Friday, January 18, 2013

Who Is John and Why Do We Care?

So, last year I read this AMAZINGLY absurd book that involved extra-dimensional hallucinogens, demons, a couple of deadpan snarkers and a whole lot of naked people.

It is called John Dies at the End.

It has been made into a movie.





And it is absurd and involves extra-dimensional hallucinogens, demons, a couple of deadpan snarkers and a whole lot of naked people.

And it is meh.

This is one of those fanboy things where the book is INFINITELY better than the movie.  This is not to say that the movie is bad, but this is not a movie for everyone.

Now, basically the whole thing is set up as an interview.  Our protagonist, David Wong (which is also the name of the author of the book and considering both of them are really non-Asian, this causes some confusion), is telling the story of the soy sauce (the aforementioned extra-dimensional hallucinogen) to a reporter (played by Paul Giamatti who is awesome as always).  The problem is the movie is so convoluted and hyper-active and super-ball-like that I'm not sure I can tell you anything else about it.

 
That face?  Mine through at LEAST half of the movie.


No, seriously.  One of the core tenets of this movie is that time is an illusion and this soy sauce stuff, which is yet another instance of ferrofluid-like special effects, is the key.  It makes for a twisty ride.  One that involves the ability to use a bratwurst as a cell phone to the dead and finds a use for phantom limb syndrome.
 
Don't get me wrong.  It's fun.  It really is.  It's like Big Trouble in Little China had a baby and considering that it's directed by Don Coscarelli, the man knows his twisty and fun.
 
Yeah, I don't quite get it, either.

The problem is that while the pieces and parts taken separately are amazing (much like Rubber), the pieces-parts put together on film do not make for a cohesive whole.  It's disjointed and awkward and missing something that the book had which is not quite nameable.  A... spirit... of sorts.

This is one of those that I'm gonna say that I kind of liked it but I suggest watching it yourself to make up your own mind.  Definitely a Your Mileage May Vary movie.  I may give it another shot myself to make sure.