John Dies At the End Movie Review

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Hello all. Well this is my second review actually, The first one I wrote after watching the movie, and sadly realizing they left most of the book on the cutting room floor. This movie would have been highly enjoyable had I not read the book first. Still enjoyable nonetheless. The main character is David Wong, a slacker, along with his twisted friend John who both share a slightly odd view of the world. That odd view is only magnified exponentially when introduced to the drug Soy Sauce, a living drug, alien and from another dimension.

I love how they filmed this movie, at one point in time my wife looked over and said it looks like a film student project. Which for this story, was exactly the tone they should have been trying for. The special effects seemed campy, almost with an Evil Dead feel. But then again, this is from the director who also did Phantasm. I still get creeped out by the Tall Man, decades later. I’m not knocking the special effects, they fit the scheme of the movie. For the first 45 minutes this movie stayed pretty true to the book. The second half though, is where most of the book started disappearing. I really only have 2 main complaints. Why would you change the dog’s name when it has absolutely no bearing on the story? Molly is quite possibly, the best dog ever in a book. She can drive, talk, and is remarkably good at not dieing. And also being a fan of the superior follow up book ‘This Book Is Full Of Spiders’, I was wondering why there was no attempt to give any development to Amy, no back story, no brother. It seems her only role in this movie is to open the hidden door with her ghost hand. So she is basically a glorified set piece.

They attempted to fit this movie into an hour and a half. So it is not really surprising a lot was left out. The director kept a good pace with such a chaotic story. It does feel a little rushed in the end. Surprisingly they were able to get Paul Giamatti in this film, he adds a hint of respectability with his role as a reporter doing a story on the main protagonist. Throwing out heaps of skepticism to the outlandish tale he is hearing from David. Clearly this film was made with a tight budget. But where else will you see a movie with a meat monster, other dimensions, dick jokes, and the stuff that lives on edge of our peripheral vision making us think, did I really just see that? I can already tell this movie will get a cult following and be around for a long time. But then again, a book this good deserves no less. Actually, I take that back, a book this good deserved a longer movie.

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