JOHN DIES AT THE END
Director's Statement - Don Coscarelli
JOHN DIES AT THE END might just be the very first movie project which was selected robotically. A few years back I had been reading some edgy novels from a cool imprint named Permuted Press. One day I received an email from an amazon.com "bot" informing me that "if I liked the last Permuted title I read that I would DEFINITELY like their new book, JOHN DIES AT THE END. The name grabbed me instantly, but when I read the log line about a street drug called "soy sauce" and a pair of mid-west slackers battling a silent otherworldly invasion, I was hooked.
Since my youth I've had a rabid interest in the sci-fi, horror and fantasy genres. Many of my previous films have explored the surreal and strange. What I love about JOHN DIES AT THE END is that in addition to being hide-under-the-bed scary, it's also laugh-out-loud funny.
To bring this ambitious story to the big screen on a modest budget was an immense challenge. There are more visual effects by far than any of my previous films. In fact, I was researching visual effects techniques before writing the screenplay and wondered how does one create a monster entirely composed of meats from the freezer? I think I hit on the best answer, which was to combine both practical prosthetic effects with the strengths of computer-generated imagery. I was able to work with some old friends including Bob Kurtzman of Kurtzman's Creature Corps, who created my monster BUBBA HO-TEP for the practical effects. For the digital I recruited a cadre of young and gifted visual artists including CG whiz Mike Mangan, expert compositor Mars Sandoval of Syndrome Studio and animator David Hartman.
We have a terrific cast in JOHN DIES AT THE END. To find a young actor to portray the protagonist Dave required reading literally hundreds of unknowns. Luckily, in walked Chase Williamson who had just graduated from USC Drama and had never appeared in anything professionally. I was so excited after Chase's reading I literally cast him on the spot. Rob Mayes was another terrific discovery for the character of John. It was also thrilling to be able to populate the film with some of my favorite working actors including Clancy Brown, Glynn Turman and Doug Jones. Paul Giamatti, who in my opinion is the finest actor on the planet, was involved from the beginning. After the sequel to BUBBA HO-TEP, which we had been working on together fell through, his support and encouragement made JOHN DIES AT THE END a reality.
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