John Dies at the End (2012)
I’m a huge comic book fan. I’ll read anything but I’m mostly a fan of indie comics. Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of marvel and DC but I also like the smaller companies like Image and Dark Horse. Every now and again though a truly independent comic comes along that tend to take everyone by surprise. John Dies at the End was one of those comics when it came out in 2001. It had just a fun, funny and freaky feel to it that made it sound out from the crowd. So it’s great to see that same energy and commitment put into the film adaption.
The film follows best friends, David Wong (Chase Williamson) and John Cheese (Rob Mayes) as they try and put a stop to supernatural evil. David wants their story told so he contacts reporter, Arnie Blonestone (Paul Giamatti). He recounts how he and Dave got started and how they gained psychic powers along the way.
Don Coscarelli, is a legend in the world of horror. His 1979 classic Phantasm is an incredible creepy and an intense horror film. Had he not done anything other than the Phantasm film Coscarelli would have remained a staple of the genre but he came back and brought us the much beloved and hilariously funny Bubba Ho-Tep in 2002. So it’s not to shocking that he got the elements for John Dies at the End right. He brings together a great cast that do their part and a wacky yet funny screenplay that keeps your attention.
Right out of the bat you know that you’re getting yourself into something unique. The first scene sets of the tone of the film and that’s brilliantly funny. John narrates a version of Theseus’s ship but instead of a ship he substitutes an axe which he used to kill and dismember an undead neo-nazi member. the screenplay is a lot smarter than I had anticipated. Going into this I knew it was going to be funny but not necessarily witty which it was.
Williamson pulls out a great performance as the somewhat in control lead hero while Mayes plays the goofy often high partner. Williamson and Mayes both do a great job playing the central characters but the spotlight goes to Bark Lee their dog sidekick. Everything Bark Lee does is amazing he even drives at one point in the movie. Giamatti’s not in the movie a lot which is kind of disappointing since I like his work but he probably would have been more of a distraction as this is more of a new comers movie.
Coscarelli has made another wonderful film and hopefully this will only be the beginning of a series. John Dies at the End is a somewhat of a throwback to those 80’s cheesy horror movies that where so bad they are good but instead of being bad, John is only good. Overall I recommend this to anyone who enjoys some black humor with witty dialogue, 3 ½ out of 5.
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