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Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, February 08, 2013

"John Dies At the End" (2012)

"John Dies At the End" (2012)

One reviewer said that this is a movie so twisted and knotted and surreal that she isn't sure whether the title is true or not. If you dig Cronenburg or Harlan Ellison, chances are very good that this won't bother you a bit.

"John Dies At the End", the latest film from "Phantasm" and "Bubbah Ho Tep" director Don Coscarelli, is a warped tale of a man named Dave (Chase Williamson) who is introduced to a very odd drug called "soy sauce" by a guy named John. To say more wouldn't be fair. It would also require watching the movie again, because I frankly had to absorb it as a series of independent mind-bending scenes as Williamson narrates his bizarre, apocalyptic tale to a reporter (Paul Giamatti, having great fun).

Look, if I suggest that this is exactly the kind of movie you'd expect a roomful of stoners to orgasm over, that would probably be accurate. I'm not sure what else is, however. If you like innovative low-budget monster films, sly and subversive humor, Trauma-style effects and actors clearly enjoying working with a rather legendary B-movie director delivering a creepy, smart, entertaining creature feature...see "John Dies At The End." You could do a LOT worse. I'd give it a B+, but then I'm sick.

And oh, trying to apply the Hero's Journey to this would require watching it a couple more times to sort it out. Also, it's too recent. That said, Dave is confronted with the challenge of sorting out what is going on, and what has happened to him. He rejects that challenge initially because it demands that he discard everything he thinks he knows about reality, as well as abandoning all hope. But forced to confront him because...ummm...let's just say it gets personal. And after that, you're on your own.


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