Film Review: John Dies At The End

A!AJohn dies at the end

Synopsis: It’s a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. On the street they call it Soy Sauce, and users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human.

Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can’t. ”


This overlooked horror parody has a bit of a pedigree to it. “Phantasm” famed cult horror film director Don Coscarelli not only directed this film but he wrote the screen play.

John dies at the end started off as a webserial by David Wong (real name Jason Pargin) back in 2001 and grew and evolved since, to it is now current form of a novel, sequel and film.

A2When I saw the film, I had previously read the book, already I was at an advantage. I loved the book. I thought it was witty, camp and a load of fun.  The themes seemed to be a mixture of Gen-X  and Lovecraftian references thrown in. Not to mention that Molly, the dog, often steals the show.

Soy sauce is for John and David as Spice was to the world of Dune and the root of most of their problems. Soy sauce is what enlightens them and what ultimately curses them; mainly because it is pure evil.

This is a surreal adventure with time spent in other universe and dimensions. It is a thinking film, like so many of Terry Gilliam’s films. It takes time to process all the information and scenarios. You may have to watch it more than once to fully appreciate it.

Verdict: The book is still better than the film and I suggest you read the book first to really get what is lacking from the film. If  you choose to just jump right into the film- Keep an open mind. There is a lot of Cthulu  mythos and 80’s American horror film reference that the average viewer probably won’t get.  It is still a very humourous film with plenty of gags and insane situations, so for that I give it 3 of 5 stars.


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