Archive for August 2013

John Dies At The End (2012 D: Don Coscarelli, W: Don Coscarelli, David Wong)


This movie has the insistent, additive story-telling of a 5 year old on a sugar rush. And then… And then… And then… It piles half-baked ideas on top of other half-baked ideas in an attempt to get you to submit to its lunacy. And it works, sometimes. Chase Williamson plays the lead, Dave, and unfortunately is the weakest role in the piece, although it’s tough to tell if this is Williamson’s fault. He’s a paranormal investigator of a sort, who with his pal John are sucked into a world-threatening invasion from a parallel dimension. Director Don Coscarelli, who previously did the great cult favorite Phantasm, and oddball film Bubba Ho-Tep, is great at conceiving unusual imagery and plentiful gore effects (almost all practical effects rather than CGI). But the film’s world feels small, contained, tethered to singular locations while the characters talk about world-breaking horrors. A giant CGI Cthulu-esque “thinking machine” is a highlight, if in spirit rather than execution. Paul Giamatti plays the journalist listening to Dave’s story, and executive produced the film. For particular kinds of audience, this movie will be like catnip: horror movie fans, and dudes who are really, really high.