Niamh Creely contemplates bookshops at John Dies at the End, which screened as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (14-24 February 2013)
Sat, 17th February
Does he? Does he?! I was at the film because I’d first heard of it on cracked.com, my favourite pop culture and Science-Lite® destination. The film’s script is based on a novel by David Wong, senior editor of the website. Cracked is generally pretty good craic, with the firmly US-centric writing usually off-set by a self-awareness of the bias. It nonetheless felt a little surreal to see ‘that cracked guy’s’ film advertised in JDIFF.
I wasn’t sure how much of an audience John Dies at the End would attract this side of the Atlantic but it played to a packed audience in Cineworld on Sunday night.
The film is billed as a sci-fi comedy thriller so I was anticipating, at best, an insightful, hilarious, mind-bending shot of sci-fi and, at worst, a goofy, extended version of the hit-and-miss cracked.com videos. What we got was somewhere in the middle. It was like watching a well-liked acquaintance doing stand up for the first time – you have so much goodwill that you find yourself laughing even though the material isn’t really that strong. Despite the film’s flaws, I have been left with a healthy curiosity to read the original novel. Whether that will actually result in me tracking down a copy remains to be seen…