As horror movies go, you can’t get much more popular than this industry and fan favorite and for good reason. This is a masterpiece of oddball horror, comedy and wacky special effects.
This movie holds a special place in my heart because as a teenager I was really into this sort of thing but my dad wasn’t. He saw this sort of thing as sort of weird. Until one day he was walking through the living room and saw the scene where the eyeball pops out of Henrietta’s head and flies across the room into another character’s mouth. Even my dad recognized the Three Stooges comedy in that and laughed out loud.
There’s something wonderfully charismatic about the skull on the poster. It’s sort of smiling at us in a charming way. A goofy, wry sort of smile and those eyes . . . It could only be Bruce Campbell.
I should say outright that no, this is NOT a zombie flick, just a good horror comedy with lots of possessed corpses and demons running about.
The story follows our protagonist Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda into the woods as they set off on a romantic getaway. They discover a tape recorder with he voice of a professor reciting words from an ancient “book of the dead.” The magic words waken something evil in the woods which then continue to assault Ash and other arrivals at the cabin for the rest of the movie.
It’s a gross, Three Stooges adventure that has managed to charm critics and viewers despite the brutal nature of the action and the extremely high amount of gore depicted. There’s an amazing synergy between Campbell’s fun portrayal of the protagonist, Raimi’s wacky imagery style, and the type of humor and gore they use. Ultimately it never really seems to take itself seriously which is why we can so easily laugh along with it.
With the rights to the first film a bit muddled and not being able to go about a straight sequel the decision was made to sort of remake the first movie and improve upon it, taking it a bit further as well. For viewers this can seem a bit confusing. It’s as if Ash just didn’t remember any of the events of the first movie but decided it would be a good idea to go back to that nice cabin in the woods. (Seen that title before haven’t we?)
So I can’t say it’s bad so much as adaptive in hindsight but for first-time viewers it can definitely be pretty confusing.
– There are things that defy logic all throughout the film like the chalk outline of the missing chainsaw in the tool shed. Why on earth would that be there other than a visual cue for the audience? When black blood and ooze are shooting from the girlfriend’s beheaded corpse in the shed, why doesn’t Ash close his mouth?
Do I really care? No. Should you? No. Just have fun!
– In the original Nightmare On Elm Street a group of kids are seen watching the Evil Dead. So when filming EDII Freddy’s glove was hung up in the shed as a little tip of the hat!
– Next time you watch any Sam Raimi movie look out for the car from Evil Dead II in the background. It’s everywhere, from Crimewave to Spiderman to the Evil Dead remake!