Tuesday, February 19, 2013

John Dies At The End: highly recommended

I just finished John Dies At The End. It's delightful - it's like what would happen if H.P. Lovecraft wrote comedy. I have no idea what it actually means or amounts to -- the closest thing I've read to it would be the Illuminatus! books by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea, but even Illuminatus! is a little easier to peg, given the authors' tendencies to wax philosophical; Wong is more likely to slip in dick jokes. Still, it's giddy fun to read, has a definite poignancy, and is full of a variety of idiocy that only a highly intelligent person could competently craft (the author, real name Jason Pargin, is a senior editor at Cracked.com, a website that I actually peek in on on a semi-regular basis; their film lists are quite entertaining, in particular). What's strangest about it is how perfectly it suits adaptation by Don Coscarelli - there are all sorts of things in it that dovetail with the world of Phantasm, from alternate universes with a malign interest in our own, to chopped off fingers, to a character called The Large Man (though he is not played in the film adaptation by the same actor who played The Tall Man - though Angus Scrimm is in the film, as Father Shellnut, a character not in the book, that I noticed). Still no word on a Vancouver theatrical release - looks like I may be seeing this film for the first time on DVD, come April...

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