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John Dies at the End (2012)

R  |   |  Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  25 January 2013 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 27,743 users   Metascore: 53/100
Reviews: 108 user | 297 critic | 27 from Metacritic.com

A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion?



(written for the screen by), (based on the story by)
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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Marley
Allison Weissman ...
Sergeant McElroy
Korrok (voice)
Girl with Rastafarian


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. Written by David Wong

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Just so you know...they're sorry for anything that's about to happen.


Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for bloody violence and gore, nudity, language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

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Release Date:

25 January 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dave's Story  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,467 (USA) (25 January 2013)


$141,307 (USA) (5 April 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The mall where the Mall Of The Dead sequence was filmed is the same mall that producer Roman Perez saw the earlier Don Coscarelli movie Phantasm (1979) at, back when the mall was in business and had a movie theater. See more »


Right after Dave takes the soy sauce in Robert Marley's trailer (or rather, after the soy sauce burrows into his face), during his monologue that starts with "you are standing on the thin, cool crust of a gigantic ball of molten rock...", if you look closely you can see the bullet hole from when Detective Appleton shoots him in the chest. Dave getting shot happens a few minutes after this scene. See more »


[first lines]
Dave: Solving the following riddle will reveal the awful secret behind the universe, assuming you do not go utterly mad in the attempt.
Dave: Say you have an ax - just a cheap one from Home Depot.
[slow zoom in on man chopping]
Dave: On one bitter winter day, you use said ax to behead a man. Don't worry, the man's already dead. Maybe you should worry, 'cause you're the one who shot him. He'd been a big twitchy guy with veined skin stretched over swollen biceps, tattoo of a swastika on his tongue. And...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits there's a warning that 'any unauthorized duplication and/or distribution (...) may result in civil liability, criminal prosecution and the wrath of Korrok'. See more »


References Planet of the Apes (1968) See more »


He Never Left
Performed by The Inevitable Backlash
Music and lyrics by Andrew Coscarelli
(Gramsci and Rousseau Music - BMI)
Copyright © 2007 Fan Crush Networks, LLC
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User Reviews

More fun than a box of elephants.
28 October 2012 | by See all my reviews

I haven't read the book, but I've seen the film. It premiered in the UK a couple of weeks ago as part of the London Film Festival. As a fan of Coscarelli's previous works, I wasn't going to miss a late night screening of this one. I saw about a dozen new films at the festival, but only one came close to being as wonderfully insane as John Dies at the End. I'm not going to throw spoilers, but if you can, try to see this in a cinema with a big sound system. There's as many audio gags as sight gags going on all the way through, and micro hommages to a few dozen cult classics. A very knowing work of art.

As with Bubba Ho-Tep, this film takes a mindbendingly outlandish premise, which through the course of events, and some wonderfully obtuse lateral thinking, persuades the audience that it's perfectly likely to be true. The boisterous audience at the showing I attended was fired up for the absurdism by Don Coscarelli's brief (unannounced) intro from the stage, but there's so many gags in this film that he could easily have taken a back seat and shamelessly guffawed along with the paying punters. If you like old school comedy horror, with a decidedly surreal tinge, go see this film. It's refreshing, but sadly all too rare, to run across a film that doesn't take itself at all seriously, but takes the process of film-making very seriously indeed. Script, cast, design, direction, and production values are integrated seamlessly into a sublime delirium that is much more than the sum of its parts. I can't recommend it highly enough in these gloomy times.

In case you're wondering, Don Coscarelli in person is one very amusing guy, and mercifully lacking in Hollywooden airs and graces.

57 of 79 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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