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With JOHN DIES AT THE END set to start bending minds when it
hits select theaters beginning tomorrow from Magnet Releasing, its director
spoke to Fango about the family ties involved in its production.
Don Coscarelli, who helmed JOHN DIES and scripted it based
on David Wong’s novel, notes that this is the third of his features on which
his wife Shelley Kay served as costume designer. “She’s developing quite a body
of work,” he tells us, speaking after a JOHN DIES screening at Manhattan’s
92YTribeca. “She did the BUBBA HO-TEP costuming and the last PHANTASM [PHANTASM
IV: OBLIVION]. We had to dress some interesting characters on JOHN DIES,
including this larger-than-life guy played by Clancy Brown named Dr. Albert
Marconi (pictured below). He’s like a mashup of Tony Robbins and David
Copperfield on steroids, and he needed to have the right look.
“We also had some strange characters in the other dimension
who were partially clothed, and she came up with the look for that,” Coscarelli
continues. “Daniel Roebuck plays the Largeman (pictured at top), and he’s
basically the spokesperson for the evil entity that controls this other
universe. All of the people on that side are masked, and in the book, all of
those characters are naked. It’s kind of an interesting thing where they mask
their faces but unclothe their bodies—a weird contradiction that we partially kept
in the movie.” Due to ratings considerations, those followers aren’t completely
naked, which is where Kay’s work came in.
Coscarelli further reveals, “I used my son Andrew’s music
for John’s band in the movie, Three Armed Sally. Andrew has a band called The
Inevitable Backlash; that’s a great name, and I love the music they’ve created.
I really like one of the songs in particular, and asked him if it would be
possible to take lyrics from the book and adapt them to that song. So he
rerecorded the vocals for the movie so it would match the book. He’s the
guitarist on screen, and Rob Mayes as John is the one pretending to sing, but
the voice is my son’s. It’s very bizarre, but it all looks pretty good up
JOHN DIES AT THE END follows John and his friend Dave (Chase
Williamson) is they confront a string of weird creatures and events that derive
from the use of a potent new street drug called Soy Sauce. It opens this Friday
at Los Angeles’ Nuart Theatre and next Friday, February 1 at New York City’s
Sunshine Cinema 5 before moving to other cities across the country; go here for a complete list of playdates and here for the official website. You
can also read our review of the film and track back through our three-part video interview with Coscarelli.
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