John Dies at the End is an independent horror comedy that has quite a few things going for it, first and foremost that it’s directed by splatter film icon Don Coscarelli, of Phantasm and (one of my favorite movies of all time) Bubba Ho-Tep fame. Though he sometimes has questionable taste, Paul Giamatti excels in these kinds of movies, as do Clancy Brown (Highlander, “LOST,” the animated Lex Luthor) and Guillermo del Toro alum Doug Jones (Hellboy I & II, Pan’s Labyrinth) who seems to have the rare opportunity to act without hours of make-up effects. And though I haven’t read it (yet), the book of the same name was written by Cracked.com columnist David Wong, so it’s got that going for it, which is nice.
It’s also got a pretty wicked trailer, and no, I don’t totally understand it, or the header image, but I like them both regardless. The film’s synopsis doesn’t really help unravel the bizarre narrative and meta-textual (the main character is also named David Wong) twists and turns, either:
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.
Here’s the trailer:
I can reconcile the Stephenson-meets-Lovecraft synopsis with the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by way of Gilliam trailer, but I’m still not sure what that was, other than radass. It felt like a Cracked article come to life, and I mean that in the only way possible: the best way.