Half-Assed Evil Exorcists! “John Dies at the End” Book Review

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Jason Pargin, under the pseudonym name David wong, is a major success stories that inspire all of us hopeful writers. Pargin, a low on the totem poll data entry administrator, is the brains behind the insanely clever, notoriously witty, and devilishly deranged novel “John Dies at the End.” Without even an English degree to his name, Pargin wrote short stories that turned into a full fledged novel solely by word of mouth from total strangers. Eventually Pargin was contacted by Phantasm director Don Coscarelli and as soon as Pargin blinked, a movie was adapted from his story and the rest is hisory.

“John Dies at the End” revolves around David Wong, a video store clerk whose life isn’t exactly that excited, but when he discovers the “soy sauce” from a homeless Rastafarian Wong and his friend John are sucked into the massive plans of an alternative reality species that has their sights on enslaving humanity in the name of their leader “Korrok.” Only Wong and John can see the truth because of the “soy sauce” and while others live their daily lives, Wong and John prepare for battle the only way they know how – with boom boxes, flame thrower water guns, and Molly the bomb eating dog.

Pargin’s novel will be a treat that you’ll never ever in your life read something similar like it again. Somehow able to paint a perfect picture with his colorful use of dictionary, Pargin certainly knows how to make silly scary and fun. The pages just kept turning as if I was hooked on the “soy sauce” and was warped, like a “Star Trek” hyper drive, into an other world universe. The randomness of scenes with Wong’s first person version of events can only be described as batshit nuts with a hint of nihilism. Once you add his friend John into the mix, it’s a whole different story as John is a colorful character with classically hilarious one liners and a mind like a 13 year old boy ready to take on the world.

I’m one those people who watched the Don Coscarelli movie first before reading the book and I did this before with Stephen King’s novel The Mist and so far, I’m not disappointed with my ass-backwards way of doing things. Of course, the novel will always have more than a movie adaptation, but damn did Coscarelli bring Wong’s world to life and light and I do believe that the writings of Pargin are so vivid and clear that this made Coscarelli’s job easy.

“John Dies at the End” is a must read. It isn’t the latest best seller as the book’s been out since 2007, but this horror comedy will make you laugh and thrill you into thinking about the possibilities of our universe.

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From the Evil Mind of Don Coscarelli! John Dies at the End review!

jdateposterIf you did a retrospective analysis of Don Coscarelli’s film career and try to pinpoint Coscarelli’s area of specialty with in the realm of horror, you’ll wind up scattered all over the place unable to achieve an exact position of Coscarelli’s sub-genre schtick. His latest (and greatest) film endeavor John Dies at the End embarks on being Coscarelli’s next longevity cult hit. Unpredictable and captivating forces you to forget that this indie movie bares no no-named stardom and borders the edge of “crinchable” special effects, but the story grabs you, shakes you, chews you up, and spits you out wanting to know more while leaving you wondering what the hell just happened…in a good way.

Paranormal exorcists and best friends David and John are bound by the supernatural Soy Sauce, a jet black living drug that give David and John the outer body experience and is the source of their powers to fight evil. The Soy Sauce has a ying-yang affect and drive them down a path of sends them into another dimension to face off agains’t a monstrous being that wants to absorb their dimensions knowledge by digesting everything they know!
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John Dies at the End won’t scare you. There are no thrills or chills. What it will do is give you a wicked acid trip. Where bits of meat conjure together to become a meat monster, where door handles morph into large veiny penises, and where eye balls burst out by soul devouring gnats! Only Coscarelli’s mind could be this warped and that warp sense mixture of humor and horror keeps our attention waiting to see what happens next. This mixture also drives the film which is a definite positive, but can also be a negative.

Coscarelli’s film feels all over the place that makes the concept hard to grasp. The non-linear plot places characters in our conscious in disorderly manner without any grounded statuses. By the end of the movie, I start to wonder if there are pieces missing from the story boards. The concept of time doesn’t seem to exist and that might be part of the film’s facade as the drug-fueled outer-body experience.

Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes are great as Dave and John. Dave’s a passive person with a sarcastic attitude but willing to stand John’s frantic personality. John, as I said before, is a bit spastic and has that carpe diem attitude. Their contrast draws them together to form a powerhouse team. Tack on Clancy Brown as a co-worker of their trade with a sleazy white hairdo and Paul Giamatti as a skeptic feature reporter and you have great talent supporting the the two leads who are already phenomenal as your slummy ghostbusters. Doug Jones (Hellboy) makes an appearance whose character doesn’t have enough time screen in my opinion as an other dimension mystic. Lets not forget the cameo of Angus Scrimm as a demon priest – fantastic.
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John Dies at the End will smack you in the face and you’ll smile at the end. You’ll definitely get some laughs because this horror comedy is nearly in the same vein as the Bubba Ho-tep with the anal soul sucking mummy. Magnet Releasing brings you the next Don Coscarelli hit and you can purchase at Amazon.