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In the Mouth of Madness$
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Michael Blyth

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325406

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325406.001.0001

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‘Do You Like My Ending?’

‘Do You Like My Ending?’

(p.19) Chapter 2: ‘Do You Like My Ending?’
In the Mouth of Madness

Michael Blyth

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines In the Mouth of Madness (1995) within the context of John Carpenter's wider filmography. It explores not only how the film incorporates and builds on many of the ideas that he has explored throughout his career, but also the ways in which it differs and stands apart from his other works. In the Mouth of Madness marks the climax of the director's self-named ‘Apocalypse Trilogy’, preceded by The Thing (1982) and Prince of Darkness (1987), whilst it also speaks to his wider eschatological preoccupations, as well recurring Carpenterian themes around the loss of free will, a paranoid distrust of mass industry and global corporations, and the cataclysmic resurgence of an ancient evil. The fact that Carpenter retroactively labelled these films a trilogy in no way diminishes how effectively they function as one cohesive piece. But while the themes of In the Mouth of Madness are classic Carpenter, artistically it represents a departure from some of his most recognisable stylistic trademarks, namely his editing, camerawork, and use of music.

Keywords:   John Carpenter, In the Mouth of Madness, Apocalypse Trilogy, free will, mass industry, global corporation, ancient evil, The Thing, Prince of Darkness

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