Director: Don Coscarelli
Starring: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman
Just so you know… they’re sorry for anything that’s about to happen
David Wong is meeting up with a journalist named Arnie Blondestone to tell his story. David makes the claim that he has psychic powers and is ready to tell Arnie how he got them and what more there is to the world than what meets the eye.
David tells how his best friend John had come in contact with a new strange drug that a Jamaican drug dealer has nicknamed “Soy Sauce”. The drug opens up the mind from being restricted by time and even universe and by a mishap David also comes in contact with the drug and together they had to fight off a world filled with monsters while still keeping their sanity.
John Dies at the End sure is a strange and unique film. It is based on a novel by David Wong (yes, same name as the leading character in this film) and it is directed by the guy mostly known for the Phantasm series and also Bubba Ho-Tep. Considering the weird stuff that goes on in this film, it seems like a good mix to have an experienced director do this movie.
It’s hard to categorize this movie, it has horror elements, sci-fi elements and yet it is a damn funny film. It sets its own lane and due to the talent behind it, it just comes together and work. It is even so unique that it is quite hard to even review it to be honest. It’s not a film that can be compared to anything else and it is not a film that has a very specific target audience. What goes on in the film is very over the top, but yet it feels very grounded somehow.
The characters are interesting, the main character David Wong is played almost emotionless in some scenes. Just a guy that goes with the flow while his best friend John is very energetic and a lot of fun. They are both played very well by Chase Williamson (Dave) and Rob Mayes (John). They have great chemistry and together they make one kick-ass and unlikely monster slaying team.
The story goes very fast and you have to just accept the weird stuff that happens in order to get ready for the next scene with some even more weird stuff happening and then again even more new weird stuff happening. If you are able to accept it for what it is right away then you should have a lot of fun with the film. It is strange that director Don Coscarelli hasn’t been allowed to do movies more often. This is his first film since Bubba Ho-Tep and that was ten years ago by the time this started filming. He is definitely a very underrated director and hopefully he will have a new feature out before another ten years have gone by.
John Dies at the End is a fun ride, filled with hilarious twists and turns that makes this oddity a must see for those who enjoy well made and unique genre films. It is not a film like anything else out there and it is highly enjoyable, so make sure you see it.