Saturday, May 11, 2013


"Stream My Reels" is a weekly column that will feature one recommended streaming title from many different sources (Netflix, OnDemand, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.).

The term batshit suggests a level of insanity that words alone cannot justify.  It would be a disservice to this week's film, John Dies at the End, to describe it with even the word batshit.  That should come as no surprise to film fans as this is director Don Coscarelli's follow-up this his cult favorite Bubba Ho-Tep, a film where Elvis and JFK, both somehow alive and in a retirement home, fight an Egyptian Mummy that is feasting on the souls of their fellow residents.  If that sounds at all enticing to you, John Dies at the End will be right up your alley.

John Dies at the End's surreal adventure feels very much like the spiritual successor to a film like Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure just taken to a whole new level of gonzo absurdity.  The film follows Dave (Chase Williamson) and John (Rob Mayes) as they experiment with a strange new, black, liquid drug that appears to them one night, nicknamed "soy sauce."  What follows is a trip that has them fighting monsters made of meat, mustaches, and all manners of tentacles.  When the least strange things in a film are that the main character talks to a ghost through a bratwurst and his golden retriever can drive his van it doesn't matter so much that many of the elements in the film don't make sense, just they they are so delightfully weird that it becomes hilariously enjoyable.

To explain or summarize the plot any further won't help anyone, this is either a film that you'll devour or one you'll quickly dispose of.  By the time the boys are battling a monster named Korrock in another dimension you'll either go its B-level charm or not.  Even better, the whole story is being told to Paul Giamatti, who produced the film, as a skeptical reporter looking to break the next big story.

The film does falter a bit in its third act, never really paying off fully and stretching its weirdness a bit beyond its earlier bounds.  However, it hardly matters, you'd be hard pressed to find a film with this much originality or comic-book gleefulness.  Certainly not from Hollywood.

"John Dies at the End" is now available for instant streaming on Netflix Watch Instant.


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