SXSW is less than two weeks away, and I can’t think of a better appetizer for 10 days of independent movies than “John Dies at the End,” which spent 2012 on the festival circuit, playing Sundance and TIFF and picking up a couple audience awards in the process before finally opening in Austin last weekend at the Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane.
A fantasy-horror-comedy hybrid, “John Dies at the End” bends the confines of genre and reality in ways both confusing and hilarious, which is pretty much what you would expect from writer/director Don Coscarelli, the creative mind behind “Bubba Ho-Tep,” the “Phantasm” series and “The Beastmaster.” In the movie, David Wong (Chase Williamson), the best friend of the titular John (Rob Mayes), shares his impossible story of aliens, dimension-hopping and drugs with a reporter played by Paul Giamatti. Along David and John’s journey, you’ll also catch a hey-it’s-that-guy parade of Clancy Brown, Doug Jones and Glynn Turman along with an important assist from a dog named Bark Lee. As the story spins into a stranger and stranger tale, you’ll find yourself laughing, grossed out and wondering how on earth (and in what dimension) John will die in the end.
Check out the red-band trailer below: