20. John Dies At The End

Director: Don Coscarelli
Stars: Chase Williamson, Rob Mayes, Paul Giamatti, Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman, Doug Jones, Daniel Roebuck
Release info: Seeking distribution

Why you should be excited: John Dies At The End, the exceptionally twisted horror/comedy/sci-fi novel from one David Wong (the pen name for humorist Jason Pargin), is a tough property to describe, but here goes nothing: The protagonist, David Wong (intentionally meta, yes), recounts a wild story to a reporter, a tale that involves his best friend John and a drug called Soy Sauce that causes hallucinations and bridges our world with that of an alternate dimension full of disgusting monsters, demons, and doorknobs that turn into penises. Seriously.

It’s the kind of book that you read and think, “There’s no way in hell anyone could ever make this into a movie.” But damn if veteran genre director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, Beastmaster) isn’t willing to try. Making its premiere at Sundance this past weekend, Coscarelli’s take on John Dies At The End is a must-see simply for the fact that even if he can only execute, say, a third of the book’s insanity, we’re in store for a psychedelic horror-comedy the likes of nothing we’ve ever seen before.

To play devil’s advocate, the film’s low budget doesn’t bode well for the special effects, and, trust us, John Dies At The End could live or die on the quality of its tirelessly gruesome and absurd visuals. Coscarelli seems like a worthy fit for the material, though, so fingers shall be crossed.