Film Capsule: John Dies at the End

You know that friend whose tastes are highly suspect? Whose interests run afoul? Who laughs out loud at subtitles? Who loves Norwegian death metal?

This, this is the friend who Don Coscarelli made John Dies at The End for. What is John Dies at the End? Glad you asked. John Dies at the End is a good old-fashioned mindfuck; a psychotropic leap into the rabbit hole, complete with parallel planes of being and bad guys built out of lunch meat.

Is it good? Why, no, it sure isn’t. Not by any reliable standards, at least. The lead acting is abysmal, the comic timing’s even worse, and the dialogue’s trying way too hard to force something in between. In fact, the only bright spot here would have to be Paul Giamatti – a full-on Oscar nominee whose reasons for agreeing to appear in this film are actually more intriguing than the film itself.

John Dies was both adapted and directed by Coscarelli, whose previous claim to fame was Bubba Ho-Tep. This allows for a key distinction, in that Bubba Ho-Tep is a cult classic, while John Dies is really nothing more than a cult film.

Believe me when I tell you there’s a whole world of difference between the two.

(John Dies at the End arrives in limited release this Friday, January 25th. It is also currently available via Video OnDemand.)