Since all things must end, Evil Dead Week comes to a close. It’s been a lot of fun going through the entire series this week. If you’ve been reading and/or commenting along with me… Thank you very much for the support, and I hope you had even a sliver as much fun with it as I did. I’ve really enjoyed rewatching the movies, and writing about them was interesting. I don’t usually deal well with deadlines, so imposing a set of them on myself seemed like a setup for failure. I’m quite pleased to report that I made each of them.
I’m also incredibly pleased that I was able to enjoy the new movie. You might’ve noticed that nowhere since the review have I used the term reboot, or remake, in regards to it… I’m pretty sure it can actually qualify as a sequel, rather than a hard or soft reboot, or a remake. It seemed while watching it that the events that happened to Ash, Cheryl, Linda, Scotty and Sherry could very well have happened in this Universe. I’m pretty sure the evil even whispers the name Cheryl to Mia at one point in the swamp. Then there’s the whispered recorded messages in the background, as well as their appearance in the credits. I wish I had kept better track of where I read things today, but I’ve been all over the place looking at Evil Dead stuff, I kinda lost track. Anyway, this theory has been reported as confirmed by Alvarez and Raimi, and that supposedly a crossover movie will occur for Evil Dead 7: Army of Darkness 2, or whatever they plan on calling it.
I’m really glad I went through with this, as spur of the moment an idea that it was, particularly because I’ve never had the opportunity to really think about and discuss what I love about the series. I’m glad I figured it all out before watching the newest entry, because it really laid out for me what Evil Dead was going to have to do to impress me. If I hadn’t both watched and reviewed the first three this week, I don’t know if I would have really remembered just how different each entry is. I certainly wouldn’t have noticed half of the references to the original movies that Evil Dead has.
Anyway, thanks for putting up with my endless yammering on basically a single topic for a week. It was fun.
The newest addition to a cult classic franchise released tonight, and the old man and I were there to take it all in. Evil Dead revisits the 1981 feature length directorial debut of Sam Raimi. It is the story of five young adults out in a cabin in the middle of nowhere so that one of them can turn over a new leaf, and detox herself from her drug addiction. As often happens in movies where the word “Dead” is in the title, things don’t go well. After finding a bunch of dead cats and a book bound in flesh, inked in blood, an unspeakable evil begins to possess the quintet one by one, forcing them to do horrible things to themselves, and each other.
This time around, backed in a producing role by the creative team of the original films, another up and coming director who’s gained some notoriety from his short films, Fede Alvarez, takes the helm. His movie is original, gory, and fun, enough to stand on its own merit, but it’s also a love letter to the original trilogy, showing the influence of–and paying homage to–the originals throughout.
Would you like to know more? Continue reading… spoilers are minimal, but the images are more graphic than I normally post here.
Army of Darkness is the final instalment of the original Evil Dead Trilogy. After being tossed through a portal at the end of Evil Dead 2, Ash finds himself in England, in the year 1300. At first he’s mistaken for an enemy clansman by Lord Arthur, but Ash quickly and hilariously proves himself to be “The Chosen One”. He begins a quest to find the Necronomicon, “The Book of the Dead”, that started out all this mess in the first place two movies ago. It goes about as well as can be expected… terribly. Ash ends up waking an army of undead, an Army of Darkness, if you will… that leaves Medieval England up shit creek without a paddle…
Army of Darkness ends up completely abandoning whatever semblance of horror and seriousness that could still be found in Evil Dead 2, and instead chooses to go completely over the top with foolishness, camp and cheesey B-Movie greatness. If Evil Dead 2 is tongue-in-cheek, Army of Darkness’ tongue has pierced through.
Somehow, Raimi and company pull it off again, and create one of the most entertaining, funny, exciting, quotable adventure movies ever made.
Evil Dead 2 follows a grand tradition of horror movie sequels. It has more of almost everything. It has more blood. It has more gore. It has more characters. It has more Evil-Vision™. It has more laughs. About the only thing it doesn’t have more of, is fright. You see, since The Evil Dead found so much success by not being taken seriously, Raimi directs resident ham Bruce Campbell in a slapstick comedy that features tons of laughs, blood and gore. This new formula works very well. The movie is wall to wall cheese, but unlike most intentional cheese, Evil Dead 2 is actually funny.
The Evil Dead is the story of 5 University kids who visit a cabin in the woods, find a book bound in flesh and a reel-to-reel, and unleash an unspeakable evil on the world. There are two young couples, Ash (Bruce Campbell) and Linda (Betsy Baker). Scotty (Hal Delrich) and Shelly (Theresa Tilly), and Ash’s sister Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss) comes along as a fifth wheel, because that is required of all Horror Movies.
The characters are archtypical on one hand, but still break the mold a bit. Scotty is clearly a douche, and Ash is kind of a dork. None of the women seem to burst out of the gate as whores, virgins or bookworms… but since Cheryl is the fifth wheel, and draws pictures, she’s clearly the bookworm. She’s also the closest thing to a stick in the mud, so she can claim the Virgin card… until she’s raped by a tree, anyway.
Shortly after listening to the reel-to-reel, the ground starts smoking and possessions start happening, and the world basically turns to shit. One by one the young college students become possessed by the evil they’ve unleashed, until only Ash remains. He goes batshit fucking insane, and eventually defeats the demons with the power of Stop-Motion Animation.