In the Mouth of Madness (1994) Script

Hello?

Hello, Admitting.

This is Saperstein.

Where is he?

He's cleared Admitting?

Right.

Bring him in.

He's coming.

Good, good.

Trent?

John J.

Put him in number nine.

You son of a bitch.

You, argh...

Don't. Heh.

Hang on to him. Don't!

No.

No, no, no. Come on. Get him in there.

No, not me!

No, wait, wait.

This is wrong. Look, I'm sorry about the balls.

It was a lucky shot, that's all.

Wait!

Thank you. Wait!

I'm not insane. You hear me?

I'm not insane!

I'm not if he's not!

Oh, me neither. Me neither.

I'm not insane!

Me neither!

I'm not insane!


Yes, doctor? It worked...

Oh, no.

Not the Carpenters too.


This is a rotten way to end it.

This is not the ending. You haven't read it yet.


Yes, just a minute. Here you are, doctor.

Thank you.

All right.

Came in this afternoon? -Yes.

How did you get here so fast?

We've been monitoring admissions through police and paramedic channels.

This one fit the symptoms. -You think he's one of them?

Mr. Saperstein, I promise you, that's what I'm here to find out.

Things must be getting pretty bad out there...

...to bring you fellas in, heh.

Is this it? -Yes.

Did he make any requests? -Just...

...one.

A, uh, single black crayon.


John? -Hang on.

What's up?

My name is Dr. Wrenn.

And I'm going to try and get you out of here.

After all my redecorating? Heh.

No, I think I'll stay.

There's a guard with a pair of swollen testicles...

...who swears you wanted out of here.

I, uh... Well...

...I've changed my mind.

I see.

The crosses are a nice touch.

They'd almost have to keep you here once they'd seen these wouldn't they, John?

Got a smoke?

You're waiting to hear about my them, aren't you?

Your what?

My them.

Oh, every paranoid schizophrenic has one, a them, a they, an it.

And you wanna hear about my them, don't you?

I want to know how you got here.

Things are turning to shit out there, aren't they?

Let's talk about you.

Your dime.

I'm a...

I was an insurance investigator, freelance.

Checked out funny claims, frauds, the usual kind of thing.

And lately, I'd been working for a firm here in the city.

And all of this started with the disappearance.

The Sutter Cane disappearance.

It's a little hot in here, isn't it?

It's boiling.

How long I gotta be here?

I mean, I took care of all that paperwork.

The check was supposed to be here three weeks ago, right?

Uh, isn't that right?

Usually, that's the way it goes but I just have a few final questions...

...to ask about the fire.

Pfft, more questions.

I've answered all your questions. I mean, enough's enough here.

It was supposed to be cut and dried. They told me.

Look, I understand. We'll be out of here in a minute.

See, Robby here, he owns the company.

And he's hired me to see that things go smoothly, you understand?

Oh, it's just a little thing, but, see, Robby takes the view that it was you...

...who burned down your own warehouse on Northern Boulevard.

Me? Heh, that's horseshit.

That was my stuff in that warehouse. That's my whole life.

Believe me, I sympathize.

You're starting to sweat. Shall I turn on the air conditioning?

What do you think?

Oh, no, I'm fine. -You sure?

Yeah. Yeah.

Okay. -it's just...

I'm running a little late, that's all. I'm supposed to pick up my wife.

Oh, yeah, your wife.

She's a great lady.

You know her? -No, not really. We just met briefly.

You know, when I went around to check up on your story.

See, we have these photographs...

...of your wife tooling around town...

...wearing various articles that you claim were destroyed in the fire.

No, that's, heh, impossible.

No, this is all stuff I bought for her myself.

See, the problem is, when I went around to talk to her...

...it turned out she knew a lot more than she thought she did.

Especially...

Especially after I showed her pictures of Miss Palminteri...

...who appears to be wearing even more of your destroyed articles.

Miss Palminteri?

Miss Rosa Palminteri.

A word of advice.

You wanna pull a scam...

...don't make your wife a partner.

And if you do...

...don't fuck around behind her back.

Trent, you look beautiful.

Everybody says you got the best nose for a con in the business.

But to see it firsthand-- I mean, to watch you work is incredible.

Well, it wasn't hard, Robby. The guy's wife liked me.

Besides, he was an amateur. It's just too easy with amateurs.

Try to figure out who's professional and who isn't.

And that's when it gets fun, when you run into a pro.

Most of my salesmen couldn't sniff out a phony claim...

...if their noses were nailed to it, but you, man, you never miss.

What's to miss?

You learn to expect the worst in people and you get it.

Everyone's looking to play an angle.

I'm always there to clean up the mess.

I'll tell you what.

You stop freelancing, join my staff.

I'll make it worth your while, Trent.

Forget it, Robby.

I'm my own man. Nobody pulls my strings.

I'm independent. I'm happy.

Well, be my man one more time.

I'm having quite a difficult mess with Arcane.

The publishing house? -Yeah, it's my biggest account.

They just filed a claim that cost me millions.

I want you on this right away.

What's the claim? -Sutter Cane is missing.

Who? -Sutter Cane.

Do you read Sutter Cane? -What?

Lay down! Lay down! Lay down!

Horror writer Sutter Cane...

...a harmless pop phenomenon...

...or a deadly mad prophet of the printed page?

This was the scene today outside several city bookstores.

Police believe the riots began because the stores could not meet the demand...

...for advance orders of Sutter Cane's latest novel...

...In the Mouth of Madness.

When does fiction become religion?

And are his fans dangerous?

Only if you count axes.

In related news...

...there were 18 other stores across the city reporting...

Mr. Trent?

Mr. Trent?

Mr. Harglow will see you now.

Thank you.

You're not listening. I needed it yesterday.

If you wait any longer, it'll be all over the front page. Get it done.

Jackson Harglow, Mr. Trent. I'm pleased to meet you.

It's a pleasure. Excuse the commotion.

We have something of a crisis going on.

Now, everybody out now, please. I need time with Mr. Trent.

Have Sylvia hold the calls, and get Linda here.

Yes, Mr. Harglow.

-Gee, that was great. I almost left myself.

Sit down, please.

I am a little short on patience these days, I'm afraid.

So, Mr. Trent, are you, uh, familiar with Arcane?

Aside from the fact that you're insured by the company I work for...

...I never heard of Arcane. I'm sorry. -You read books?

Linda Styles, John Trent.

Linda reads books for a living. She's one of our best editors.

Since she joined the firm, she's been handling Sutter Cane exclusively.

Sutter Cane. Isn't he the guy that writes that horror crap?

Maybe he's too sophisticated for you.

Sutter Cane happens to be this century's most widely-read author.

You can forget about Stephen King.

Cane outsells them all.

So, what happened to this cash cow of yours?

Cane disappeared two months ago without a trace.

The police have turned up nothing.

Who was the last person to hear from him?

His agent. Cane mailed him several chapters of his new book...

...oh, not two weeks ago.

Plain brown wrapper, no return address.

Oh, gee, I'm sorry.

You don't mind, do you?

What'd the agent have to say?

Well, you heard what he had to say.

Heh, what are you talking about?

I understand you were there when the poor man went crazy in Midtown Manhattan.

You witnessed the shooting, I believe.

That lunatic with the ax? That was Cane's agent?

Hard to believe, isn't it?

You'd think a guy that outsells Stephen King...

...could find better representation.

Excuse me.

Miss Styles, this is what we have.

It's just a little joke.

Well, we're not in the mood.

- I'll see you out, Mr. Trent. -Thank you.

Cane is a billion-dollar franchise. He's the tent pole to this company.

We've sold film rights to his new book...

...as well as publication rights in 18 languages. it's--

Book you can't find?

Well, his agent found it. At least part of it. Think he just took one look...

...at this latest work of art and just went ax-happy in broad daylight?

I think it's great. It's great promotion for Arcane, great publicity.

This was not a publicity stunt. You were there.

Cane's writing has been known to have an effect on his less-stable readers.

Effect? Like what? -Well, disorientation, memory loss...

...severe paranoid reaction.

People pay to feel like that? It's cute. Put it in the press kit.

Look, we need you.

Okay-

Well, why don't you and I get together after work? We'll go through his files.

I don't think so.

I need to see his contracts, papers, you know?

Impossible.

His agent was a total buffer. We don't even know where Cane lives.

What do you know?

For about a year before he disappeared, his work became erratic...

...bent, more bizarre than usual.

He became convinced his writing was real, not fiction, then the work stopped coming.

I need to know if he's alive or dead, and I need that book.

We've delayed publication as long as we can.

His fans are getting really restless.

This shit really sells, doesn't it?

More than you'd imagine. Surprised?

Lady, nothing surprises me.

We fucked up the air, the water, we fucked up each other.

Why don't we finish the job by just flushing our brains down the toilet?

Why don't you try reading his stuff...

...see if you can get it?

Got any on tape?


You want some too, buddy?

Now, relax, Robby. Look, it's a scam. Of course it's a scam.

You see, all this strange behavior from people that read the books...

...and, uh, the agent going nuts and so on, it's a--

I figure it's like mass hysteria, you know?

It's like, uh-- It's a pop phenomenon.

It's a craze. It'll pass. This year's Hula-Hoop, something like that. before being stopped by police gunfire--

Yeah, my God, it's freaky.

Turning to the weather, here's Bill--

No, it's a setup. It's a setup. I just have to work out how it's set up.

That's all. It's just a matter of time.

You too?

God, I've had heartburn. Tell me about it.

Sporadic riots continue to hit eastern cities...

...and reports of violence from Boston and Philadelphia...

...are now coming in.

Police continue to describe barely coherent witnesses...

...all reporting having read horror novelist Sutter Cane's latest novel:

Hobb's End Horror.

Officers have been physically attacked...

...and more than 380 people, male and female...

...have been jailed in New York county.

Two officers in Boston were hacked to death amid jeering crowds...

...in an attack last night.

What is this horrible, unexplainable madness...

...that is gripping our lives?

- What in the world is happening? I can see.

Now we have an editorial.

Excuse me?

He sees you.

Great, uh...

Tell him I say hi.

Hello.

Oh, hi, Robby, yeah.

Yeah, not a lot. it-- I picked up some of these Sutter Cane books.

You know, I've been reading them.

Well, it-- Pulp horror novels. They're all pretty familiar.

They all seem to have the same plot.

Slimy things in the dark, people go mad, they turn into monsters.

The funny thing is that they're kind of better-written than you expect, you know?

They get to you in a way. I don't know if it's his style of writing...

...or his use of description or whatever, but... Hmm?

No, don't be silly, ha, ha.

No, no, no.


Do you want some too, buddy?

He sees you.

He sees you.

He sees you.

What?


It's just too weird.


Beautiful.

Where did you go?

Assuming you went somewhere.


Cute.

Now I know why Cane had the artwork done himself.

See this? It's a map.

The red dot is Hobb's End. It's not on any real map, but look at this.

The two line up.

Like it or not, Cane's book covers place Hobb's End...

...right in the middle of New England.

So you're saying the man went someplace fictional?

No, no, no. It's a real place in a real state. New Hampshire, to be precise.

But it's not on the map.

Well, not on any new ones, but maybe on some old ones.

There's plenty of forgotten towns across America.

Makes a great contest, doesn't it?

Put the pieces together, find the town, win a Sutter Cane lunchbox.

How can you be sure he's there?

Well, I'd have to go to be sure.

You sure you want me to go?

See, I'm not suggesting you're lying, that you're about to file a fraudulent claim...

...but forgive me if this sounds a little bit like bullshit to me.

And if you're telling the truth, if you want your author back...

...if you really want your book, then maybe it's in both our best interests...

...if I go find him.

We have nothing to hide, Mr. Trent.

I desire only our fair share if Cane is dead...

...or our property if he's alive.

Since I assume you also have nothing to hide...

...I'm sure you won't mind if I send Miss Styles along...

...on your expedition.

Well, it's your party.

America the

Beautiful

From sea to Shining

Oh! Who was it? What?

You're awake.

Hey, hey, hey!

Couldn't you just shake me, you asshole?

What did I do? What did I do?

We're lost.

We are lost because there is no such place as Hobb's End.

Well, we'll see.

Never, never, never throw chips at a driver.

Goddamn it. Shit. -Asshole.

Styles, can I ask you something?

Do you really like working on Cane's stuff?

You really like busting people?

Yeah. I bust frauds, I bust phonies, and, yeah, I love it.

Have you ever busted anyone you know?

Yeah. Sure, I did. Didn't make any difference.

You see, in my business, you soon find out that anybody's capable of anything.

If you can think of it, they've done it.

Doesn't leave you much to believe in.

Think of the upside.

It doesn't leave you too much to be disappointed in either.

Believe me, the sooner we're off the planet, the better.

Now you sound like Cane.

No, not me.

You're the Cane lover.

I just like being scared.

Cane's work scares me.

What's to be scared about? It's not like it's real or anything.

It's not real from your point of view, and reality shares your point of view.

What scares me about Cane's work...

...is what might happen if reality shared his point of view.

Whoa, we're not talking about reality here.

We're talking about fiction. It's different.

A reality is just what we tell each other it is.

Sane and insane could easily switch places...

."Wtheinsane were to become the majority.

You would find yourself locked in a padded cell...

...wondering what happened to the world.

No, that wouldn't happen to me.

Well, it would if you realized everything you ever knew was gone.

It would be pretty lonely being the last one left.

not only in Manhattan proper...

...but there was that incident in Long Island...

...that was also related to it.

Oh, come on, doctor, I don't buy this.

I mean, what are you saying?

That there's disease spreading across the country?

It is an addiction that people have at this time...

...of fantasy creating a pile of written material.

How could it be addicting?

- Look, I mean this is words. All things have been...

Or just something that is created by the press?

- That's not-- Acting stupid is what it is.


Jesus Christ. -Huh.

I saw-- I saw a--

A cow, a sheep?

A pig? What did you see?

Never mind. It was nothing. Good.


Don't move him.

Is he alive? I don't know.

Don't move. He'll get a blanket. Lie still.

I can't get out. Don't move.

He won't let me out.


He was okay?

Come on, let's go.

We'll tell the cops when we hit the next town.

You okay?


Oh, I can't believe it.

I must have slept through the whole night.

Hey, thanks for driving.

What is it?

Look.

Styles, you're fantastic. You found it.

What's wrong?

You drive.


Cute, cute, cute.

Main Street, U.S.A.

Jesus.

Pfft.

Antiques.

This old crap. I wonder where they manufacture this shit.

Look.

Those kids.

You didn't see them? -No.

Where is everyone?

It's like the place is picture perfect and there's nobody around.

Come on.


Styles, how did you know about this place?

I thought you'd never been here before.

I haven't. I've read about it.

So have you.

This is empty now.

It used to be filled with strange growing things, remember?

One night, the townspeople saw something moving in here...

...something enormous, with arms like snakes.

Oh, yeah.

Hobb's End Horror.

The hotel from Hobb's End Horror.

You know what I'm thinking?

There's gotta be a great tie-in for a town like this.

I mean, think of the tourist potential, for instance, or a--

There should be a painting behind us.

Oh, yeah.

It's nice.

There's a loose board there.

Good morning. -Hi.

Can I help you folks?

I certainly hope so. We'd like a room, please.

We're on our way to Boston.

We thought we'd take a break in your famous little town.

Famous?

Yeah, what with the whole Sutter Cane thing and all.

Sutter who?

Cane.

We heard he came from around here and comes back to stay once in a while.

I don't know anybody named Cane.

Heh, nobody passes through here much anymore.

Let me get you your keys.

You want me to leave a deposit or my credit card or something?

Oh, city folk.

Mm. -Heh. Oh.

Miss Styles, if that's what you saw, then--

Yeah, heh, I guess it would be a little unsettling.

I'd be a little unnerved myself.

But regardless of what you saw, regardless of what you think...

...we are not living inside a Sutter Cane story.

They're all in here.

The Mrs. Pickman in the book is a lunatic who chops her husband into coleslaw.

That sweet old thing that we met downstairs...

...isn't capable of anything worse...

...than dipping her dentures into her husband's beer.

Trent, I know you think this is a joke.

Just listen to me for a second, please.

What if Cane's work isn't fiction?

Oh, for chrissake.

This is reality.

You hear that?

Reality.

Now, if what you're saying is true, there should be out that window...

...a black Byzantine church with 250-foot spires...

...with gold onions on the top.

Now, look.

You see?

Reality.

You didn't read closely enough.

The view is from the east.

"This place had once been the seat...

...of an evil older than mankind and wider than the known universe.

It was a place of pain and suffering beyond human understanding."

You got me reading this thing like it's a guidebook.

"Originally, there was an old stone church built on this site in 1788...

...but the black church swallowed up the old sanctuary...

...the way it has swallowed our minds.

Now there is nothing left of what was once here...

...except the mosaic of our Lord and savior above the front door.

Some believe the old sanctuary still exists somewhere...

...trapped inside this evil edifice.

It's primeval inhabitants were a murderous race of creatures...

...whose vile existence contaminated time itself...

...affecting history with their sadistic wickedness."

It's the battle for heaven. Archangel Michael's fighting off--

"Fighting off one of the creatures from the other side."

A representation. The things Cane writes are indescribable.

Beyond description.

Right.

Look, we're wasting our time. We ought to be asking about Cane.

We'll have somebody to ask in about two seconds.

Come on, we have to get out of here.

We can't be in front of the church, Trent.

They have guns, Trent.

Cane!

No, I wanna go back.

Give him back!

Johnny.

Johnny boy.

Is that Cane?


Get in the truck.

No! Where are they coming from?

No, no, no! Stop it!

I see.

Tell me how you knew about that mob. Tell me that. Huh?

You see, you can't bullshit a bullshitter, can you?

I'll tell you how. This whole thing has been staged, that's how.

You, Harglow, and Cane put me through this...

...so I can blab to the media about "Cane's haunted little town"...

...help you sell a few more million copies.

Well, fuck that.

You're wrong. -No, I'm not.

Before I leave, I'm gonna find someone who's gonna come clean.

We're gonna dismiss your bullshit claim.

You're wrong, Trent. I know you are wrong.

How am I wrong?

Because you're right. You're half right.

This was a hoax.

We did send Cane away on a publicity stunt, only he never showed up.

Harglow sent me with you to make it look good...

...only we weren't supposed to find anything, but we did.

That's how I know what we're seeing is real.

We didn't stage any of this.

It's all happening for real, Trent.

And it is all in that book and that's how I know.

You're lying. I read the books too, you remember?

There's nothing about any mob, any little girl.

Not in the old books, Trent. In the new one.

No one knew what was in it except me and Cane's agent.

All right.

What's it about, the new one?

It's about the end to everything and it starts here in this place...

...with an evil that returns and takes over Hobb's End piece by piece...

...starting with the children.

It's about people turning into things, creatures that aren't human anymore.

It's fiction, Styles. Fiction.

We need to read the new book to find the way out.

How is that gonna help?

We could skip to the ending.

Styles, I really hope you're making this up...

...because if you're not, you're actually crazy.

Please, Trent.

Don't make me do this alone.

Hey. Hey-

Are you coming with me?

Fine.

Have a nice bus ride home.


No smoking, please.

It bothers my husband.

I'm sorry. I just can't seem to help myself around here.

I was just on my way out. I thought I'd stop and admire the artwork.

It's beautiful, isn't it?

Sure is.

Styles told me you painted it yourself.

Styles?

Oh, the--

You mean the pretty young thing you came in here with.

I don't know her at all.

Does she know me?

Well, she claims she does.

So you're not responsible for this?

Hell, no.

Well, it's a nice place you got here.

Oh, it must be a hell of a thing to keep clean.

You look as if you've been up all night.

Been reading.

Styles?

Styles!

Styles!

Hush.


You're a writer?

No. You an actor?

Take a hint. Leave.

This ain't no tourist town.

Oh, I've been trying to.

You guys are good, you know?

You, the old lady at the hotel...

...really, really good.

Cane's been messing with the church.

Now, something came leaking out, took the little ones first...

...then passed it on to us.

Can I buy you a beer?

Don't let it get to you. Just get out.

Give it.

What are you? Where do you come from?

Where do you live? -With you.

Who takes care of you? You do.

You're my mommy.

Know what today is?

Today is Mommy's Day.

Styles?

Linda.


Linda.

Nice to see you again.

You can edit this one from the inside...

...looking out.

It's funny, isn't it?

For years, I thought I was making all this up.

But they were telling me what to write...

...giving me the power to make it all real.

And now it is.

All those horrible, slimy things...

...trying to get back in?

They're all true.

Come.

See the instrument of their homecoming.

What you have come looking for.

The new Bible...

...that starts the change...

...helps you see.

Do you like my ending?

An)' Suggestions?


You found something. Where did you go?

I'm losing me. I'm losing me, John.

Help me. I'm losing me.

What's happening? -I saw the book.

Don't look at it. Don't read it, John.

I'm losing me.

Mrs. Pickman?


Come on, you old bitch.


Mrs. Pickman?


Styles.

We're going. Now.


Styles?

Styles?

Fuck you!

You're still here.

Busy night.

Special effects, hidden speakers.

You people are professionals, I'll give you that.

The thing I can't remember is what came first.

Us or the book.

We are not living in a Sutter Cane story!

This is not reality!

Reality is not what it used to be.

Oh, Jesus, this place makes my head hurt.

Oh, really? Come on, look at this.

This was done by a 5-year-old, my 5-year-old.

Johnny's sister.

She did me after she did her mom.

You're alone.

Oh, shit. Oh, no, don't.

I have to. He wrote me this way.


Oh, shit.

The key.

Jesus!

Christ.

Shit.


Never leave the city. Why don't I learn?

Are we leaving?

We're already home.

You should have believed me.

Where's the fucking highway?

Cane's writing me. He wants me to kiss you.

Why?

Because it's good for the book. -Jesus.

-It's what the readers wanna read. -Oh, God!

Go-- Get--

Get away from me!


Cane has a job for you.


A few bad calls.

A few wrong turns.


Do you wanna know the problem with places like this?

With religion in general?

It's never known how to convey the anatomy of horror.

Religion seeks discipline through fear...

...yet doesn't understand the true nature of creation.

No one's ever believed it enough to make it real.

The same cannot be said of my work.

Your books aren't real.

But they've sold over a billion copies.

I've been translated into 18 languages.

More people believe in my work than believe in the Bible.

You got a point?

I think you know it.

There has to be some kind of an explanation for what I've seen tonight.

I'll sort this shit out later.

But right now, there has to be some kind of a simple fucking explanation.

Always looking for the con.

Even now, you're trying to rationalize.

Anyway...

...your books suck.

You must try reading my new one.

The others have had quite an effect...

...but this one will drive you absolutely mad.

So I'm told.

It'll make the world ready for the change.

It takes its power from new readers and new believers.

That's the point. Belief.

When people begin to lose their ability...

...to know the difference between fantasy and reality...

...the old ones can begin theirjourney back.

The more people who believe, the faster the journey.

And with the way the other books have sold...

...this one is bound to be very, very popular.

Want to see?

Cane.

All done.

In the Mouth of Madness.

Yours to deliver, Trent.

What?

I'll be joining my new publishers now.

You take the manuscript back to the world for me, that's what you do.

What I do?

You are what I write.

Like this town.

It wasn't here before I wrote it.

And neither were you.

No.

I know what's real.

I know what I am...

...and nobody pulls my strings.

Did you think my agent attacked you by accident?

He read about you in there.

He knew you'd bring it back and start the change.

Make what's happened here happen everywhere.

He tried to stop you.

I'm not a piece of fiction.

I think therefore you are.

Read it if you don't believe me.

See what I have in store for you.

I know what I am.

Go back.

Your world lies beyond that passage.

Go now.

I can't hold them back any longer.


"Trent stood at the edge of the rip...

...stared into the illimitable gulf of the unknown...

...the Stygian world yawning blackly beyond.

Trent's eyes refused to close.

He did not shriek...

...but the hideous unholy abominations shrieked for him...

...as in the same second he saw them spill and tumble upward...

...out of an enormous carrion black pit...

...choked with the gleaming white bones...

...of countless unhallowed centuries.

He began to back away from the rip as the army of unspeakable figures...

...twilit by the glow from the bottomless pit...

...came pouring at him toward our world."

Come with me.

I can't.

I've read to the end.


Hey, kid.

You want a paper?

Have you been in an accident?

Yup.

You want me to get somebody?

No, just...

Just point me to the highway.

Straight up.

Hey, kid.

Did you ever hear of Hobb's End?


No!

No!


Mr. Trent.

What?

Package for you, sir.

But nobody knows I'm here.

Well, someone does.


Who delivered this? -I don't know.

Who?

I don't know. I wasn't here last night.

Who was it? I was.

And I didn't see shit.

I remember New York during the Depression.

People think they have it bad now.

You should have seen the Bowery back then.

Bodies piled 2, 3 feet high off the gutter.

I'm not going anywhere.

I'm God now, you understand?

God's not supposed to be a hack horror writer.

But maybe I can help you believe.

Look around when you wake up.

Did I ever tell you my favorite color was blue?


Relax, buddy. Relax.

You're awake now. -It was just a bad dream.

Are you deaf and dumb, sir?

I was just there in the town, in that town...

...and there were people there and shops and homes and--

I don't doubt that.

What I'm telling you for the 10th time...

...is it couldn't have been called Hobb's End.

There never was, is, or shall be any such place...

...by that name in this state. Ever.

I wanna see your supervisor!


Well, that is quite a story.

If you could write it, I'd publish it.

You don't believe it, do you?

Well, if I don't, what's my option? That I'm crazy?

I'm not crazy.

Have you heard the rumors...

...that, uh, Cane's books have affected certain readers?

Yeah, Styles told me.

Styles. Oh, that's the girl you say I sent with you that...

But I know I sent you off alone.

Why wouldn't I remember her?

Well...

Well, that's easy. She was written out.

Written out? Yeah.

Look, do you think those books somehow infected you?

Listen to me, Harglow.

Everything I've said is true. It's real.

And that's why I had to destroy the last manuscript.

But I know that's not true.

What are you talking about?

You delivered that manuscript to me months ago.

To me personally in this room.

I did? -Yes, you did. Last spring.

For God's sakes, we published in July.

The book's been in the stores for seven weeks.

Have you read it?

No, I never read Cane's work. I haven't got the stomach for it.

Pull it. Don't distribute it.

Even if everything I've said is totally Looney Tunes...

...I know this book will drive people crazy.

Well, let's hope so.

The movie comes out next month.

The newest and presumably posthumous work

...of Sutter Cane continues to sit at number one on the best-seller list.

In the Mouth of Madness is expected to break all previous publishing records.

On the local scene, police are at a loss to explain...

...the outbreak of violent crime among the city's clergy.

The mayor has called an emergency meeting...

...of law enforcement and medical agencies...

...to discuss an apparent epidemic of paranoid schizophrenia.

Just an unbelievably horrible story, Bob.

What began locally has now broken out into a global epidemic.

An epidemic of monumental proportions...

...of senseless, seemingly unmotivated acts of violence.

- There are major... -Like the book?

I love it.

Good.

Then this shouldn't come as a surprise.

It's spreading out there, isn't it?

Just because you know the symptoms doesn't mean...

...to say your story's true.

It's Cane's story.

And it'll spread with each new reader.

That's how it gets its power.

What about the people who don't read?

There's a movie.

Oh, yes, of course.

I'm gonna leave now.

But I'll be coming back, I promise.

I want to help you.

There's no hurry. It's safer in here now.

It'll get worse out there.

Why?

Every species can smell its own extinction.

The last ones left...

...won't have a pretty time of it.

And in 10 years, maybe less...

...the human race will just be a bedtime story for their children.

A myth. Nothing more.


Did he have anything to say?

No. It was useless.

He thinks he's fiction...

...and that Sutter Cane's causing the epidemic.

Do you read Sutter Cane?


Oh, God!


I'll try to continue this emergency broadcast...

...as long as we can hold out here.

The city is almost completely deserted now.

There are only a few stragglers left on the streets.

No emergency services. The fires continue to burn out of control.

This incredible epidemic of random mass killing...

...has spread to every country in the civilized world.

Every hour, more people are becoming infected...

...being driven to senseless acts of extreme violence.

Now, we have gotten reports, sketchy at best...

...of people mutating, their bodies swelling and distorting...

...changing somehow.

Locally, the mass killings appear to have moved inland.

All major cities on the East Coast are silent.

We lost contact with Los Angeles and the West Coast last night.

So it's impossible at this time to know how many unaffected people are left.

If for any reason, you are one of us who hasn't become infected...

...take shelter immediately.

Do not trust any friends or family members.

I repeat, do not--

Oh, you go in. Get in there.

Go.

No!

No, wait, wait.

I'm sorry about the balls. It was a lucky shot, that's all.

Wait!

I'm not insane.

Do you hear me? I'm not insane!

Relax, buddy. You're awake now.

This is not a Sutter Cane story. This is not reality.

Not reality. Not reality.

This is reality.

Hear that? Reality.