Friends often ask me to recommend indie horror films on Netflix Instant. (American Netflix, sorry!) Now I can just send…
John Dies at the End
Just so you know...they're sorry for anything that's about to happen.
It's a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. On the street they call it Soy Sauce, and users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can't.
At one point, a character grabs a doorknob and it turns into a penis.
I shouldn't have to say more.
John Dies at the End is almost as hard to form an opinion on as it is to describe its deliriously convoluted premise. It is both joyously ridiculous and annoyingly indulgent - a movie that is engineered for future cultdom but almost a little too try-hard to really deserve it. Yet its indulgences and flaws also help make it one of the more interesting and unforgettable horror-comedies of recent years.
Directed by Don Coscarelli (no stranger to cultish horror movies) and based on the novel by David Wong, John Dies at the End is a fantastical apocalyptic comedy about a pair of deadbeat pals who discover an invasion plan from an alternate dimension thanks to a mysterious drug called soy…
It is amazing to think that Don Coscarelli was only 25 when he directed Phantasm in 1979, it is crazy to think that in the past 34 years he has only directed 11 films (including an episode of Masters of Horror). I find it refreshing that even though he has been a known name in the genre (mostly thanks to the Phantasm series), he is still perfectly capable of releasing a great horror film in 2012. He has adapted with the times, using both practical effects and computer animation simultaneously with great results. I am sure the fact the source material was a novel is a major reason for John Dies at the End being so god damn good, but…
This movie ain't for everyone, but it's totally for me. There's freaky space insects, freaky space drugs, interdimensional travel, people exploding, and the main character takes a phone call on a bratwurst. Easily my favorite film of 2013 so far.
Naked Lunch meets eXistenZ meets some other movie that is crazy and confusing. Deadpan, off-beat, dry humor in abundance, most of it doesn't work but there are a few good moments. The plot is so complicated and messy that it's hard to even explain it. It has to do with some kind of drug that causes powerful hallucinations and gives the user psychic abilities. It also has to do with alternate dimensions and all kinds of creatures. All of it is very confusing but it's done on purpose. It can turn out to be one hell of an enjoyable ride if you're into the humor and the zaniness of it but it didn't quite work its magic on me. I…
My name is David Wong. I once saw a man's kidney grow tentacles, tear itself out of a ragged hole in his back, and go slapping across my kitchen floor. But that's another story.
While some films take years to reach cult status, when they're directed by Don Coscarelli they tend to reach that status before they're even released. A decade after his last film, Coscarelli returns to the director's chair with an adaptation of David Wong's book of the same name. John Dies at the End started out as a 2001 webserial migrating to various forms to finally being published as a hardcover in 2009.
The source material seems tailor made for Coscarelli who also took on writing…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
What the hell was that? So desperate to become a cult, they basically made an incoherent trailer last 1 hour 40 minutes.
For what it was the film was OK, but having just finished the book, there were a lot of things missed out and shuffled around. I don't think it was very clear on the relationship between characters and the reasons for their actions, as there wasn't enough time to develop this thoroughly. I thought it could have faired better as a mini-series rather than trying to cram it all into an hour and a half!
After a re-watch I still highly enjoyed the film!! It's just good fun!!!
It could never be as good as the book, but Don 'Phantasm' Coscarelli makes a decent stab at the material, condensing a story with numerous tangents into a fairly comprehensible adventure that doesn't suffer from the troughs of inaction that marred Bubba Ho-Tep. It also looks fantastic for such a micro-budget production, even if it does appear the money started running out towards the end. But hey, a movie like this was never gonna get made within today's studio system, so let's appreciate what was done with the cash available.
Ok, random thoughts regarding this movie. First, the skull on the poster looks like it belongs on a Megadeth album cover. Second, the star looks like Michael Shannon's nephew. And the other lead kinda looks like the missing Hemsworth brother, but like, remember when David Spade played the third Olsen sister? Kinda in that way. Third, there is a dog, and it rules. Fourth, this movie has an amazing supporting cast: Giamatti, Clancy F'n Brown, the black guy from Gremlins, The Tall Man from Phantasm, and Doug Jones. Normally, a movie that underutilized that much talent would get ripped apart. Yet somehow, I didn't mind. The story doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but it's really interesting nevertheless. It's…
Some films are born cult, some films achieve cult and some have cult thrust upon them. Some, like John Dies at the End, party crash the cult party screaming: ‘Look! Look at me! Seriously… Ooo! I’m so blinking culty!’
Based on the underground novel of the same name, John Dies at the End is the tale of two twenty-somethings, John (Rob Mayles) and David (Chase Williamson), who routinely battle the occult and paranormal. John seems to embrace their Carnacki-esque lifestyle, whilst David would rather be given the opportunity to get a full night’s sleep once in a while.
We first meet Dave in a Chinese restaurant coming down from a heavy dose of a drug simply known as Soy Sauce.…
Don Coscarelli attempts a unique mixture of genres and ideas from David Wong's novel. Sadly, it doesn't all work, resulting in a strange, uneven mix with a bland lead performance, but you won't forget it anytime soon.
A nonsensical free-association game of a movie, but it is pretty fun.
- 13 Sins
- 100 Bloody Acres
- Under the Skin
- Tropical Malady
- Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
- Inland Empire
Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).
- I've Heard the Mermaids Singing
- Zazie dans le métro
- Allegro non troppo
- The Adventures of Prince Achmed
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…