The Evil Dead
Director: Sam Raimi
Written by: Sam Raimi
Weapon of Choice: Shotgun
Based upon: Original
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Other movies in this series:
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
Army of Darkness
Rish Outfield's reviews
So, what is it about the Evil Dead that makes it such a cult classic? Well, it is sort of scary. And sort of funny. But manoman, is it SICK! You would have to search high and low to find a movie with more blood, slime, gore, and pus than a single sequence of this movie. The film is very low budget, but it's well-done in spite of the shortcomings. The camera angles (specifically the ‘forest spirit' effect) are amazing, sometimes unforgettable. The gruesome splatter effects are top-notch, although many times dummies, stop-motion, even puppets are used. The eyes of the possessed folk are creepier than backhair, and their taunts really unnerve you. The sound is probably the best aspect of this film, many times chilling, so make sure you check out the remastered version. One of its charms is great dialogue, like, "We can't bury her, she's a friend of ours." This show rules. I loved it. There were scenes of great tension and gore so over-the-top George Romero would get queasy. Please don't take it seriously, though, folks, since another charm is its bizarre, pointless violent imagery.
Best Scare: The first appearance of a possessed soul--in the card scene. The thing in the cellar, as in the sequel/remake, is also pretty great.
I'd Recommend It To: Serious Gorehounds; plus deadite, Bruce Campbell, and student film fans.
NOTE: You know when you were a kid and your so-so neighbour Kari-Ann went away for the summer to live with her aunt, and when she returned you were shocked by the changes in her? Had her hair always been that colour? Were her eyes always that bright? Where did those bumps come from? Well sometimes, I'll see a movie and be none-too-impressed, but upon second glance, a whole new world opens up. Such was the case with Scream, and more recently, The Evil Dead. Shrugged off as a silly and stupid waste of time, I picked up the special edition the other day, and found brilliance where there wasn't any before. True, the continuity was still flawed, and some of the effects were still lacking, but I also found style and grace. Camera angles that must've taken a day to set up, amazing special effects for a student film, and ingenuity beyond the call of duty.
SECOND NOTE: In reading my original review, I guess I wasn't that hateful to begin with. I suppose Kari-Ann was always pretty cute.
The tyranist's thoughts
The very beginning of Sam Raimi's film career and a fantastic little film. The budget is obvious at times, but this movie is so much fun that I am willing to overlook all of its shortcomings and just say that it is a beautiful piece of work. Every horror fan should see this now if they haven't. And every film fan with a strong stomach should see it at some point.
This is effectively the beginning of my love affair with Ash (I actually saw Army of Darkness first). Ash is more than just the everyman. He encompasses the soul of humanity that will never give up fighting against the darkness. Yes, it sounds like a lot of rhetorical pap, but Ash represents all of us and our never give up attitude when it comes to fighting the dead. Not that I have any personal experience.
Bruce Campbell (who goes on from here to play a lot of classic characters) and Sam Raimi have put together the smartest, cheap horror film ever made. In some very important ways it compares to Halloween. It launched a fine directors horror career, along with a fine horror actor. It was made independently from an intelligent script. And each redefined horror in its own way.
Note: After recently reading Bruce Campbell's autobiography, If Chins Could Kill (a book I highly recommend to horror fans), I rushed out and bought the Book of the Dead edition of the DVD. You know, the one with the wicked fleshy cover. Anyway, having finally gotten back around to this movie I have to say that it a) stands up to all the praise I lavished upon it as a naive lad (three whole years ago) and b) must be seen on one of the newer DVDs as the transfer has become amazing and Sam Raimi's brilliance shines even more.
Total Skulls: 32
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie|
|Future celebrity appears|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Warning goes unheeded|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|x years before/later|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood spatters - camera, wall, etc.|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|
|What the hell?|