With an outrageous concoction made up of part ‘Men in Black,’ part ‘Beetlejuice,’ the entirety of the Bill & Ted franchise, and filtered through an intense Dali lens, “John Dies at the End” is tongue-in-cheek Sci-Fi silliness that bumps up the baddies and body count quickly, while never taking itself too seriously.
And while most of its make-up is indeed wrapped in lightly toasted takes set to full bake, the sheer imaginative prowess set forth by Coscarelli’s – the man who brought us both ‘Phantasm’ and ‘Bubba Ho-Tep’ – adaptation of author David Wong’s brain altering book by the same title is both inescapable and highly addictive. Hallucinations have always been fickle beasts when it comes to filmmakers setting out to harness its effects, ending in either a cartoony conveyance that can never be taken seriously, or done in such a way as to totally perplex its audience. And because John relies so heavily on these skewed view sequences the film could have easily slipped into ham-fisted humor. But Coscarelli strikes a nice balance between the two, infusing the fright with just enough funny to get the intention across, without going full farce. Williamson and Mayes offer a great duo in John and David, and Paul Giamatti is, as always, unflappable as Arnie Blondestone, a role that was seemingly tailor made for Giamatti and his intense yet fidgety style. And though John’s message may ultimately fail to translate to those of the conventional comedy collective, dark, disturbing and demon-filled comedy junkies should start assembling those shrines now. The extras menu is fully immersive and just as interesting, with a great full feature commentary shared between Coscarelli, producer Brad Baruh and central dudes Williamson and Mayes, though Giamatti is woefully, yet understandably, absent. Giamatti does however lend his opinion and insights to Fangoria magazine in an included interview feature, with looks into his love of the horror genre in general, as well as his specific interest in doing this particular film. The features go on to showcase the making of and special effects for the film, provides a few looks into the film’s casting process and supplies a few deleted scenes. So with both shock and schlock themes and a whole mess of demons, most notably one made from a conjuring of deli meat, “John Dies at the End” is without a doubt the least impactful information of the film.
Studio Synopsis: In “John Dies at the End,” it’s all about the Soy Sauce, a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. 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 (Rob Mayes) and David (Chase Williamson), 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.
Studio: Magnet Films
Running Time: 99 minutes
Number of Disks: 1
- Deleted Scenes
- Getting Sauced: The Making of John Dies At The End
- Creature Corps: The Effects of Soy Sauce
- Casting Sessions
- Fangoria Interview with Paul Giamatti
- Commentary with Writer/Director Don Coscarelli, Producer Brad Baruh, Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes
Central Cast: Chase Williamson | Rob Mayes | Paul Giamatti | Clancy Brown | Glynn Turman
Director: Don Coscarelli
Central Writers: Don Coscarelli | David Wong
Theatrical Release: January 25, 2013
Blu-Ray/DVD Release: April 2, 2013
Genre: Comedy | Fantasy | Horror
Supporting Cast and more Writers found HERE