Sunday, April 7, 2013

3 Short Paragraphs: John Dies at the End

2012, Don Coscarelli (The Beastmaster, Bubba Ho-Tep) -- download

John Dies at the End is one of those science fiction movies hoping to be the next pop culture phenomena.  In fact, I assumed it was going to be so, considering all the positive yammering on about the novels, which happen to be on my To Read list.  From web-based story to published novels, the movie actually bears little ressemblance to the summaries I have read of the serial novel.  Oh, it attempts to capture the strange world and disjointed stories but really rides its own feel.

The story is being related through the recollections of not  asian David Wong to Arnie the reporter.  David, meanwhile, is under the influence of soy sauce but not the kind from the chinese restaurant he happens to be in relating his story.  This sauce is alien and gives, as pure side effects, psychic and extreme perceptive abilities.  It also gives you the ability to experience Things Not of This World.  And that is what David and John are mixed up in, dealing with strange otherworldly invaders and alternate realities.

SCHPOILER !! The surprising thing is that John does not die at the end.  He doesn't really die at all.  He kind of dies, but not really.  And the dog helps him out of that one.  He actually goes on to save the world, or at least save this world.  And maybe the next one.  Its that kind of movie.  Lots of wonky lack of assurances about anything.  It leaves a lot of gaps and ambiguities either leading to a sequel movie or a TV series but more likely, to solidify the idea that so much about reality is left unexplained.  There was a theme somewhere in the movie and that is as close as you can get to it. The other surprising thing is that I am not sure I liked it, more enjoying the independent bits and pieces but the story as a whole never comes together.  Wonky for the sake of being wonky is what I am left with.  While I love what Coscarelli has done in the past (seriously, I liked The Beastmaster) this one needed a firmer hand at the rudder.