Dave Wong (Chase Williamson) remembers a zombie skinhead he beheaded last year and wonders if an axe with a replaced handle and a replaced head is the same axe. He meets with a reporter, Arnie Blondstone (Paul Giamatti) to talk about the recent supernatural events in the city. He gets a call from John (Rob Mayes), his partner in their demon-slaying business. They try to help a woman who’s being harassed by her dead ex-husband. Meat from the freezer becomes sentient and attacks them, and the woman turns into a pile of snakes. So, a normal day.
A while back, Dave went to a party with John, Fred Chu (Jimmy Wong), Justin White (Johnny Weston), and Amy Sullivan (Fabianne Therese), who is missing a hand. Amy’s dog, Bark Lee, has gone missing after biting Robert Marley (Tai Bennett), a drug-dealer who claims to have special powers. Dave sees Bark next to his car and takes him in the back seat for the rest of the movie. At one point, the dog explains what’s happening.
John frantically calls Dave to come over at once. In John’s apartment, he finds a syringe containing a black drug. John sees a strange creature that Dave cannot see. The drug, called Soy Sauce, was given to him by Marley, and it grants inhuman knowledge and access to alternate dimensions and time streams. Dave accidentally stabs himself with the syringe and travels to alternate dimensions. When he returns to the here and now, he finds a strange thin man named Roger North (Doug Jones) in the back seat. Roger puts a creature down Dave’s shirt and tells him to drive. Dave burns it off with the car cigarette lighter and threatens Roger, who disappears.
Detective Lawrence Appleton (Glynn Turman) asks Dave and John about the party. It seems John and Justin White were the only survivors of a drug-party thrown by Robert Marley. The others disappeared or died strangely. At this point in the narrative, Arnie the reporter wants to leave, but Dave shows him the monster he has in his car, and he stays. During the police questioning, John drops dead and telepathically contacts Dave through a knockwurst sandwich pretending to be a phone. He shows Dave that the cop watching him is a ghost and helps him escape. Dave goes to Marley’s house and is rendered unconscious by the Soy Sauce. He wakes to see Detective Appleton trying to burn down the trailer. An elite force is trying to get in. Appleton shoots Dave, who time travels back to the munitions factory and tampers with the bullet, saving himself. The dog, Bark Lee, drives Dave’s car through the wall, allowing him to escape. Dave is subdued by Justin White.
Dave tries to kill him, but he is infected. Justin kidnaps Dave, Fred, Bark, and John, and takes them to an abandoned mall, where he hopes to travel to another dimension.
Appleton kills White and then explodes into a swarm of insects that possesses Fred, and Dave reluctantly kills him. Amy opens the ghost door with her phantom limb, allowing John and Dave to go through. They meet North and celebrity exorcist Albert Marconi (Clancy Brown), who says the source of the weirdness is Korrok, a supercomputer who has become a genocidal god out to conquer new dimensions. Marconi gives Dave and John an LSD-laced C4 explosive to incapacitate Korrok.
They step through a portal to an alternate Earth. Korrok’s disciples greet them as the Chosen Ones, in a totalitarian society where dissenters are maimed by Korrok’s monsters. Brought before Korrok to be devoured, John tries to activate the bomb, but fumbles. Bark Lee grabs the bomb and flings himself into Korrok, destroying them both.
After escaping, Dave and John meet Marconi again and learn that Bark Lee was meant to defeat Korrok all along, after biting a soy-sauce-befuddled Marley. Amy becomes Dave’s girlfriend. Dave and John become exorcists and demon-hunters. In the present, Arnie decides not to publish the story. They find the real Arnie decapitated in his car and Arnie vanishes into thin air. Later, John and Dave play basketball and throw the ball into a post-apocalyptic dimension. They ignore a paramilitary organization that tells them they are the Chosen Ones to restore the world. John does not die at the end.
The horror comedy was written and directed by Don Coscarelli, based on David Wong’s novel. The critical response was decidedly mixed. It was called a mash-up of Douglas Adams and Stephen King, and deeply amusing in the sickest possible way. The executive producers were Daniel Carey and Paul Giamatti. The uniforms worn by the Human Liberation Army were left over from Galaxy Quest. John’s full name is John Cheese, which is John Cleese’s real name. The sequel to be book, by Mark Leighty, is entitled “This Book is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It.” Bark Lee—his real name—was a rescue dog and a pretty good actor.