‘John Dies at the End’ Movie Review
It’s not easy to make a movie that is gory and weird and genuinely funny, but with John Dies at the End, the new movie based on the sci-fi horror novel of the same name, writer/director Don Coscarelli manages to do just that, with flair and style.
The film tells the wacky, non-linear story of Dave (newcomer Chase Williamson) who, along with his best friend John (Rob Mayes), has had his mind opened to the insanity of the universe via an alien drug called “soy sauce.” An all-powerful being from another dimension is trying to inflitrate our world, and only those who can see its creatures through the sauce can save the world.
Crazy, right? Bill and Ted-esque, right? College drop-outs get high and save the world. Been there, done that. But I can’t stress enough how funny this movie is, despite all the gore and gratuitous nudity and general weirdness. It’s actually, cleverly, properly funny with a witty script delivered by great actors.
As Dave and John, Williamson and Mayes are the perfect combination of slackers and saviors. Williamson carries the film as he tells the story of the invasion to a reporter (brilliantly played by Paul Giamatti, also a producer of the film) and for being his first major film role, he does a great job leading the cast. Mayes has the harder job, though, as John is off-the-charts on the sauce, and something in the way Mayes flares his eyes goes a long way to keep us wondering as to whether the whole story is just a drug-induced nightmare.
That is the main question of the film and one that I hope no one ever solves definitively. I’d rather just let this film live in a bubble of delicious oddness than to have someone try to explain it or figure it out. This is the sort of movie that becomes a cult classic. One person sees it and makes all of his friends see it and they tell all of their friends about it, etc.
But I wouldn’t recommend watching this film while under the influence of anything. You won’t need it, I promise. And as to whether the title is a spoiler…I wouldn’t dream of spoiling you.
John Dies at the End will be released to theaters on January 25th, 2013 and will be available on On Demand December 27th, 2012.