“John Dies at the End” is a 2012 supernatural horror comedy starring Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes and Paul Giamatti.
Let’s see… how do I explain this?
A reporter (Paul Giamatti) is conducting an interview at a Chinese restaurant with a young man named David Wong (Chase Williamson)
David began experiencing a number of strange events recently, starting at a party. There, an eerily prescient Rastafarian was able to tell him much way too much about his future and his dreams. Then afterwards his friend John (Rob Mayes) called him and begged him to come over, acting VERY strangely. Once David arrives, he finds John almost literally climbing the walls, in fear of his safety. After David calms him down a bit, he finds out that John tried a new drug that he names “Soy Sauce”. “Soy Sauce” grants its users enhanced metaphysical awareness. People are able to experience time non-linearly, speak with the dead, and to see beings from alternate dimensions and other sundry unbelievable abilities.
It turns out, as strange as it sounds, Soy Sauce is only a precursor to an invasion of inter-dimensional parasitic organisms bent on the conquest of Earth.
The plot of “John Dies at the End” is hard to do justice to, because the movie is literally batshit crazy. It’s told non-linearly, has elements of time travel, inter-dimensional travel, drug use, aliens, spirits… I think there was a zombie in there at one point, but I’m not sure, it’s crazy. But that’s the point of “John Dies”. It’s an intentionally wild and whacky story that plays fast and loose with reality for the sake of a lighthearted, comedic feel. You get the feeling that it’s all camp and tongue in cheek right from the first few minutes. It’s so busy not taking itself seriously that there’s no way that you can. Thankfully, it’s fun, otherwise there would be nothing to it.
Williamson’s Wong is a deadpan lead, perfect for reacting to the surrealistic events that unfold. His buddy John (Rob Mayes) comes across as a smarmy, arrogant counterpoint. Together they have stupefyingly ridiculous adventures, interspersed with cut scenes of Williamson telling his story to Giamatti. Clancy Brown shows up occasionally as the mysterious Marconi, who has a powerful hand in events.
The mysterious drug leads to knowledge of the alien infestation, which in turn leads them to cross dimensions in the hope of saving humanity. Along the way they meet a motley cast of characters, some possessed, some dead, others merely infested with alien bugs. The two try to keep their nonchalant attitudes in tact along the way! It’s pretty much pure nonsense right from the start, but it’s done in such a fun, frivolous way that it’s hard not to buy into.
Bizarre, quirky and humorous, “John Dies at the End” is an offbeat, surrealistic comedy that’s sure to find its fans.