On the street, they call it “soy sauce.” It’s a paranormal, psychoactive drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. Its users drift across time and dimensions, but some who come back are devoid of all humanity. While most of Earth’s inhabitants remain blissfully oblivious to its threat—make no mistake—an otherworldly invasion is under way, and mankind needs to be saved. Enter John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. How can these guys possibly be expected to rescue mankind from certain destruction?
Originally erupting from the devilishly ingenious mind of David Wong, alter ego of Cracked.com’s senior editor Jason Pargin, John Dies at the End began as a Web serial that became an Internet phenomenon. In the highly capable hands of legendary cult horror director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep), Pargin’s wildly trippy vision is forged into big-screen eye candy. The end result will take you to places in your subconscious that you shouldn’t be allowed to visit. –Sundance Film Festival
In much the same way that director George A. Romero creative output has been primarily centered around the highly successful “Dead” series of zombie films, then fellow fantasy director Don Coscarelli has for over two decades seen his universe swirling around the lesser successful, but equally cult, and much loved “Phantasm” series of horror movies.
Coscarelli was born in Tripoli in North Africa, but raised around Southern California, and was interested in the cinema from a young age and together with his friends they made several low budget movies that aired on community TV stations to very positive feedback.
After a low key start with his first feature film embracing the trials of a young teenager caught in a world of alcoholic abuse Jim, the World’s Greatest (1976), Coscarelli followed this up with a lighter comedic tale about another youngster and his view of the world as an impressionable 12 year old in Kenny & Company (1976). However, the imaginative Coscarelli… read more
The rare modern film that deserves the cult status it's striving for. A nice mix of old school druggy paranoia sci fi in the vein of Burroughs and Phillip K Dick that is charming if you are willing to go along with it. Clancy Brown's casting is spot on in light of his previous role on CARNIVALE.
If one accepts that the horror genre tends to run on direct metaphors, then John Dies at the End can be considered to have a boatload's worth of effective ones: addiction issues, living in a 21st century oversaturated with information, the effects of organized religion, etc. My favorite message in the film though, is probably the one that makes it a horror movie pet owners will love: Your dog is always right.