Cast: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown
Release Date: Available on Blu-Ray & DVD April 2.
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 10/10
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?
You can read the full review after the jump.
Firstly, I must confess that being a huge fan of the novel and its sequel; I am unfortunately a bit judgmental of the movie for excluding certain elements which I believe to be extremely crucial to the overall affect of the novel. While I cannot help but feel some resentment toward the film for excluding a few things, I will try not to let it affect my overall judgment of the film and will try to review it solely based on the film itself, and not in comparison with the novel in which it was based on. I will however highly recommend that any fans of the film check out the novel written by David Wong, as well as its sequel ‘This Book Is Full of Spiders, Seriously Dude Don’t Touch It.’ You will not regret doing so.
‘John Dies At The End’ was written for the screen and directed by Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Bubba Ho-Tep) and I don’t see the possibility of anyone adapting this novel to film doing anywhere near the tremendous job that Don Coscarelli did. The tone is spot on, the actors could not have possibly been cast better, and some truly memorable moments from the novel are represented in full form and context, literally remaining word for word with the novel. Paul Giamatti is tremendous as always, this time portraying the role of Arnie Blondestone, a reporter in which Dave is telling his tale throughout the film. Chase Williamson gives a phenomenal performance as Dave in his film debut, and Rob Mayes pulls off the role of John flawlessly. Clancy Brown also appears in one of his best roles in recent memory as the famous Albert Marconi.
The pace never slows, and keeps your attention pinned from the opening frame of the film, down to the very last sequence featured during the end credits. If you like over the top, hilarious and gory films, this is definitely one I would highly recommend checking out as soon as possible.
The film is presented in a full 1080p High Definition transfer on the Blu-Ray disc, representing the film’s original aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it looks truly beautiful. Magnolia Home Entertainment is another studio that usually does a phenomenal job with the quality of their Blu-Ray presentations quality wise. I could not find a single element of the video presentation that was lacking anything. Fans won’t be disappointed.
The audio soundtrack on the Blu-Ray disc is a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack which sounds as beautiful as the picture looks. There is constant activity in the rear channels with everything going on in this wacky film, and while the effects are all over the place, the dialogue presented in the center channel is always discreet and audible, never affected by the constant noises zooming throughout the other four channels.
The Special Features on this Blu-Ray disc are definitely not lacking. We are presented with a feature length audio commentary track featuring writer/director Don Coscarelli, Producer Brad Baruh, and actors Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes and it gives a tremendous amount of insight into what went into bringing this story to life, and just how much fun was involved in the process. Additional special features on the release are approximately 10 minutes of deleted scenes, which for any fans of the novel give us a few more classic moments and lines from the book that were not featured in the film. ‘Creature Corps: The Effects of Soy Sauce’ gives us a behind the scenes look at how the effects were created for the film, namely giving a large amount of detail into the process of creating the meat monster featured towards the beginning of the film. A Making Of Featurette, Casting Sessions, A Fangoria Interview with Paul Giamatti and a trailer for the novel’s sequel round out the Special Features presented on the Blu-Ray release.
While fans of the novel such as me may have some issues with certain crucial missing elements from the novel, I personally don’t think a film adaptation of this book could have been done any better. I would highly recommend checking this film (as well as the novel and its sequel) out, and for any fans of the film out there, I would definitely recommend picking up the Blu-Ray, you won’t be disappointed.
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 10/10
‘John Dies At The End’ Will Be Available On Blu-Ray And DVD April 2 From Magnolia Home Entertainment & Magnet Releasing.