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In the Mouth of Madness (1995) – Episode 39 – Decades of Horror 1990s and Beyond

“Do you read Sutter Cane?” It’s the question on everyone’s lips. Well, everyone except John Trent (Sam Neill), an insurance investigator out to find the truth. Always has the upper hand on any situation, including the disappearance of mmega-successfulhorror author Sutter Cane (Jürgen Prochnow). Of course, the world of Cane has so much more to reveal to Trent. Sights that may just make his head explode into a million pieces… or just wander in an endless existence. Whatever is the will of the Elder Gods behind it all. Join us as we sink further In the Mouth of Madness for Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond!

Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond
Episode 39 – In the Mouth of Madness (1995)

In the Mouth of Madness was quite the departure for John Carpenter. Coming of the heels of the disastrous turn to comedy that was Memoirs of the Invisible Man, this Lovecraftian dip into unimaginable horror wasn’t quite what usually fit the image of Carpenter’s filmography. Then again, maybe it did? The mysterious terror of Halloween‘s “The Shape”, the cosmic unknown realms of Prince of Darkness and the underground society of those controlling us in They Live have Lovecraftian themes. In the Mouth of Madness just made it all the more literal with direct references to the works of HP Lovecraft and some demonic Eldrich Gods added into the mix.

To comment on all of this madness, Thomas Mariani inlists Caitlin Turner, Adam Thomas and Paul Cardullo to talk In the Mouth of Madness. It’s a Lovecraftian Lovefest as the four all praise this as one of Carpenter’s more underrated works. Paul praises the lack of what we see from the monsters. Adam considers Sam Neill’s performance to be only second to Jurassic Park. Caitlin praises the ability to adapt Lovecraft without being a direct adaptation. Thomas is just staring deep into Sutter Cane’s blue dueling pupils. Visit Caitlin’s book blog mentioned in the show here and about The Hateful Life and Spiteful Death of The Man who Was Vigo the Carpathian here.

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1990s And Beyond podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or tweet Thomas @NotTheWhosTommy. Also, make sure to give us some love via iTunes reviews and ratings. Helps us get more notice along the way.

The intro and outro is “Suck City” by Black Math. Look for more of their music via Free Music Archive.

Next Episode

The Others (2001)

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The Keep (1983) – Episode 107 – Decades Of Horror 1980s

“Obey me! Or I will return you to the diseased state I found you in… and then I will slay BOTH of you!” Radu Molasar (Michael Carter) warns Dr. Theodore Cuza (Ian McKellan) not to question his judgement. Or else! Why he’s suggesting he’s going to return him to his earlier state and then kill him instead of just doing the latter is up for debate. One of many things that will make you scratch your head in The Keep. With a troubled production and relative obscurity, The Keep isn’t that fondly looked upon. In fact, there’s only one true fan of The Keep… and he’s on this podcast.

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 107 – The Keep (1983)

The Keep came out in 1983 to little fanfare. It had a troubled production. This included excessive reshoots, the lead special effects designer dying and director/writer Michael Mann’s vision being compromised from a three and a half hour cut to just ninety six minutes. The results are a rather convoluted mess of storylines. At the centered are a group of Nazis (lead by Jürgen Prochnow) overtaking a citadel in Romania known as The Keep. These Nazis take a Jewish historian (McKellan) out of a concentration camp to decipher ancient writings, who discovers a golem-like creature the citadel is keeping at bay. Meanwhile, some dude named Glaeken (Scott Glenn) has laser eyes and wants to destroy the golem… because. That’s about as much plot as can be described for The Keep. The choppy editing and awful VHS quality transfer for the only copy available on streaming platforms (and not on DVD or Blu-Ray) can hardly be determined.

So in order to make any sense out of The Keep, Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore and Thomas Mariani seek the guidance of Santos Ellin Jr. He’s been a fan of Michael Mann’s film since he first saw it in a not-so-crowded theater. He describes the mastery of Mann’s direction, the unique production design and just how awesome that Tangerine Dream score was. At least, in the original form, since it’s not available on the crappy transfer due to music rights. Everyone else isn’t quite as impressed. Thomas appreciates the vision, but thinks the only version that’s available doesn’t do it justice. Christopher thinks it should be imprisoned for all time in a citadel all its own. Doc is just flat out confused. It’s an elaborate discussion that makes us wonder about what could have been. Is The Keep a keeper or should it be locked away? Listen to find out for sure!

We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.