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John Dies at the End (2012)

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


Don Coscarelli


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





Cast overview, first billed only:
Chase Williamson ... Dave
Rob Mayes ... John
Paul Giamatti ... Arnie Blondestone
Clancy Brown ... Dr. Albert Marconi
Glynn Turman ... Detective
Doug Jones ... Roger North
Daniel Roebuck ... Largeman
Fabianne Therese ... Amy
Jonny Weston ... Justin White
Jimmy Wong ... Fred Chu
Tai Bennett ... Robert Marley
Allison Weissman Allison Weissman ... Shelly
Ethan Erickson ... Sergeant McElroy
Kevin Michael Richardson ... Korrok (voice)
Riley Rose Critchlow ... 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:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

25 January 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dave's Story See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,467, 27 January 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$141,307, 7 April 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Don Coscarelli stumbled on David Wong's novel as a result of an email product recommendation: "True story: I received an email from a robot on Amazon.com, and it told me if I liked the zombie book I just read, that I would like John Dies at the End. I read the little logline, and it was just amazingly strange. I thought, 'Well this might even make a good movie.' Plus, it had arguably the greatest title in motion picture history." See more »


The guy shot by Dr. Marconi (the one that attacks them with an ax) is breathing (at around 1h 27 mins). 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...
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Crazy Credits

"This motion picture photoplay is protected pursuant To the provisions of the laws of The united states of america and other countries. Any unauthorized duplication and/or distribution Of this photoplay may result in civil liability, Criminal prosecution and the wrath of korrok." See more »

Alternate Versions

The original ending was a TV interview with Marconi. It was deemed anticlimactic by the filmmakers according to their DVD commentary. This, and other deleted scenes, are included on the DVD release. See more »


References Eyes Wide Shut (1999) See more »


China Dust
Written and performed by Paul Ratajczak
(Spozzy Song Music - BMI)
See more »

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User Reviews

All of the "style" with none of the "substance"...
21 October 2012 | by andrew-w-christmanSee all my reviews

Just caught an early screening of JDaTE at the Philly Film Festival... and I can't say I wasn't disappointed.

The book is one of my favorites, so needless to say I loved the source material and was especially amped for the film having just finished the John and Dave sequel, This Book is Full of Spider. I also really enjoyed Coscarelli's Bubba Ho-Tep and thought he would be a great director for this franchise.

So where did it all go wrong? And what did it do well enough to still garner a 6 or 6.5 rating?

For starters, the acting was very good; especially for relying on two unknowns to carry the picture. Both Williamson and Mayes really nailed their roles down to the smallest idiosyncrasies of character. Paul Giamatti was his usual, solid self and everyone else either died quick enough or had their character lobotomized so much, that their performances didn't really matter.

The film also did a great job of harnessing the bodily humor and slacker hi-jinx that made JDaTE such a hilarious novel.

Which leads me to where they failed... one of the biggest shortcomings has to do with a deficiency of the novel, which is pacing. JDaTE is really a few stories woven together by a thin overarching plot. Coscarelli stayed almost 100% faithful to the source material, but just lifted different scenes from each segment of the story and patchwork it into one nearly nonsensical film (this is a very apparent problem, since once the movie deviates from the order of the book, things start to really go down the tube.)

Being a fan of the book, I have to wonder why Coscarelli didn't just stick to the first "story" that ends in Las Vegas. Instead we get elements of other parts, including a kind of cheesy and dumbed down version of Korrok.

Along the way basically all character development aside from Dave get shaved out of the story, the biggest being the awful portrayal of Amy... who was nothing more than eye candy in the film (a fresh feature of the novel was her joyfully written character, who was 1000x more attractive despite being described as looking plain.)

But plot and character wasn't the only things that Coscarelli short changed. For a horror comedy, there was little to no horror! One of the spectacular qualities of the novel was the ability to scare you one moment and have you laughing out loud the next. The adaptation was really a one trick pony, a comedy with monsters.

So I'm going to be one of those guys and recommend that you skip the movie and check out the book. If you've already read Wong's work (Jason Pargin) check it out and enjoy it for the fun cheese factor, but don't expect anywhere near the depth that the novel provides.

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