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In the Mouth of Madness [Blu-ray]
(John Carpenter, 1994)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: New Line Cinema
Video: New Line Cinema
Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 22,228,571,070 bytes
Feature Size: 21,767,073,792 bytes
Video Bitrate: 22.92 Mbps
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: October 15th, 2013
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 4083 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4083 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio German 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
English (SDH), French, German, Italian, Spanish, none
• Commentary byJohn Carpenter and director of photography Gary B. Kibbe
Description: A best-selling author's newest novel is literally driving readers insane. When the author inexplicably vanishes, a special investigator hired to track him down crosses the barrier between fact and fiction and enters a terrifying world from which there is no escape. Directed by horror legend John Carpenter (Vampires).
Hired to help locate a missing author, an insurance investigator discovers to his terror that the nightmarish events depicted in the writer's best-selling horror novels are coming true. Wishing to be both a horror film and a parody of the genre, John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness combines supernatural thrills with winking references. For instance, the vanished author, Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow), is modeled on writers like Stephen King and Howard Phillips Lovecraft, from his great popularity to his obsession with small-town New England. Indeed, it is to one such hamlet that investigator John Trent (Sam Neill) and Cane's female editor (Julie Carmen) travel, discovering a town filled with terrifying scenes right out of Cane's books, from random axe murders to far worse. Have Cane's fans gone psychotic and begun imitating his writings, or are Cane's stories of an otherworldly evil invading the earth actually true? In the Mouth of Madness's mix of self-referential satire and real frights anticipates the later Scream (1996). Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
In this lightweight but entertaining horror movie, seasoned genre director Carpenter realises the Lovecraftian weirdness hinted at in the eerie atmospherics of The Fog and the monstrous excesses of The Thing: in short, the idea of an order of beings that exists in a parallel dimension, expelled from this world but waiting patiently to cross back and take control again. There are shades of both HP Lovecraft and Stephen King in the central character, Sutter Cane (Prochnow), a popular horror writer whose works allegedly influence his more susceptible readers, transforming them into homicidal harbingers of global chaos. When Cane vanishes just before his new book is due for delivery, his publishers panic and hire sceptical insurance investigator John Trent (Neill) to track him down. Trent suspects an elaborate publicity stunt; but having entered the writer's hometown of Hobb's End, he too experiences a blurring of the line between reality and fiction. The script by New Line's head of production, Michael (Freddy's Dead) de Luca, does not allow Carpenter free range, nevertheless he manages some neat flourishes of his own, handling the narrative twists and unsettling sfx sequences with customary skill.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness appears fairly modest on Blu-ray from New Line. I wouldn't say it is flawed in any way but the film itself has enough effects and expressive visuals to compensate for the less dynamic transfer. This is single-layered with a bitrate in the low 20's. It is very clean, contrast is strong and some colors do attract attention. There is depth and no preponderance of noise. Daylight scenes are more impressive but nothing is overly dark. By modern standards this is fairly tame but easily advances beyond SD. For all I know this is a great replication of the theatrical. This Blu-ray does its job and key effects are impressive but overall this would never be isolated for its HD appearance.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio is in a
very robust DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround at a whopping 4083 kbps. It
exports the effect sounds with gusto, a few keen separations and plenty
of depth. The original score is by
New Line include, only, the rather unremarkable commentary by John Carpenter and director of photography Gary B. Kibbe as found on the last DVD edition, plus a trailer in 480i.
October 1st, 2013
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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