Showing posts with label john dies at the end. Show all posts
Showing posts with label john dies at the end. Show all posts

18 March 2013

GFF 2013: John Dies at the End Review

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When I hear cult-auteur Don Coscarelli is working on a new film I get pretty excited, I read a synopsis and my excitement grows, Angus Scrimm (the Tall Man!) signs on for a cameo and I find out the film is based on a book reputed to be “unfilmable”. I swoon in my soul.

What you’ll notice first is that Coscarelli hasn’t sabotaged his aesthetic in taking his closest step into the main stream; the general look of the film and its cast, which includes the fantastic Paul Giamatti, may scare away some seasoned fans of that garage-feel of his early films. Don’t fret however, there’s plenty of his usual nonsense crammed in John Dies at the End to make up for that.

If there was a genre called fucking with the future, or unravelling the universe, then John Dies would definitely be a perfect example; it aint time travel and it aint really anything else. You just have to see it and try to let it happen. Essentially it’s the story of a new street drug that pushes the boundaries of human physics, and how two friends are dragged into a mess of alien invasion through the drug, but it’s so much more. It’s like a more elaborate Phantasm on acid.

John Dies flaunts Coscarelli’s signature black humour (see Bubba ho-Tep), those tooling-up sequences he deploys in all his films, a general feel of badass at more than a few points, and enough weird to do you the year. However, the film frequently threatens to be too bizarre for its own good and that will distance some viewers, at points it stretches patience especially in the last twenty minutes where any idea of acceptable narrative seems to boil off and leave a multi-coloured, fantastical, and wholly silly residue. If you consider this amidst the context then sure it pulls off. Time travel, supernatural encounters, aliens, and drugs, it’s difficult to criticise a film for being silly when there’s so much going on.

Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes hold their own throughout as Dave and John respectively, a pair of Coscarelli heroes if ever there was. Giamatti is great, as a wry and doubtful journalist, Doug Jones (he plays all your nightmares in del Toro films) pops up as an alien, and Clancy Brown plays an egocentric exorcist. Special mention goes to Glynn Turman as the cynical old-school detective caught up in something he doesn’t understand. Three guesses as to who I sympathise with most.

Earlier I mentioned context: that’s an important word when you consider Coscarelli’s CV. Don’t question his world too deeply, you won’t get answers, don’t pull a ridiculous face when things get crazy, because I promise it will get weirder. Sit back and watch, enjoy, savour every stupid moment courtesy of a sharp script and a director obviously having the time of his life.

The embodiment of the “Marmite Film”, John Dies at the End will polarise audiences and perhaps even Coscarelli fans. It is entirely unforgiving in its embracement of the bizarre, silly at times, hilarious at others, conceptually intriguing, and above all entertaining. Miss it if you dare.

Scott Clark


Rating: 18
Release Date: 22nd March 2013 (UK)
Directed By

10 November 2012

Cinehouse of Horrors #4

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Greetings Horror Fans! Cinehouse’s fortnightly horror news round-up has had a bit of a prolonged break but we’re back on track to deliver the most important highlights in grotesque cinema over the past four weeks.

Starting with the classic-horror related news the new Child’s Play film Curse of Chucky has an apt and potty-mouthed tagline which you can catch on the promo poster over at Bleeding Cool. The sixth instalment in the franchise sees Chucky again voiced by cult favourite Brad Dourif and helmed by Don Mancini, who created Chucky back in 1988. Mancini’s return to the series as writer and director is surely a sign that Chucky fans can start getting pretty excited.

Next up, Joe Dante fans (GREMLINS!) will be pleased to hear the director will be returning behind the camera to work on a supernatural thriller called Air Disturbance. Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger) will star as a religious zealot opposite Dylan Walsh’s widower Sam Davidson as the two try to come to terms with supernatural occurrences around the plane. 
Hammer has unveiled the first photo from its next feature The Quiet Ones, the infamous British powerhouse of horror saw a disappointing resurrection with The Resident but picked up its game with The Woman in Black last year so we’re pretty excited about this. The story follows an unconventional professor who takes his best and brightest off campus for a ground-breaking experiment: to create a poltergeist by harnessing negative human energy. Now, take the fact that Jared Harris is playing the charismatic professor and the film seems like its in good standing to be an interesting watch.

Unfortunately Tobe Hooper’s latest film Djinn has had some problems picking up a distributor over the past year but hopefully the American Film Market can help put the film in better standing. To help spread the word there’s photos and a trailer over at Shock till you Drop, check them out.
We’re pretty fond of Poe adaptations here, considering Poe played a pretty integral part to the crafting of what we loosely refer to as modern horror, so it’s a pleasure to announce that Poe's  'The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether’ is to be adapted for screen under the title Eliza Graves. Brad Anderson, director of The Machinist and Session 9, has replaced Oren Pelli (Paranormal Activity) as director on the production due to start filming next year.
Adam Gierasch’s Schism caught our eye fairly quickly in the long list of exciting upcoming  projects thanks to its striking old-school poster. The synopsis sounds pretty awesome too and you can read it here. Considering its in post production now, you won’t have long to wait for some trans-dimensional mind screwing.

Last but not least we have a stellar collection of trailers for you folks, the much anticipated Evil Dead remake trailer proves it might actually be something special and at least its got its eyes on the right kind of…"ew”. The Silent Night remake looks like this years Christmas bloodbath, hopefully it will surprise and expand on the original, and at the very least I think we're all happy to pay to see Malcolm Mcdowell hunt down another psychopath. At long last we finally have the trailer for World War Z which is genuinely thrilling and kinda unsettling, perhaps the greatest zombie epic since Dawn of the Dead? We leave it up to you. And for all those Don Coscarelli fans who've been sitting on seat-edge gagging for the next slice of Phantasm, we do not have a Phantasm 5 trailer. What we do have though is the trailer for Coscarelli’s latest mind-fuck John Dies at the End. Fret not, for Coscarelli has, since the film’s completion, admitted that Phantasm 5 is back on his mind as something that has to be done!


Warm Bodies

Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich
Synopsis: Teen Zombie 'R' finds himself falling for human girl Julie, and their romance might just be the antidote the entirely dead world needs.

World War Z

Directed by: Marc Forster
Starring: Brad Pitt, David Morse, Mireille Enos
Synopsis: U.N Employee Gerry Lane races across the world in an attempt to stop the Zombie virus that looks set to destroy humanity.


Directed by: Kimberly Peirce
Starring: ChloĆ« Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer
Synopsis: A young girl discovers her telekinetic powers, and the destruction they can cause, after being pushed too far at senior prom.


Directed by: Franck Khalfoun
Starring: Elijah Wood, America Olivo, Liane Balaban
Synopsis: A serial killer with a severe Mommy complex stalks and murders internet sourced victims in an attempt at revenge.

Silent Night

Directed by: Steven C. Millar
Starring: Jaime King, Malcolm McDowell, Ellen Wong
Synopsis: A psychopathic Santa Claus torments a suburban Midwest town



Directed by: Chan-wook Park
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, Mathew Goode
Synopsis: After the death of her father, India becomes infatuated with her elusive and sinister Uncle Charlie.

Evil Dead

Directed by: Fede Alvarez
Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas
Synopsis: Mia, along with her brother and friends, head to a remote cabin where the discovery of a mysterious book has horrific consequences.

John Dies at the End

Directed by: Don Coscarelli
Starring: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti
Synopsis: A new street drug that allows it's users to travel across time and space causes deamonic effects. It's up to John and Dave to save the day.

DVD Releases

November is a quiet month for horror releases, but we have carefully selected some of the standout home video releases.

Alfred Hitchcock - The Masterpiece Collection (Blu-Ray) - 12/11/12
Some of the iconic director's finest features are pain-stakingly restored to stunning quality for the Blu-Ray release of The Masterpiece Collection. Standouts include the unforgettable Psycho, the hugely underrated The Trouble with Harry, the terrifying The Birds and gritty Frenzy.

Excision - 12/11/12
Excision is one of these films we cannot recommend enough. In a similar vein to Carrie, Richard Bates Jr.'s tale of teenage angst follows oddball teenager Pauline, who has a fixation with performing surgery. A cast dozens of cult film veterans  including John Waters, Traci Lords, Ray Wise, Malcolm McDowell, Roger Bart and a stellar leading turn from AnnaLynne McCord, make Excision a must see.

The House of the Laughing Windows - 19/11/12
Released by Shameless, who pride themselves on selling the trashiest, most depraved European horrors, have set their sights on The House of the Laughing Windows. This Italian horror sees a young artist discovering the twisted, sleazy past of the tranquil town that he is staying. Fans of giallo are like to be in their element with this 1976 feature.

That's it from us, see you in two weeks!

Scott Clark, Andrew Mcarthur, Jo Heinemeier