Pop Junk’s 31 Days of Halloween: #3 Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn

This might sound corny but if you were to do one of those word association games and you said what’s the first word that comes to you mind when you say Halloween I would say “fun” It’s a great holiday where we celebrate the macabre ns a fun and playful way.  Well here’s a horror movie that when I first watched it I didn’t think much of it, but over time it really grows on you and it truly is a ridiculously fun movie that is now an all time favorite. It wasn’t a problem putting this movie so high up on the list, but rather which should I pick Evil Dead or Evil Dead 2.  It’s a strange quandary because Evil Dead is a classic, made on an extremely low budget and is a pretty relentless horror movie.  Evil Dead 2 was produced on a larger budget and seemed more like the movie Sam Raimi wished he could make.  Half sequel, half remake, it’s plain to see that Evil Dead 2 all be it a bit more of a cheeky film was/is the superior film.

In 1987 Film maker Sam Raimi readopted his film Evil Dead into a sequel/remake and the results were flawless. Nearly the entire storyline of the previous film has been re-shot and presented in a drastically condensed form within the first few minutes so first time viewing is not factor here.  Square-jawed but clueless “hero” Ash (Bruce Campbell) now visits the mountain cabin only with girlfriend Linda (played here by Denise Bixler). Upon arrival at the cabin, Ash discovers the Sumerian Book of the Dead, the ritual dagger and a reel-to-reel tape containing the professor’s translations of the book’s hieroglyphics. The incantations summon an unseen, growling spirit from within the woods, which bursts into the cabin and takes possession of Linda’s soul.  This is pretty much where the shit hits the fan and at this point you are off and running.  Following Linda’s demonic possession, Ash cuts her head off with a shovel, buries her in the woods, she comes back to life, ballet dances outside of the cabin holding her head in a very crude stop animation style, and follow that up with a chainsaw battle with her head;  Pretty much within the first 20 minutes of this movie you see what you’ve gotten yourself into.

It’s not an easy task balancing horror and comedy but Sam Raimi does it with such a style that made him one of the most unique film makers of his time.  The ideas he has hatched with camera movement and cinematography and applied to this movie are just awesome.

A ton can be said about lead actor Bruce Campbell;  Raimi has been known to just beat the living hell out of this main character and this movie I think is the worst of all the beatings a character gets.  Campbell is just trashed around the house and trounced by demons and evil spirits but he does it with such personality that it makes you smile.  Also watching Ash battle himself as he goes from good to evil admittedly takes some skill as an actor and I always though Campbell never got his due for that being such a goofy horror flick.  I don’t know if there is anything more enjoyable in any movie than watching Ash do battle with his hand in what is one of the best scenes in this movie. As stated before the horror is so tongue and cheek with characters literally getting what seems like a fire hose of blood sprayed at them at one point, it’s pretty much par for the course.

do yourself a favor; if your watching this film with someone and as Ash is chopping up monster with a chainsaw attached to his arm and shooting demons with the shotgun in the other hand and someone interjects “Shouldn’t he be out of bullets?” That person missed the point of the film and politely asked them to “get the fuck out of the room.”

Seriously the events in this movie are one super changed cartoonish nightmare that is pretty relentless until the closing credits.  This movie effects people like a phase, you watch it,  you like, you watch it again, it entertains you even more, next thing you know you’re watching it once a week and showing friends who have never seen it at an almost consistent basis.  Other people (normal people) who don’t obsess over still can’t deny that it’s a funny, gross out horror flick that is truly entertaining movie.

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~ by ATOM on October 29, 2011.

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