Movies that are slightly off.
John Dies at the End
Just so you know... they're sorry for anything that's about to happen.
A new drug promises out-of-body experiences, but users are coming back changed forever, and an otherworldly invasion of Earth is underway.
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…
Soy sauce is a mysterious drug that promises an out of body experience every time it is ingested, as users traverse time and other dimensions. But some no longer return as human, which means it started a silent invasion coming from another world and it's up to our big heroes, John and Dave Wong, to save mankind.
Don Coscarelli establishes a very fast pacing and a quirky atmosphere to unfold his twisted storyline that leaves us confused during most of the film. Yet, that's where the film's magic is, the acclaimed director turns out to be a master of the audience as he leaves us completely intrigued with his messy, yet captivating script. John Dies at the End is another…
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…
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.
If you cut out a large portion of a book, but keep the name, is it still the same book?
A film crafted around internet cult phenomena John Dies at the End, a book by 'David Wong', this movie deserves credit for attempting to do the impossible, and to do it on almost no budget. John Dies at the End, as a novel, is a testament to dark humor, gross horror, the human condition, and a spiraling and surreal take on the world and the nature of time itself. This move is mostly a view of the first 1/2 of that novel, with the remaining half reduced to an explosion and some weird oompa loompa masks.
It is undeniable, however, that the spirit of the novel and its creator are intact in this film, and it almost seems appropriate that such a book would find life in the hands of the same director who did Bubba Ho-Tep.
um spoilers but john dies at the start more like it
This movie was a lot of fun.
It's about two friends who are psychic monster hunters, but there's a whole lot of stuff that's unexplained and the mythologizing is never really encyclopedic. I love it when that happens. It's like - all these Tolkien movies that are so obsessed with giving you long lists of names of dwarf kings and shit, who cares? Pretty much the only names of weird things we learn are "Korax" and "Soy Sauce" - which is more than enough for me.
It kind of reminds me of a pop version of Naked Lunch. There's a bunch of drugs and bugs and it seems like they're making it up as they go along.
What a hoot.
Evil Dead's Excellent Adventure.
Starts so strong, but kind of fizzles as it tries to actually find a story.
Un'esaltante sorpresa, questa pellicola dell'inventivo Coscarelli, piena di gustosi snodi narrativi e di parentesi comiche. Come al solito pecca di una esuberanza in fase di scrittura che sembra uscire dai pori, lasciando soddisfatti ma un po' rintronati (superdroga, invasioni, mostruose apparizioni e dimensioni parallele). Mi piacerebbe dire che alla fin fine tutti i tasselli vanno al loro posto,ma non è così.
Il ruolo del medium/santone Marconi sarebbe stato perfetto per Vincent Price.
What the FUCK did I just see?
John Dies at the End starts off very strong. I really enjoy Don Coscarelli's unique sensibility and it was on full display from the very first sequence. The only real issue I have with the film is that as the plot unfolded I began to grow tired of it. I'm not sure if the film was too long or if it ran out of steam, but I was ready for this to be over with about 15-20 minutes left in the film.
Despite that one sort of major problem, I still enjoyed most of the film and have to appreciate the unique experience that is John Dies at the End.
An absolute mess of movie, whose wildly self-aware sense of quirkiness is so cocky and smarmy that I can’t help but find the whole thing an annoying waste of time.
Of Coscarelli’s previous films, I’ve seen the first three Phantasms (about a decade ago) and Bubba Ho-Tep. Phantasm has a fun and unique mythology, and Bubba Ho-Tep is a horror comedy that defies all logic by balancing an insane plot with sympathetic characters.
Here, there’s no attempt at character development, and it’s almost impossible to follow or care about what the plot is. It feels like nothing more than the ultimate example of what someone saw this one time…
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…