John Carpenter’s In the Mouth of Madness (1994) is the closing film of a loose trilogy taking as its narrative hook and theme ‘the end of the world’. The Thing (1982) and Prince of Darkness (1987) are the other titles that form the triptych of apocalypse-themed terror.
Insurance fraud investigator John Trent (Sam Neill) is hired by a book publisher (Charlton Heston) to track down missing author, Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow). There is a manuscript to be delivered, and the guy’s gone AWOL. Yet, rather than slowly encroach the picture in the supernatural, In the Mouth of Madness is pure mayhem from the very beginning. The opening credits sequence, a montage of printing presses running off covers en masse, which looks very much like celluloid film running through a camera, to the accompaniment of Carpenter’s hard rock score, also signifies that we’re in for quite a ride.