Movie Article

The Craziest Horror Comedy Of 2013?

The nutty new movie ''John Dies at the End'' can thank Amazon's algorithms for its existence.

In writer-director Don Coscarelli's bizarre new horror comedy, John Dies at the End, two slacker types (Rob Mayes and Chase Williamson) encounter a monster made from meat, use a hot dog as a telephone, and discover they can travel to different dimensions after ingesting a new street drug nicknamed ''soy sauce.'' This surreal mayhem is adapted from David Wong's 2007 novel of the same name, which Coscarelli discovered thanks to Amazon algorithms. ''I had been reading zombie fiction,'' says the director, whose previous films include the 1979 horror classic Phantasm and 2003's cult favorite Bubba Ho-Tep. ''So I ordered these books and the Amazon robots sent me this email: 'If you like that, you will love John Dies at the End.' And it listed all these things [about Wong's book]. Literally, when I read the email, I thought, 'This would make a great movie.''' The result, which costars Paul Giamatti and Guillermo del Toro regular Doug Jones, is currently available on VOD and hits select theaters Jan. 25. So has Amazon recommended anything else that Coscarelli would like to adapt? ''Ever since I've been buying stuff on the Kindle, I'm not getting emails from them,'' he says. ''So something went wrong there.''

Originally posted Jan 18, 2013 Published in issue #1243-1244 Jan 25, 2013 Order article reprints