Have you ever heard of Jack Chick? For decades he wrote Christian cartoons (known these days as Chick tracts) with elements of Christianity. While some of these are expected Christian ideas (and often propaganda), some of them always were so weird, so unapologetically conspiratorial, that they were comical to many others who viewed them. These strips have been well parodied over the years in many places. The strips spoke out about such evils as Halloween, Catholicism, Islam, rock and roll, and of particular not here, Dungeons and Dragons.
In 1984, in the height of the Satanic Panic, Chick produced the tract entitled, "Dark Dungeons". An assault on Dungeons and Dragons as being evil and affecting the minds of youth, it has been parodied many times among RPG communities, various fandoms, and geek culture at large. For many, if we had not known Dark Dungeons was serious, we would have thought it humor. Instead, know it was intended to be serious, it makes it particularly hilarious for anyone who has actually played D&D. You can find a copy of Dark Dungeons in its entirety here.
What is this relevant now? Well, it looks like there is a movie version coming out of Dark Dungeons. It appears to be a movie with a plot expanded straight from the strip. According to wikipedia, Dark Dungeons has gotten the license to use it from Chick. Based on its trailer, the movie is playing the plot very serious, though I don't think the creator actually took the tract seriously. Why? Well, I encourage you to check out the trailer below, but it appears by making the plot super serious and deadpan, the movie is going to be more hilarious than if they had turned it into a comedy.
My mythos and detective noir mashup novella, Cthulhu, Private Investigator is now available on Amazon! Combining the well-tread references of the Cthulhu mythos with hardboiled detective fiction tropes, it is just an idea of what a Great Old One might do on their off hours.
Cthulhu's partner, Dagon, has been found floating dead in the water at the docks. The Elder Gods have given him three days to find Dagon's killer, or Cthulhu is going to take the fall for it. Starting on the trail of a femme fatale that had hired Dagon, Cthulhu begins searching for the Pnakotic manuscripts and finds himself on everyone's hitlist. Navigating a web of lies and betrayal, he becomes involved with a rogue's gallery of untrustworthy Old Ones who are after the coveted Silver Key. As things hurtle towards their inevitable confusion, he discovers to what deadly lengths the others will go to obtain the Key.
John Dies At the End is that book your friends keep nagging you to read, explaining that it is really awesome and that YOU would really love it, as it's just the sort of thing you should read, but you've never gotten around to reading it because of reasons. Guess what? It actually is really awesome and you would actually love it. Follow my lead and go apologize to your friends for not reading it sooner. I'll wait.
John Dies at the End is weird. Like, really weird. Sometimes it is quirky weird, mentioning pop culture references, giving snarky commentary, and the banter of good friends who may partake in more drugs than the average person. At other times it is batshit weird, David Cronenberg weird. It's weird like something spewed up your most awkward nightmares and then injected that spew into some sort of insectoid frame so that it can crawl all over you.
It's also fucking funny.