Home Of Pure Retro Movie Love.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

31 More Days Of October Terror: 10/27

Day Twenty-seven:

An Evil Dead Double Feature!

The Evil Dead
A New Line Cinema Release
Original Theatrical Release Date: October 15th, 1981

The first Evil Dead long stayed with me for many years. I remember catching it for the first time and being utterly terrified by it at some points. That scene where the pencil gets stabbed into someones ankle especially shook me up.

The Evil Dead started shooting in 1979, the filmmakers ran into financing issues and then shot it over time for about 2 years before it finally made it's debut in 1981 (where Stephen King's subsequent endorsement really helped get the film noticed). Sam Raimi spent a long time with this movie, and the hard work really paid off. He has come a long way since this film, but he hasn't made another anywhere near as terrifying. It was a tough act to follow, but in 1987, he managed to top himself in a different way...

Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn
A DEG/Rosebud Releasing Corporation Film
Original Theatrical Release Date: March 13th, 1987

What Evil Dead 2 lacks in genuine scares really makes up for it with a distinct ingenuity that forever changed the Horror Film landscape. Countless films and filmmakers to this day have been inspired by the madness of Sam Raimi's work here, and you can totally understand why. It's high comedy mixed with pitch black darkness and the tone somehow really works for the film. Evil Dead 2 is sometimes considered a cult movie, though it had some success at the box office. But that term is absolutely right for a film like this.

Although some of the effects may now seem a tad dated (ah, the late 80's to early 90's obsession with latex!) there's no denying that this movie show, with the genius of Bruce Campbell's go-for-broke nuttiness at the forefront, is a completely fun ride that you can take over and over. 


Andrew Green said...

Totally agree....
Weird, though, how the sequel in this case is essentially a remake of the original.

Cinema Du Meep said...

I know, right? It's one of the rare instances where it really doesn't matter. You get a lot out of both films.

J.D. said...

"That scene where the pencil gets stabbed into someones ankle especially shook me up."

I think it was the rape by tree branch that did it for me.

But yeah, the pencil scene is a tough one, too. I think I prefere EVIL DEAD II a bit more if only for its gonzo energy and Campbell's inspired performance. He just gives it all he's got.

Cinema Du Meep said...

That tree rape sequence, my lord. I remember watching this with my much older Aunt and Grandmother on cable once and they were just shocked beyond belief. Needless to say they loved the picture.

The Film Connoisseur said...

Sometimes I wish Raimi would go back to making movies like these, it seems he has said goodbye to this kind of filmmaking.

Drag Me to Hell was an attempt to go back to his Evil Dead roots, but it felt like Evil Dead Light. I want to see some real mayhem and nuttiness up on screen. I think before he dies, RAimi will make something like this again. I havent given up hope yet.

But yeah, this two movies I've seen so many times, they are definetly rides you can take over and over again! Both distinctive in their own way. One more horror, the other more the special effects ride, and the third, the adventure.

J.D. said...

The Film Connoisseur:

I still hold out hope that Raimi and Campbell will reunite on something where he won't be relegated to a simple cameo. I dunno if it will be an EVIL DEAD film as Campbell ain't getting any younger but at this point anything with these two would be great.

I agree with your assessment of DRAG ME TO HELL but I still enjoyed it a lot.

Shaun [The Celluloid Highway] said...

The first 'Evil Dead' is a great film...an extended gag reel for horror fans. In the UK it became a banned video nasty, and even Raimi had to fly in to defend it in court. Thats what happens when those that arent conversant with the conventions (and comedic potential) of horror are able to sit in judgement on them.

Cinema Du Meep said...

I'm actually a fan of Drag Me To Hell. It's the most satisfying movie Raimi has made in a long, long time. Plus it was gorgeously shot.


Wow, that's a pretty interesting tidbit about The Evil Dead. Thanks for sharing that!

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