John Dies at the End: Spoiler Alert, It's a Mess
David (Chase Williamson), a guy in his 20s, is relating extraordinary events to a journalist (Paul Giamatti) in the booth of a Chinese restaurant. David has had experiences with a potent, venomous street drug called "Soy Sauce," which temporarily gives the user the ability to perceive the unperceivable—"like if you hooked your brain up to one of those interplanetary SETI antennas"—but also causes insanity and death. The movie is primarily composed of David's flashbacks while in the restaurant, and the whole thing reads a bit like a gory, cartoonish Philip K. Dick parody made by 19-year-old boys who found out about free online Adobe After Effects tutorials moments after skimming the Wikipedia article for "Drugs."
A horror-comedy that's neither scary nor particularly funny is uniquely challenging to enjoy, because after a certain point of asking yourself, "Is that supposed to look green-screened? Is that guy's accent supposed to sound so stupid? Am I laughing at this because it's bad or because it's trying to be bad?" you might realize that you were never, in fact, laughing in the first place. At any rate, David and his pal John (Rob Mayes) get mixed up with the Sauce after some Jamaican guy gives it to them at a concert, and soon they're seeing monsters, blowing up cars, and generally starting to unravel. Eventually, a paranoid plot coalesces around the drug being the byproduct of an evil force invading from another dimension, and at some point around here, the film shifts from being tolerably disjointed to just being formulaic and caught up in its own plot. John and David have to go through a portal, à la Bill and Ted, where they're met with 10 minutes of expositional backstory about why there are two universes, followed by some more paranormal antics, and on and on. I'm pretty sure that all of this is supposed to be funny. I have a feeling the book is better.