Saturday, 12 January 2013

Scifi Scenery

Twisted horror/comedy John Dies At the End gets butchered down into a reasonably successful 90mins by  Don “Phantasm” Coscarelli.Two slackers get drawn into some fantastical hijinks after ingesting an other-worldly drug called Soy Sauce and fumble about dodging death and some unsavoury and unusual characters. The dark, deadpan wit of the novel is mostly intact and there’s a lovely grubby sheen to the production but the sfx occasionally betray its low budget and the plot’s over simplification is at times baffling with some of the funnier, weirder scenes omitted, still a pleasantly offbeat slice of nonsense.
There’s more juice in the recent adaptation of Dredd with plenty of eye popping action decorating it’s deliberately straightforward plot. Karl Urban stars as the titular antihero who, whilst indoctrinating a rookie into the world of instant justice in a degenerate, over populated future, gets trapped in a drug lord’s tower block and a brutal slaughtering ensues. The unabashed action and perfunctory script keep things ticking along nicely and the modest introduction of the comic’s key elements nicely set up a sequel or two. It’s a shame then that despite it’s charms it bombed at the box office.

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