John Dies at the End: Film Review

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My first thought as the credits began for Don Coscarelli’s John Dies at the End was that this would be a stoner film. I just had a hunch.

So much for hunches, because this is waaaaaay beyond anything Seth Rogen and his stoned buddies could conjure in even the backseat of Snoop Dogg’s limo. John Dies has no formal plot, so to even attempt to describe a storyline would be futile. What it does have is a unique blend of established horror and comedy tropes that combine to make a movie that is admittedly very entertaining.

Dave (Chase Williamson) and John (Rob Mayes) are a sort-of millennium version of the Ghostbusters. They spend their day doing things like tracking down the post-life versions of boyfriends harassing their still-living girlfriends. It’s very odd. It’s especially odd because the ghostbusting duo does all of this while tripped out on a drug known as “Soy Sauce”, a substance that makes the after-effects of crystal meth look positively benign.

Their story is told primarily in flashbacks to a reporter named Arnie (played to hilarious effect by Paul Giamatti). This one will be popular with the stoner crowd, but it also deserves the attention of everyone else. Very unique and very, very entertaining.