14 hours ago
Friday, January 4, 2013
The Party Dies at the End
John Dies at the End is a "horror comedy" from Don Coscarelli based on the book of the same name. It's supposedly going to get a theatrical release this year, but I decided not to chance it ever playing in this podunk town, so I watched it on Amazon's video on demand.
Spoiler: The title is misleading--but in a way, it reflects the fractured narrative of at least part of the film. The plot can be summarized pretty easily: Two slackers wind up taking a strange drug ("soy sauce") they got from a fake Jamaican that expands their consciousness and allows them to perceive and combat extradimensional, supernatural horrors, lurking in our world. The film is part trippy drug narrative, part body horror, and part black comedy like if Evil Dead 2 was a bit more like Clerks.
It's also great rpg fodder. I think you could easily get a game of Unknown Armies out of it, or maybe an unusual game of Call of Cthulhu. It's got a premise and setting in the Lovecraftian mode (or maybe Clark Ashton Smithian) with totally unlovecraftian heroes and tone.
It would also be interesting to run a modern D&Dish game like this: A weird drug opens the doors to Narnia (or Moria) located right here but hidden by virtue being on a different vibrational frequency. Maybe under the influence of the drug, slacker twenty-somethings brave the maze co-occurring with the steam tunnels beneath their university and do battle with very deadly monsters--and try not to freak out in the process?