I haven’t read John Dies At The End, but I got to see Don Coscarelli (director of Phantasm) talk about it and show a trailer for the film two years ago at Fantastic Fest. Well, the sequel is out just in time for John’s film debut this January!
This Book Is Full Of Spiders: Seriously Dude, Don’t Touch It is the second book from Cracked.com columnist David Wong (a pseudonym for Jason Pargin). It follows lovable (?) slackers John and Dave (and Dave’s girlfriend Amy) and all the crazy stuff that happens to them when orifice-invading, zombie-making spiders from space attack (think Stephen King’s Dreamcatchers). It starts out weird even without that, as thanks to taking hits of “soy sauce,” a drug from the first book, the guys are in tune with the land of the supernatural and bizarre, which their home town has in spades – freaky occurrences, mystical portals to porta-johns, etc.
There’s a lot I could say that would ruin some of the twists of the book with spoilers – suffice it to say that this is not a straightforward zombie story by any means, and the sophomoric (though funny!) humor of the book lies alongside a very intelligent look at zombie hysteria and the dangers of human nature in a way more subtle than the usual “the asshole in the cellar is going to let the zombies in to get us eventually” style.
The book is funny, but about halfway through it takes a turn from the zany to the pretty dark, and carries in some honest-to-God psychological horror and depression stuff for the last half. Surprising, but good. I had just read a collection of modern zombie stories that tried to be edgy (“21st century dead”) and frankly this book beat all those stories twenty ways to Sunday. I strongly recommend it, and am gnashing my teeth waiting for John Dies At The End to come to theaters January 25th! It’s actually available to stream from several outlets now, but I still like the big screen better.
They even have a trailer for the book (odd, but…):
Bonus trailer for John Dies At The End: