It was interesting and difficult to put a category on this review for "John Dies At The End" as part of the fun of the film is its unbridled genre hopping acid trip like surrealism. It’s no surprise that this one comes from Don Coscarelli, the mind behind "Phantasm" and "Bubba Ho-Tep", who all but prides himself on exploring themes and visuals that live way outside the realm of normal. But "John Dies At The End" goes even beyond that, creating an askew world that’s deliciously off balance and wonderfully insane – unbridled Coscarelli is a sight to behold.
All surrounding a black living drug known as Soy Sauce, "John Dies At The End" just in terms of sheer story complexity is almost impossible to describe here. (Plus do you really want me to divulge the goodies within?!) I can give you an overview of the characters that inhabit this baby. John and David are two college dropouts with some serious destiny ahead of them, a little inquisitive journalism in the form of Paul Giamatti’s Arnie Blondestone, some ass kicking psychic prowess via Clancy Brown’s Dr. Albert Marconi and even a little reality check ala the sassy Glynn Turman as a hard-nosed detective. (Also a little Doug Jones always helps!)
Look, is you’re a fan of Don Coscarelli and his twisted visions your ship has come in. All of is previous work appears to have been a warm up for the insane nature of this outing. Plus there’s hints of former work like the otherworldly vibe of "Phantasm," the comedic tone of "Bubba Ho-Tep" and even fantasy elements of "The Beastmaster" that all invade and heighten the experience here. There’s something to be said for throwing away all logic and making a chaotic cinematic surprise, but through Coscarelli John never stray from a story the audience can and wants to follow – sense out of nonsensical.
John is not going to be a film for everyone as the themes and dreams within are reserved only for those with an open mind. Places you’ve never gone, sights you’ve never seen and even some meat monster action for the kiddies. "John Dies At The End" feels like Lynch, Solondz, and Cronenberg wrapped in a single deep fried egg roll - but the soy dipping sauce is pure Coscarelli.
"JOHN DIES AT THE END" OPENS IN SELECT THEATERS JAN. 25 FROM MAGNET RELEASING.
Title: "John Dies At The End"
Cast: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti
Director: Don Coscarelli
Running Time: 99 Minutes
Release Company: Magnet Releasing