Presenting The Most WTF Trailer Ever: 'John Dies at the End'
WARNING: The following contains numerous monsters and implied male nudity. Also may contain implied gore and implied flamethrower and implied interdimensional travel and the evil prison guard from The Shawshank Redemption and award-winning actor Paul Giamatti.
Based on the novel by Cracked Editor David Wong, here is the quite frankly insane first trailer for "yes, this is a real movie" John Dies at the End. Watch it, then scroll down for commentary from Mr. Wong:
If you are any kind of a normal human being, the above video has raised several hundred questions in your mind. Let me quickly answer a few of them.
1. "Wait, who are you again?"
I'm Cracked.com Senior Editor David Wong and the author of John Dies at the End, the novel that has now been made into the above movie. Note, that was just the teaser trailer, not the entire movie. The movie will be longer.
2. "I'm confused, didn't that clip begin with Oscar nominated actor Paul Giamatti calling a character 'David Wong'? Was that you?"
It's actually very simple.
There are numerous things wrong with my brain that in the future will almost certainly be classified as diseases. A few years ago, while I was working in a cubicle at an insurance company, I decided that putting all of what I was seeing in my head into words would alleviate the disease by spreading it to other people (it was only much later that someone sat me down and told me that's not how diseases work). The result was a supposed autobiographical story about the time me and my friend John took drugs and were chased by monsters. It was a tale that required 150,000 words to tell and 36 of them were "boner." I called it John Dies at the End because I realized most people were busy and would want to know the most relevant facts right away.
Now, through a series of grossly improbable accidents, it has been turned into a feature film directed by cult horror legend Don Coscarelli. His previous movie, Bubba Ho-Tep, starred Bruce Campbell as a mummy-fighting Elvis.
3. "So is this a joke trailer for a fake movie?"
No, it's a real movie. Check it on IMDB. It also features Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption) and Glynn Turman (The Wire).
4. "Huh. So you wrote this thing on the internet while working at an office, and now those people have acted it out on camera? While other people created sets and expensive special effects for it? Was this like a prize you won on a reality show?"
The answer is actually a lot more implausible than that.
After I punctured the infected abscess in my brain and let the contents ooze out onto the internet, I received multiple calls from agents and publishers, each saying essentially the same thing: "I would literally rather see the written word itself become extinct from the face of the earth, than see your convoluted tale of addiction, demonic possession and flamethrowers make it onto a book store shelf. If you try sending that shit to me, I will fucking bludgeon you in your sleep and then jump out of your window on a horse like Mel Gibson in Braveheart."
I actually agreed with this sentiment, and considered taking John Dies at the End off the internet as I was sure it would get used as evidence against me after my inevitable shooting spree. But, readers would often ask me for a printed version of the story, I suppose for the same reason some people will spend hours browsing Google Image Search for victims of farm machinery accidents. I told them they could print out the story and wrap it in rubber bands, if they mailed me 20 dollars.
A short time later, I heard from a man who introduced himself as Jacob Kier with indie horror publisher Permuted Press, who asked if he could publish my story in paperback. I asked him why I should do that. He slid a briefcase across the table and said simply, "This is why."
I opened it.
"That case," he said, "contains every single one of the fucks I give."
It was empty.
So, we had a deal. John Dies at the End was printed up in paperback and sold on Amazon. Soon after that, I came home from my day job of checking insurance claims for typos, to find that I had an email from the guy who made my favorite horror movie of all time (Phantasm) and who was coming off a movie with Bruce fucking Campbell, saying he wanted to adapt my obscure internet story turned obscure paperback into a film.
This made perfect sense -- I had seen The Producers and knew a "make a fake movie and escape to Mexico with the money" scheme when I saw one. It didn't matter to me, I was making $8.29 an hour back then and I figured by the time the cops figured out my part in it, I would have already gone on my shooting spree and fraud charges would be moot.
I'm not sure at what point it became a real movie, my theory is that Don sat down to write the screenplay adaptation and either it was good enough that all sorts of respected actors flocked to it, or else they were promised a cut of the money after he pulled off the heist. But I figure they had to actually shoot the movie to make it all look convincing, and at some point they were like, "Well, shit, we used up all of the money actually making the movie, I think we have to go ahead and release it."
Either way, an editor at St. Martin's Press came along and said, "Damn, Wong, if you have a whole movie being made about it, we might as well release the book around the world in hardcover." And then somebody else was like, "Oh there should be an audio version too, because this is completely a legitimate thing that a real writer wrote, and not a terrifying glimpse into the mind of a nearly unemployable insurance data entry clerk with a series of gross personality disorders."
Then the owners of Cracked.com were like, "Damn, this guy is some kind of writing mastermind, let's hire him and also he can go through this stack of insurance claim forms that have been piling up."
And then they released a trailer, and then I wrote this post. And then you read it. And then you read this sentence. That brings us up to this very second.
5. "So when can I see the whole movie?"
Next year. Or this year, if you're not reading this until 2012.
If you want to stay on top of the latest news:
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If you want to buy the book, you can get it on Amazon or on the Kindle or anywhere else books are sold, except like, the grocery store. Though of course reading the book will spoil the ending of the movie for you.