Flaked with offbeat witticisms, cheese ball effects and fanboy splatter gore, the surreal "John Dies at the End" has the vibe of a shaggy dog story, which works both for and against it.
Cynical slacker Dave (Chase Williamson) meets jaded journalist Arnie (Paul Giamatti) to tell him about a powerful street drug called "soy sauce." After Dave and buddy John (Rob Mayes) have ingested the substance, they find themselves on an adventure involving co-opted life-forms, mind reading and dimension-traveling insects.
The result is an energetically nonsensical stew from horror outlier Don Coscarelli ("Phantasm," "Bubba Ho-Tep"), working from the same-named cult novel.
There are enough chunky bits of tongue-in-cheek — namely in the enjoyably deadpan performances, including Glynn Turman as a philosophical, shotgun-wielding cop — to satisfy aficionados of cross-bred genre experiments.