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?
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A. Michael Baldwin,
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
In the book, the location of the town its set it in is never given. Instead, it's usually called "Undisclosed". In the movie, however, the label of the parcel John sends to himself is sent to Sherwood, Illinois. There is no Sherwood, Illinois. See more »
When Dave pours gasoline on the bloodstained couch in Robert Marley's trailer, in the next shot there is no blood on the couch. See more »
Solving the following riddle will reveal the awful secret behind the universe, assuming you do not go utterly mad in the attempt.
Say you have an ax - just a cheap one from Home Depot.
[slow zoom in on man chopping]
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...
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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 »
Having read the novel, I had some prior expectations about the movie. I tried to judge the movie solely on itself, but it's hard to shake what I knew.
Have you ever seen something out of the corner of your eye late at night, but when you turn to look, nothing's there? What if something really was there, and you gained the ability to see those beings? That's what John Dies at the End is about - being able to see those creepy things in the night!
John Dies at the End is told mostly as a story as the main character, Dave, recounts his adventures to a journalist. Those scenes were fantastic. While the setting of the odd Chinese restaurant was a part of this, the character of Arnie was more responsible. Paul Giamatti plays Arnie Blondestone, and he's absolutely perfect for the role. He seems so unimposing and a bit bland while at the same time just a tad odd, which is perfect for the character.
On the subject of casting and acting, all the characters were cast well. Chase Williamson is great as Dave, Rob Mayes plays a good, aloof John (although he looks tougher than I expected), and Clancy Brown is great as Dr. Albert Marconi.
Many things have changed from the book, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The story has been greatly condensed with some subplots ignored, some characters removed (or merged), and, unfortunately, some important details missing. While the initial setup and development is great in the first half of the movie even with the condensation, the latter half of the film suffers. There doesn't seem to be enough justification for the characters' actions. Things happen very suddenly at the end, and while some of the changes from the book are fun, it still feels incomplete.
Despite a rushed plot, John Dies at the End was still a terrific movie for people who like slightly cheesy sci-fi or horror films. While I complained about the rushed plot, it's probably not as noticeable to someone who hadn't read the book. John Dies at the End is probably best enjoyed late at night when you're liable to see things in the shadows!
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