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John Dies At The End

by Louise Adams
Saturday May 4, 2013
John Dies At The End

Even hi-def can't clarify "John Dies at the End."

Adapter/director Don Coscarelli's film version of the 2007 book by Jason Pargin writing as David Wong is a sci-fi/horror/comedy/cluster-fuck.

In somewhere, Illinois, originating in "They Chinese Restaurant," interchangeable slackers Dave (full name also David Wong, played by Caucasian Chase Williamson) and John (Rob Mayes) stumble across the gloppy black drug Soy Sauce, which "uses you, but plays with you first." The injectable heightens the senses and produces time jumps, killer spiders, bratwurst cell phones, driving martyr dogs (Bark Lee), alternate "Eyes Wide Shut" bare-breasted universes, a monster assembled out of freezer-burned meats, and an ability to "remember things that haven't happened yet."

With the glut of horror-driven, teen-focused product on the market today, there are no new gore surprises here, just another manipulation of stock scenes: drug culture meditations, end of the world mania, Millennials who are alienated in more ways than one. There's too much going on to care about anything, or invest in anybody's fate. Plus (anti-spoiler?), John doesn't die.

Executive producer Paul Giamatti plays the African-American reporter Arnie trying to unravel character (and author) David Wong's story and its repercussions while also avoiding the white flies from another dimension and the omnipresent blood splatter. The only conclusion is that "the body is a slow, wet mechanism."

Blu-ray features include "Getting Sauced: The Making of," "Creature Corps: The Effects," a Fangoria interview with Giamatti, deleted scenes, casting sessions, trailers, and commentary with the directors, stars and producer.

An hour after this film ends, you'll be hungry again.

"John Dies at the End"

Louise Adams is a Chicago freelance writer at www.treefalls.com (and a nom de guerre).


  • , 2013-05-04 14:00:10

    That pretty much sums up the impression I had from previews and clips. Thanks for the warning.

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