Admittedly, when I first saw the trailer....I was....intrigued, shall we say.
Made by the director of Bubba Ho Tep? Slightly hallucinogenic and off-the wall? But I'm glad to say that John Dies At The End lives up to the promise of its trailer. It's a movie that contains a unique blend of humor, surrealism, and horror to make a highly engaging - and entertaining - mix.
Focusing on a pair of supernatural investigators, John and Dave, the movie focuses on both of them becoming involved with some unique goings-on. A new drug, called soy sauce, allows people to see....things beyond our realm. (The script reads like the end of a caffeine-fueled writing session with H.P. Lovecraft, William S. Burroughs, and Hunter S. Thompson). As our heroes proceed, they find themselves becoming involved in a variety of unique situations, including a monster assembled from a variety of grocery meats.
(Yes, I did actually type that. And yes, that does happen).
It would be easy to say "If you liked Bubba Ho Tep, you'll like John Dies At The End," but that would be too easy and too cliche. Don Coscarelli handles the material in a very deft, expert way - he knows when to go slightly over the top, and also when to keep it subdued. The acting is rock solid, and there isn't a false note every step of the way. On the indie movie scene, several works have tried to be self-conscious, hip, and ironic while pandering; John Dies At The End manages to be a very solid film without any whiff of pandering or self-consciousness.
It's on DVD. See it now.