Or: Everyone should die at the beginning.
For those of you unfamiliar with Cracked, it’s a humor website that covers a wide variety of topics such as movies, music, history etc. Sometimes they feature some really cool articles (like the one about perverted toys or the one about movie villains that were right all along) but sometimes, more often than not, they just kind of miss the mark.
For those of you unfamiliar with Don Coscarelli, he’s the director of the Phantasm series, which I’ve always had a very “meh” feeling towards and I only want them on DVD because the special edition looks very cool. He is also the director of a very funny and wacky Bruce Campbell vehicle called Bubba Ho-tep.
Why’s Cracked important for this movie, you say? Well, because it’s based on a book written by David Wong (real name Jason Pargin) who is the senior editor of Cracked. Why is Don Coscarelli important for this movie, you say? Well, because he wrote it, directed it and produced it.
John Dies At The End is the exasperating and ultra-hyped movie that started its life as an online comic until the rights were commissioned by Coscarelli in 2007. Eventually and unfortunately, it got turned into a movie featuring Paul Giamatti, Rob Mayes and Chase Williamson (I’m unfamiliar, thankfully, with these two’s previous works). Oh, and it’s a horror comedy. That’s right, it’s part of that genre in which most film-makers simply have forgotten how to do an actual comedy and an actual horror movie, for the last many, many years or so. Coming off as a bizzaro fiction version of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, John Dies At The End is simply rage-inducing in its ineptitude and in its un-funniness.
John and David (the two main characters) are some sort of paranormal investigators or paranormal hitmen. In reality, they’re just a couple of glorified frat boys that protect the world from evil, from door knobs that turn into actual knobs and monsters made of steaks, fillets and other forms of meat, taking heavy drugs in the form of a weird soy sauce. Go figure.
Sure, the movie tries to be smart and quirky and witty but it all ends up being total trash because, yes, things do unfurl on the screen while you’re watching it but for the most part, nothing really HAPPENS. And the little that does end up happening is immensely boring and, just as if you were talking to your friend through a bratwurst, stupid.
I, for one, would recommend against seeing it as I’ve lost interest after about 15-20 minutes but, it seems that there are other people that enjoyed it – if you click here, you can read a positive review of this movie and then decide for yourself. Oh, and the “spoiler” in the title? Not that big of a deal.