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Too bad it wasn't Maddness!

by Nathan - July 13, 2002

Well, 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 other guys.

Woooaahhh! Scary!!

Me 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.

So. 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?

Poorly! Ha ha ha! But let's find out why, shall we?

The 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!


Anyway, 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.

The 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 downhill.

Throw on a twist ending and bam, you have the movie.


Well, 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).

There 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.

The 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.

Also, 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 this one.

Overall, 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.

What? I'm busy.


GOOD STUFF IN THE MOVIE: Metallica-style intro sequence, old people on bicycles struck by cars, watching Sam toss his demon-posessed girlfriend around.

BAD 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.

THE BOTTOM FREAKIN' LINE: Meh, I dunno. Pretty tough to recommend this one.


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