When a powerful new drug opens the gateway for an inter-dimensional invasion, the only two people on the planet capable of saving mankind are a pair of dubious amateur exorcists. Adapted from author David Wong's cult novel of the same name, Don Coscarelli's John Dies at the End opens to find a revolutionary drug called "Soy Sauce" allowing users to transcend time and space. But it can also have one very disturbing side effect; some people who take Soy Sauce experience a shocking physical transformation. When the world faces a threat that seems beyond human comprehension, only college dropouts John (Rob Mayes) and David (Chase Williamson) have the power to drive the mysterious invaders back. But there's no guarantee that they'll succeed. Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, and Doug Jones co-star in this outlandish horror comedy from the director of Bubba Ho-Tep.~Jason Buchanan
Getting sauced: The Making Of John Dies At The End
Creature corps: the effects of soy sauce
Fangoria interview with Paul Giamatti
Commentary with writer/director Don Coscarelli, producer Brad Baruh, Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes
Paul GiamattiArnie Blondestone
Clancy BrownDr. Albert Marconi
Doug JonesRoger North
Jonny WestonJustin White
Jimmy WongFred Chu
Tai BennettRobert Marley
Ethan EricksonSergeant McElroy
Pranidhi VarshneyDeepti Chakrabarti
Kevin Michael RichardsonKorrok
Riley Rose CritchlowGirl with Rastafarian
Pat McNeelyOld Woman
Angus ScrimmFather Shellnut
Brett WagnerReanimated Dead Guy
Helena MehalisDr. Marconi Assistant
Maria MehalisDr. Marconi Assistant
Jerry DrozMustache Cop
Cesare GagliardoniMeat Monster
Daniel SchweigerSuspicious Diner
Ethan WolvekMan in Suit
Mike ManganHardware Store Clerk
Megan KosckiChild in Ruins
Jennifer MacKenzieThey China Food! Waitress
David HillOfficer Johnson
Steve CrestOfficer Steve
Linda WolvekWoman with Officer
Kevin StaraiHot Dog Vendor
Bob IvyLargeman Follower
Chuck WilliamsLargeman Follower
Tim GoodwinLargeman Follower
Nathaniel E. JohnsonThe Bearded Scientist
Kathleen HartmanSpider Victim
D.T. CarneySpider Victim
Andrew CoscarelliThree Arm Sally Band Member
Tennessee HamiltonThree Arm Sally Band Member
Aidan KasselThree Arm Sally Band Member
Brian TylerComposer (Music Score)
Todd JefferyProduction Designer
Patrick MullerArt Director
Dac CoscarelliExecutive Producer
Daniel CareyExecutive Producer
Paul GiamattiExecutive Producer
Shelley KayCostume Designer
Stuart ProvineSound/Sound Designer
Adam RatajczakRe-Recording Mixer
Bob IvyStunts Coordinator
Mark EttelRe-Recording Mixer
Paul RatajczakSupervising Sound Editor
Robert KurtzmanCreature Effects
Robert KurtzmanMakeup Special Effects
Fantasy Comedy,Horror Comedy,Psychological Thriller
John Dies at the End is my all-time favorite book, so I was very excited to travel to LA to see the film adaptation and meet the cast and director on the day that the final cut was finally released. I missed the first 20 minutes but I could tell it was a movie I was going to watch many times in the future. I had avoided watching it up until that point, and seeing it on the big screen did not disappoint--I instantly became anxious for it to be released on Blu-ray so that I could watch it any time I wanted.
I have to admit that, as someone who has read the book four times, I can't begin to imagine what it's like to see the movie without having first read the source material. The book goes into a lot more depth, so the plot of the movie is probably more confusing for someone who doesn't have the extra detail that is included in the novel. In addition, half of the plot is cut out from the middle (as well as one of the book's best plot twists), so the movie's plot may feel somewhat incomplete to someone who doesn't have any background information.
Don Coscarelli did a great job of translating John Dies at the End from a novel to an independent film. It features a few familiar faces such as Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown, as well as some less familiar faces such as Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes, who very effectively play the respective parts of Dave and John, the film's two main protagonists. Most of the effects--both practical and digital--are top-notch and surprisingly realistic, but at times the quality isn't so good, particularly in the last half hour or so (thought it's easy to look past it because of the low budget that Coscarelli had to work with). In order to fit the source material into a typical feature length runtime, about half of the story had to be cut out, which likely does make the plot somewhat disjointed and difficult to follow for those who haven't read the book prior to seeing the movie. However, the general storyline and most of the important plot points are still included.
Overall, the movie and its Blu-ray release did not disappoint. I've watched the movie several times now and the Blu-ray made the experience even more enjoyable with some awesome bonus features, the best of which (by far) are the deleted scenes and the audition footage. I would (and already did) recommend this movie to any of my friends, given that they enjoy trippy science-fiction stories and don't mind some occasional graphic content--though I do highly recommend reading the book first.
While a great movie, JDATE doesn't have the magic and true horror/comedy blend that the book has. It has some great lines, some very good acting performances (particularly from the young leads and Paul Giamatti), and definitely has a unique blend of humor and horror not found elsewhere. It is still definitely worth checking out. However, if you're not familiar with the franchise, I can't recommend enough that you read David Wong's book version first, as it provide a much greater level of detail and humor than the movie ever could.
John Dies At The End is a quirky, funny and drug filled movie. The film revolves around a new drug, called Soy Sauce, which alters the way people interact with the world. The film does well at introducing you to the strange behaviors and possibilities allowed by this concept. First and foremost, this movie is not for those who dislike violence, nudity, and/or profanity. This movie takes advantage of all three in ways that while clever could be off-putting to some. The movie keeps a nice pace throughout, never boring the viewer, but does include a number of strange events that will put some viewers off by the strange and somewhat childish humor. For those who can look past what some would call vulgar humor, the movie is a well paced, funny film focused on friendship and the universe (odd pairing, I know--it'll all explain itself throughout the film). With that said, I was very disappointed at the ending, which dragged past the clear solution, and left me a bit confused. If the film had ended just a tad earlier, I would have been much more satisfied with the movie.
In regards to the film's technical aspects the video is very well done. It is clear and well saturated with fantastic detail in the blacks and the shadows throughout the film. For a movie which takes advantage of both the heavily dark and heavily bright scenes, this is important as both provide seemingly endless amounts of texture whether in creatures, settings, or the characters themselves. At times though I found the CGI to be a bit over the top and it didn't always mesh well with the world they had created. This can be overlooked due to the tongue-in-cheek nature of the film.
The audio was presented nicely in Dolby Digital 5.1 featuring a strong LFE (subwoofer) track, that extends nicely throughout the scenes creating a sense of realism to the many odd noises heard. It incorporates a wide dynamic range from simple dialogue, to loud explosions and soft whispers. Nonetheless, I never was blown out of my chair, and was able to keep the volume at the same level without any discomfort.
Parents, in no way is this movie appropriate for children. Featuring topless women, male genetalia, a lot of violence, extensive profanity and the occasional racial slur, as well as drug use, this film puts it outside the realm of what I would comfortably recommend for any child under 15-17 years old.
As a whole though, the film was a fun romp that never takes itself too seriously. While the premise of the film is far fetched, the secondary characters are often a bit dull, the film as a whole is fun, fast-paced, and enjoyable. I would recommend this to anyone in need of a good laugh who can look past the sometimes juvenile humor.