This is the second of the films that I was most anticipating at the start of the year. Following the vague disappointment of The Last Stand, the anticipation-ometer needed a shunt in the right direction – happily Don Coscarelli’s John Dies At The End was far better than I was expecting, from the very opening scene, reproduced below, I knew I was going to enjoy it. In fact, you should watch it right now and if you like it, don’t bother reading the rest of this review – you’ll love the rest of the film .
It is a film that quite nicely defies any sensible attempt at rational description – the plot is a dense mix of weird horror/fantasy demon battling combined with the spread of an alternate-dimension revealing narcotic named ‘soy sauce’. There is also stuff in there about TV psychics, crazy punk bands and the illusion that time is moving in a uniform direction.
If you like a film bursting with ideas – and are prepared to just dive in and see what happens, then JDATE will be right up your dark and foreboding alley. If you prefer a film that doesn’t make you feel like you are at a lecture on quantum physics while heavily stoned, then I’d give it a miss. Personally, as soon as I get the chance, I will be checking out the sequel novel, This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously Dude, Don’t Touch It.
As I said John Dies At the End thoroughly exceeded my expectations and also gets bonus marks for including a fine turn from Glynn Turman aka Mayor Clarence Royce from The Wire, getting all homicidal in a violently righteous manner.
CURRENT ANTICIPATION-OMETER STATUS AFTER 2 of 10 FILMS: Balanced out