Tuesday, January 22, 2013

JOHN DIES AT THE END (2012) movie review

John Dies at the End (2012) d. Coscarelli, Don (USA)

The writer/director of Phantasm, Beastmaster and Bubba Ho-Tep is finally back behind the camera with a deliciously dark and hilarious adaptation of David Wong’s novel about a couple of self-anointed demon hunters who uncover (and accidentally partake in) a dangerous street drug from another dimension. Having not read the source material, I’ll assume that Coscarelli has taken his freewheeling cues from there; the result being a well-suited artistic blend where the delightedly off-kilter viewer has no chance of anticipating where the next paranormal curve ball will come from.

With interdimensional leaps, cell phone chats from beyond the grave, oodles of splatter (CGI and practical), telepathic canines, carefully calibrated physical comedy and playful banter from its estimable cast of fresh faces (Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Fabianne Therese) and seasoned veterans (Clancy Brown, Paul Giamatti, Doug Jones, Glynn Turman), and a overall playfulness helping to smooth the admittedly and enjoyably herky-jerky narrative thread, there’s a lot here to like. I sure did.


  1. This is one I'm definitely looking forward to (and really hope I get to see with an audience). When I was still living on the East Coast, I made a special trip up to NYC to see Bubba Ho-Tep. That's not really an option this time time around, so I hope this gets something approximating a wide release.

    1. I missed BH-T in the cinema, but I've enjoyed it mightily on home video since. Plus, after meeting Don Coscarelli a couple years back at Flashback, I'm a hero for life. Guy is AWESOME.