Blu-ray Review “John Dies at the End”

johndiesActors: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman
Directors: Don Coscarelli
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Run Time: 99 minutes

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

It has been over ten years since Don Coscarelli graced us with “Bubba Ho-Tep”, which starred Bruce Campbell. I worked on that film as a member of the street team handing out promotional material to assist in getting the word out. Over the years the film has become a very popular and loved cult classic. Don Coscarelli is also the genius behind the amazing “Phantasm” series. “John Dies at the End” is a fantastic comeback for him. It is unique, original and a shit load of fun. When I finished watching this film, I was left saying “WTF, just happened”. But I believe that was the goal of the film and what a pay off it had. I see this film becoming yet another cult classic for Coscarelli and I really hope that he doesn’t wait 10 years again to direct again. Horrorhounds, Do not miss this film!

The film itself is based off David Wong’s novel of the same title. It is genre crossing, focusing on horror but with comedy and also some sci-fi elements thrown in as well. There is no way that you will not leave this film with a smile and immediately wanting another viewing. I wasn’t too familiar with the leads Rob Mayes and Chase Williamson but they are a blast in the film. Also great supporting performances from Clancy Brown, Paul Giamatti and even Angus Scrimm pop in! BOYYYYYYYYYY!!

Official Premise: In “John Dies at the End”, it’s all about the Soy Sauce, a drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. Users drift across time and dimensions. But some who come back are no longer human. Suddenly a silent otherworldly invasion is underway, and mankind needs a hero. What it gets instead is John (Rob Mayes) and David (Chase Williamson), a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Adapted from David Wong’s audacious trans-genre horror novel, “John Dies at the End” with screenplay by and directed by Don Coscarelli (“Bubba Ho-Tep”) and also stars Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman and Paul Giamatti.

For a low-budget film, “John Dies at the End” looks stunning on Blu-ray. The film also feels like it is scaled way higher than its budget.  Don did a great job utilizing some impressive visual effects even including a meat monster.  Yes a meat monster…and he looks amazing in the film, kudos of Robert Kurtzman’s Creature Corps. Along with the fantastic 1080p transfer, this Blu-ray also come with a very impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track.  It is clear, sharp and works perfectly with Brian Tyler’s (who also composed “Bubba Ho-Tep”) score.

The special features are pretty kick ass as well.  We start off we are fun commentary track with Director Don Coscarelli, Producer Brad Baruh, Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes.  Must listen for all fans of Coscarelli’s work.  There are nine deleted scenes, which were cool but well cut.  ”Getting Sauced: The Making of John Dies at the End” is a behind-the-scenes look at the production.  It is a little too short but me but there is some good footage. “Creature Corps: The Effects of Soy Sauce” is my favorite extras, which looks into the prop and monster design. There are Casting Sessions from the actors auditions. “Fangoria Interview with Paul Giamatti” is a great chat with the actor and his love for the genre.  Lastly there is a trailer included for the film and David Wong’s book “This Book is Full of Spiders”.

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