Thursday, February 4, 2021

#2,530. John Dies at the End (2012)

Don Coscarelli, writer / director of such genre favorites as The Beastmaster, Bubba Ho-Tep, and the Phantasm series, reached deep into his bag of tricks for 2012’s John Dies at the End, and what he pulled out of it is nothing short of amazing! Billed as a fantasy / sci-fi / horror / comedy, John Dies at the End is unlike anything you’ve seen before, a movie overflowing with creativity that will have you laughing out loud at the same time you’re scratching your head, trying to make sense of it all.

Based on a novel by David Wong, John Dies at the End follows the exploits of… well, David Wong (played by Chase Williamson)! Relating his story to reporter Arnie Blondestone (Paul Giamatti), David recalls how, with the help of a new street drug called “Soy Sauce” (which allows it’s users to see- among other things - future events and creatures invisible to the naked eye), he and his best friend John (Rob Mayes) battled everything from shapeshifters to slimy bugs, all in an effort to figure out who (or what) had traveled from another dimension to try and take over the world.

That’s about as good a synopsis as I can give you, but there’s a lot more going on in John Dies at the End than a simple, humdrum fight to save humanity. In the opening sequence alone, David (looking back from some point in the future) relates the story of his trusty hand axe, which he broke twice: once while cutting the head off a dead skinhead, and then again when he had to chop up an enormous, otherworldly bug. And if you think that’s strange, just wait until you see what the rest of the movie has in store for you. There are flying mustaches, bratwursts that double as cell phones, ghostly doors into other dimensions, and a Jamaican fortune teller / drug dealer named Robert Marley (Tail Bennett), who inadvertently provides David with his first hit of “Soy Sauce”. And believe me - even this is just scratching the surface!

Loaded to its breaking point with one strange (and often hilarious) scene after another, John Dies at the End is guaranteed to surprise the hell out of you every two or three minutes.
Rating: 9 out of 10 (What are you waiting for? See it now!)

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