In October last year, the BFI held its famed festival showing the latest and upcoming great movies. Amongst the collection were now Oscar winning films such as Silver Linings Playbook, Argo and Amour as well as favourites like Beasts of the Southern Wild. But if you dug deeper, much like I did, there were quirky and instant cult classics just waiting for a fan base. This is where I found John Dies at the End, one of the weirdest movies yet. And it is brilliant.
Because the source material is just that good. Team it with the genius of Coscarelli who directed such brilliant cult classic such as Bubba Ho-Tep and Phantasm, and I had a change of underwear every five minutes because of the news. Now October 2012 was a long time ago and I bet you’re wondering why I sat on this review until now. I’ll tell you why - it finally came to British Cinemas last month.
John Dies at the End is a wonderful slice of fun cinema that happily plays games with the audiences. The mind-bending effects of “soy sauce” will certainly either scare you, have you giggle away or leave you scratching your head. The whole film is turned upside down, inside out and spun on its head; it’s breath taking to watch. The ghouls and monsters are not only freaky and terrifying but are definitely reminiscent of classic seventies and eighties horror movies.
Of course, those who are big fans of the book may find themselves disappointed because a vast number of storylines have been cut. Yet if the novel were translated to screen as in depth, it would fall short of the epic feast it is now. What Coscarelli did is pick the juiciest and greatest parts (bar one) of the story and wove it into a new tale, breathing new life into it. Coscarelli is a deft hand at instant cult movies, in the hands of the wrong director, this could be a farce. Yet Coscarelli dabbles with the oddities of cinema and gives us cinematic treats that horror fans can sink their teeth into. But also, he gives us a homage to the source material like no other. He adds just the right amount of frights, jokes and cheese and John Dies at the End is his finest work.
You won’t find this at mainstream cinemas so I urge you to hunt this little gem out and enjoy. It is a thrill ride that exceeds expectations and tickles your ribs. Brilliantly produced, directed and written John Dies at the End guides you down the twists and turns of soy sauce. And leaves you begging for another hit.
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