. Evidently it's a flashback
as Sammy boy retells the story of how him and some creepy
lady went to a town that doesn't exist to find a writer that
may not exist either. To further add to the scare-ness, the
entire town is comprised of places and people that said writer
has already written about in previous books. And then the
betentacled creatures show up and everything goes straight
on a twist ending and bam, you have the movie.
what was good? The introduction, certainly. People watching
with no sound may have just seen a bunch of shots of a printing
press but for those with sound a special treat occurs!
The introductory music is a total Metallica knockoff, and
it was great fun to sing along with it (the lyrics we used
were the credits for the film, with a really obvious "-ah!!"
sound tacked on to every sentence, just like James).
is a scene were an old person of indeterminate gender is on
a bicycle, and, as per American regulations, is hit by a car.
That was entertaining.
bad things? Well, Sam's accent was definitely showing here.
I have no problem with accents in general but for some reason
it kind of annoyed me this time. Way to go, Sam.
and this one's just for Mr. Carpenter, but you can read too:
Seriously, John, did we need to see an old man lying
naked on the floor? I mean, really now. Don't just
throw an answer back at me, I want you to really think about
the movie might have been creepy had I been able to understand
it, but Andrew's suckerpunch to the head really left me in
a weird mood. Compounding my confusion is the fact that the
IMDB's listing for this movie has loads of overwhelmingly
positive user reviews for this film.
STUFF IN THE MOVIE: Metallica-style intro sequence, old
people on bicycles struck by cars, watching Sam toss his demon-posessed
STUFF IN THE MOVIE: Naked old men, the horrible idea we
had for a confessional/outhouse booth, and the fact that Charlton
Heston never once tells any damned dirty apes off.
BOTTOM FREAKIN' LINE: Meh, I dunno. Pretty tough to recommend
ZAGARINO HEADS (out of five)