More and more films premiere on Video on Demand — if they don’t simply bypass a theatrical release altogether. Because VOD reviews are often scarce and hard to find, Criticwire created VODetails, a recurring column to help you figure out whether a new VOD release is worth your hard-earned dollar. This time we’re looking at “John Dies at the End,” a druggy horror comedy from the director of “Bubba Ho-Tep” — not a movie about a dice player and his preferred place at the craps table.
Director: Don Coscarelli
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes
Criticwire Average: B- (out of 15 critics)
Official Synopsis: “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 (Mayes) and David (Williamson), a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. Can these two stop the oncoming horror in time to save humanity? No. No, they can’t.”
“Walking out of ‘John Dies At The End’ I was seized with an enormous certainty that the film I just watched will become an enormous, long-lived cult film.”
“Coscarelli balances on the fine line between creepy and hilarious.”
“Big jokes, big gags, big set pieces, big monsters and bigger than life characters cram their way into every crevice of the 90 minute screen time as if the world was about to end and this was their last chance.”
“The closest thing to this generation’s ‘Big Trouble in Little China.'”
“Definitely not for everyone, but fans of Jason Pargin’s novel… and director Don Coscarelli should have fun with this very off-kilter tale.”
“John Dies at the End” is now available on VOD. It opens in theaters on January 25th.