Magnet Releasing | Release Date: January 25, 2013
6.9
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 62 Ratings
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Positive:
38
Mixed:
18
Negative:
6
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6
DirigiblePulpDec 7, 2016
It's all over the place. It has a dry deadpan delivery for dialogue and an over the top cartoony physical comedy for the real world plot stuff. It's a strange mix, one that does and doesn't work depending on the scene.

The climax is bad,
It's all over the place. It has a dry deadpan delivery for dialogue and an over the top cartoony physical comedy for the real world plot stuff. It's a strange mix, one that does and doesn't work depending on the scene.

The climax is bad, bad, bad. But it's an interesting oddity, though not one on par with Coscarelli's more accomplished Bubba-Ho-Tep (never thought I'd be able to say that without a trace of irony)!
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5
TVJerryMar 12, 2013
Cross "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" with "Men in Black" and you have a rough idea of what to expect. Two slackers stumble upon a "sauce" that confers paranormal powers, but also invades the body with alien parasites. There's plenty ofCross "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" with "Men in Black" and you have a rough idea of what to expect. Two slackers stumble upon a "sauce" that confers paranormal powers, but also invades the body with alien parasites. There's plenty of left field humor (although not often funny) and some moderately cool special EFX. The story starts out with a fun feel, but ends up confusing and dumb. Writer/director Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-Tep, Phantasm) loves the off-kilter, but isn't sufficiently imaginative to make his movies anything other than good-natured cult ramblings. Expand
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6
TheQuietGamerOct 30, 2017
It gets points for originality, craziness, and pretty funny moments. It loses points for not making a lick of sense. This isn't some movie that's actually pretty deep once you look past all of the absurdity and immaturity. All of it'sIt gets points for originality, craziness, and pretty funny moments. It loses points for not making a lick of sense. This isn't some movie that's actually pretty deep once you look past all of the absurdity and immaturity. All of it's philosophical remarks feel like someone throwing a bunch of hipster crap together and hoping some of it sticks with some sense of cohesion. It doesn't really succeed. By the time this mess stops meandering about while rambling on about nothing and finds some semblance of a plot things get a bit better. Of course you've also lost all hope of understanding what's going on. It's also pretty much over. At least there's some crazy weird crap to keep you entertained.

It hooks you with it's nonsensicality and desire to throw as much crazy crap onscreen at you as possible. Gore, drug trips, hallucinations, maybe a little magic, and a stupid sense of humor all come together to create something strangely enticing despite all of the narrative flaws and cheap looking special effects. There aren't really any characters here outside of Dave. Everyone else is just kind of there to die violently or move the plot forward in incredibly weird ways. The non-stop feeling of "what the heck am I watching?" is what will keep you going. It's actually a pretty entertaining ride.

An unconventional experience to say the least. One that's enjoyable just because there isn't anything else like it out there. Yet, it can't entirely use it's quirkiness to escape the fact that pretty much everything feels slapped together in ways that just don't quite work that well. The movie is a mess. A creative mess, but a mess nonetheless. Perhaps with a better structure and actual fleshing out of the material, we could end up with something great for a sequel. Too much just goes under-explained. Darn, if it isn't fun though. It's definitely one you need an open mind for. Just be warned that if you try to dive into it's mysteries, you might just end up coming back up disappointed. This pool isn't as deep as it first looks, and there are some leaks.
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6
RtheomOct 13, 2017
If you take a ghost/demon horror movie and smash it together with an alien horror movie and sprinkle in some dry humor jokes, you get this. If you like either of those genres, you'll probably be okay. If you don't, you can skip this.

I never
If you take a ghost/demon horror movie and smash it together with an alien horror movie and sprinkle in some dry humor jokes, you get this. If you like either of those genres, you'll probably be okay. If you don't, you can skip this.

I never read the books, but I get the feeling that this film left a lot out to try to save time. Unfortunately, it just made the whole thing feel incoherent and rushed by the end. It's got some interesting concepts, but none of them are really new.
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6
choc_raisinsMar 20, 2014
You may or may not be familiar with the work of Jason Pargin already. If you've ever visited Cracked.com, then you may know him by his pseudonym, David Wong. Here, Pargin adapts his own book, written by his alter ego, of the same name,You may or may not be familiar with the work of Jason Pargin already. If you've ever visited Cracked.com, then you may know him by his pseudonym, David Wong. Here, Pargin adapts his own book, written by his alter ego, of the same name, starring his pseudonym self.

Confused? Well get used to it, because this is about as normal and mundane as it gets. Aided and abetted by director Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-Tep), Pargin (or Wong, please yourself) has created a world that defies categorisation. Labelled with various degrees of futility as another Naked Lunch, Hithc-Hikers Guide or Bill & Ted, John Dies At The End is a cult indie just waiting to be recognised. Starring Chase Williamson (David) and Rob Mayes (John), this complete and total **** of a story is difficult to pigeon-hole, tricky to second-guess and nigh on impossible to forsee (unless you have read the book, of course)

Labelled thusly by Imdb "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?" JDATE is all of these things and plenty more besides. This laughable synopsis barely scratches the surface of this bizarre tale of two friends that innocently do the wrong kind of drug one night at a party and all hell breaks loose. Whether this is in their own heads or not, or how much of it may be nothing more than overactive imagination, well, that's a decision you need to make for yourself. I wouldn't try, however, as just like mother nature, just when you've think you've got a handle on it, it throws something at you like a duck-billed platypus, just to **** up your initially well-thought out explanation of mammals.

And to be honest, I was more oblivious to the existence of this story and its magically tragic characters than the director himself, who only became aware of its existence by happy accident. It was made known to him as a recommendation from Amazon, after buying a completely different book. Taken by the natty title, Coscarelli decided to give Wong's adventure a whirl and what you see here is his (and Jason's/David's) adaptation.

I was even slower, only catching the second book 'This Book Is Full Of Spiders' in the saga as a recommendation on Audible. If nothing else, it proves that Both Coscarelli and I are nothing if not open-minded and appreciate the benefits technology can offer. Essentially, without our computers, I would have missed a great story and cinema would be one very odd film short of complete.

Regularly gory and occasionally amusing, seeing these characters on screen is like getting a hug from an old friend that you haven't seen for some time, but can't honestly say you've missed all that much. Yes, it's nice to see them and the casting is creepily accurate, but this is such a strange and bizarre world, that just like the aformentioned Naked Lunch, you're not sorry to be out of it when you're done.

It doesn't have anything like the same creeping dread and slithery tension provided by Cronenberg, however, concentrating its running time with comedy more than horror. The Shaun Of The Dead approach of being surprised by something so otherworldly and just how someone completely unprepared to deal with it copes with being put in this situation is where the story hangs its hat. The second book continues this approach with most of the characters of not make re-appearances, as well as that legendary soy sauce.

Ultimately, this film is bonkers. In that respect, it is frightfully honourable to the original text, with only a few things changed to make a very strange book slip comfortably from page to screen. The casting, as mentioned, is brilliant. Sometimes, you might get lucky and find that the casting director has matched up maybe one character that you have forseen yourself whilst reading the initially faceless pages. Here, we are treated to at least three characters that you can name without so much as hearing them speak.

A good translation from one medium to another, but it really does benefit from having a copy of the book recently soaked up, as otherwise you may find yourself bombarded by things that just do not make sense. When you begin to understand that this is just another part of the beauty of the story itself, you can relax, knowing that, perhaps, you shouldn't try and take it too seriously. A survival horror game, reduced to feature-length proportions for a greedy audience. It's not a classic and the script is, much like its source, simple, alarmist and base. Still, bloody good fun, nonetheless.
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5
DCEdmondsNov 13, 2014
"John Dies at the End" 10 Scale Rating: 5.0 (Mediocre) ...

The Good: Starts out darkly amusing and entertaining, with snappy and witty dialogue that will elicit a chuckle or two. Solid ending that redeems the film somewhat. The Bad:
"John Dies at the End" 10 Scale Rating: 5.0 (Mediocre) ...

The Good: Starts out darkly amusing and entertaining, with snappy and witty dialogue that will elicit a chuckle or two. Solid ending that redeems the film somewhat.

The Bad: Goes way WAY off the tracks and ends up all over the place. It will no doubt end up a cult classic, but the absurdity becomes a little too much for my tastes.
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