Tuesday, 26 March 2013

JOHN DIES AT THE END - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Don Coscarelli delivers a terrifying and funny foray into a fantastical world replete with gore, gags and HORROR GALORE

JOHN DIES AT THE END is the brilliant new film by Master Genre Director Don Coscarelli. Be on the lookout for my in-depth interview with Mr. Coscarelli that will appear in the May-June 2013 issue of the legendary Joe Kane's ultra-cool genre print magazine "Phantom of the Movies VIDEOSCOPE". Until then, here's my RAVE REVIEW of a new Horror Classic from the director of the PHANTASM films and the magnificent BUBBA-HO-TEP!!!

John Dies at the End (2012) ****

dir. Don Coscarelli

Starring: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Glynn Turman, Clancy Brown

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Don Coscarelli is, without question, the real thing - a truly inspired Master of Horror. (He might also be certifiably insane, but what do I know? I'm no shrink.) As the director of cult classics like the Phantasm pictures (with Angus Scrimm as the diabolical wielder of blood suckin' and a spurtin' silver spheres) and the finest entry in that unbeatable genre of Elvis-duelling-with-dangerous-denizens-of-Ancient-Egypt Bubba-Ho-Tep, his latest offering is one mo-fo of an eye-popping mind-bender.

John Dies at the End gives new meaning to the oft-heard phrase in only the finest grease-laden, alley-cat-for-chicken-serving Oriental restaurants in the Occident - "Can you please pass the Soya Sauce?"

If you buy me a MEAT MONSTER today,
I will gladly pay you back on Tuesday.
Oh, and what a delectable platter of Szechuan Steak Coscarelli's new movie is - like mouth watering morsels of fine flank (of cow, NOT dog), marinated in the saltiest Eastern Black Gold and wokked within an inch of its life in an indelible mixture of oil, garlic, ginger, scallions and, of course, the distinctive pepper from the dried rind of the prickly ash tree. The picture serves up gore, shocks and suspense accompanied by healthy dollops of black humour and psychedelic surrealism that ranks right up there with a Dim Sum rice roll chock full of Luis Buñuel, Alejandro Jodorowsky and James Whale.

Damn! Before I get too hungry, allow me to dive directly in to what you're going to see in this contemporary genre classic. In a nutshell, two best buds, David (Chase Williamson) and John (Rob Mayes), are mega-slackers - not unlike Bill and Ted, only they're not stupid and they go on an adventure that is in no way, shape or form an EXCELLENT ADVENTURE (though we, the viewers, are afforded a most excellent adventure, indeed).

And how, pray tell do they find themselves on this harrowing journey up the river into a veritable heart of darkness? Simple. They've gone and ingested a completely mind-pummelling hallucinogen called - you guessed it (or not) - SOYA SAUCE.

Now, if you will, put on your mathematician's hat and add together every bad acid trip you've ever taken, multiplied by every single bad acid trip anyone's ever taken and our heroes are plunged with Hoover Dam ferocity into a world of scary shit where reality morphs with fantasy until the world of the trip becomes horrifyingly real to the extent where everything they think is real springs to life as a nightmare that never ends and keeps turning in on itself repeatedly and with more convolutions than the too-sickeningly-horrendous results of, say, Terence Malick on crack cocaine.

The hallucinogen itself is, you see, not some mere chemical. Soya Sauce is a living thing - a slithering, slurping glob of putrid viscous discharge that rips your sense of reality into a finely blended wad of chopped liver and KFC creamy coleslaw.

This stuff fucks you up big time. It scares the living faecal matter out of you, but worse, it - and most of all - what IT creates is alive. It's so alive, you can die at any time and frankly, you might actually be dead already - careening wildly from one horrendous scenario to another in a purgatory of horror with no end.

Add to this witch's brew the likes of Paul Giamatti as a sleazy reporter trying to get both the truth AND the Sauce, the brilliant Clancy Brown as an Amazing Kreskin-like Mentalist crossed with Tony Robbins and, like Hugh Hefner, always flanked (as it were) by a bevy of bodacious babes and last, but not least, one of the great living contemporary character actors Glynn Turman as a cop who meets way more than he bargained for when he's forced into dealing with a scourge that exceeds every slime-bucket he's ever had to deal with in leaps and bounds.

Coscarelli handles these proceedings with imagination, skill and one hell of a great sense of humour - NEVER tongue in cheek, but always rooted in the absurdist elements of the drama itself. Revealing anymore, however, will do you absolutely no favours. And as for the title, there's a damn compelling reason for you to keep watching. If John dies at the end, how, OH HOW will he finally bite the bullet within the context of this complete whack-job of an utterly inspired fright-fest.

"John Dies at the End" is playing across Canada for one night only as part of Raven Banner's visionary foray into the Cineplex Entertainment Front Row Centre events.


Here's a complete list of participating cinemas:

Lotus Land
Odeon Victoria Cinemas – Victoria, BC
Galaxy Cinemas Nanaimo – Nanaimo, BC
Colossus Langley Cinemas – Langley, BC
Silvercity Riverport Cinemas – Richmond, BC
Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas – Vancouver, BC
(NOTE: Dope Smoking not allowed in cinemas, so toke-up before you enter the premises and/or discreetly utilize the handicapped crappers. Do not forget to disarm smoke detectors and sprinklers.)

Stevie Harper KKK Headquarters
Scotiabank Theatre Edmonton – Edmonton, AB
Scotiabank Theatre Chinook – Calgary, AB
(NOTE: Cross Burnings not allowed indoors. Moonshine not for sale in cinemas, but can be smuggled in.)

Armpit of Canada
Galaxy Cinemas Regina – Regina, SK
Galaxy Cinemas Saskatoon – Saskatoon, SK
(NOTE: You must leave your livestock tethered to the front of the cinemas. Feel free to smuggle in your own smoked hog ears for good eatin' during the show.)

Second Biggest Armpit of Canada
SilverCity Polo Park Cinemas – Winnipeg, MB
(NOTE: The rest of the province is mosquito-ridden swamp land populated by inbreds who do not watch movies or do much of anything besides fight and fornicate in the winter and fish with dynamite charges and big nets in the summer - beer included.)

Centre of the Known Universe (and surrounding environs)
Cineplex Odeon Devonshire Mall Cinemas – Windsor, ON
SilverCity London Cinemas – London, ON
Galaxy Cinemas Waterloo – Waterloo, ON
Cineplex Odeon Winston Churchill Cinemas – Oakville, ON
SilverCity Hamilton Cinemas – Hamilton, ON
Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga – Mississauga, ON
Cineplex Odeon Queensway Cinemas – Toronto, ON
Colossus Vaughan Cinemas – Vaughan, ON
SilverCity Fairview Mall Cinemas – Toronto, ON
Cineplex Odeon Yonge & Dundas Square Cinemas – Toronto, ON
Cineplex Odeon Eglinton Town Centre Cinemas – Scarborough, ON
Coliseum Ottawa Cinemas – Ottawa, ON
SilverCity Gloucester Cinemas – Ottawa, ON
SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas – Sudbury, ON
(NOTE: Torontonians proclaim that Toronto is the Centre of the Known Universe. Most of us know better - especially all the venues OUTSIDE the GTA)

La Belle Province
Cineplex Odeon Forum Cinemas – Montreal, QC
(NOTE: French people do not like horror movies as they are all Catholic. The few who do are politely asked to leave their separatist literature at home and refrain from screaming "Je me souviens!" every ten fucking minutes.)