Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead is Sam Raimi's first feature film and, wow, what an impression he made!  This writer, director and executive producer gave us what can only be described as a living Road Runner Cartoon on horror steroids.  It's disgustingly gross, quite funny at times and takes the viewer on one crazy ride.  If you don't have a stomach for gore, sit this one out.  If you do, then let the blood begin flowing!

The story starts when five friends go to a cabin in the woods where they stumble upon an ancient book and a reel to reel tape which provides an audio translation of what is written there.  Once the tape is played, all hell breaks loose: the "demon cam" takes you on a roller coaster ride through the woods.  Friends start becoming demon-possessed flesh-munching monsters.  Blood flows more freely than it does at the Red Cross. 

Bruce Campbell is crazy wonderful as the film's swashbuckling hero, Ash, who undergoes a transformation from scaredy cat to full-on zombie slayer by the end of the film.  Ash is an anti-hero in the sense that he is less Buffy the Vampire Slayer and more your average guy who rises to the occasion.  He doesn't have any special powers but, somehow, finds a way to get the job done.  The rest of the cast is great as well and bring the mayhem to life in an over-the-top style that serves this movie well. 

In an age that is pre-CGI, the effects in this movie are quite creative in their use of prosthetics and sight gags.  Furthermore, the claymation meltdown at the end of the film is simply a work of art.  CGI makes things much easier for filmmakers today to bring to life anything they can imagine.  I found myself appreciating the hard work and old fashioned inventiveness that made this film leap from the screen and into the viewer's lap.  It is one intense viewing experience.  The Evil Dead is not for everyone but if you loved 2009's Zombieland, then this film is definitely your cup of tea [or bucket of blood as the case may be].  This one can be watched instantly through Netflix or rented everywhere. 

Raimi remade Evil Dead in 2013 but I found it to be humorless, sadistic and brutal.  It’s basically well-made “torture porn” which is a modern sub-genre I dislike immensely.  Stick with the original!

For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

1 comment:

  1. I loved watching Evil Dead back before the digital remastering VHS release back in the early 90's. Since then. it has been hard to watch it as the true horror masterpiece that it is. It looks too much like ED2 which is for intents and purposes is a horror-comedy. I have not seen any DVD or Blue Ray release that has given the film its 16mm graininess that it was filmed with.