Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Evil Dead II
Watching this, I was thinking about that 3D popped eyeball in Friday the 13th #3, wondering if the people responsible really thought they were doing something great. It took five more years for REAL eyeball genius, when Ash slams that demon's head hard enough to pop one out, and after an eye-POV shot and a profile of the eye in flight, it lands right in the screaming woman's mouth. Seeing that was like seeing someone make a basket from the other side of the court. That feeling of raucous joy permeates everything in Evil Dead II. Every punch, slash, axe-blow, gush of blood and breaking chair feel like that full-court shot. Bruce Campbell delivers the performance of his life, pulling out physical humor worthy of Harold Lloyd and carrying the whole movie with his big expressive face.
Sam Raimi condenses the first movie into seven minutes in the beginning (the length of your average Tom and Jerry cartoon, I noticed with a snicker), and gives his abandoned cabin adventure an astounding upgrade. While the original is certainly unique, you don't have the sense of loss that so often comes with this kind of makeover. You still feel the maddening, voracious eeeevil of the Evil. You feel the desperate clinging to the pathetic non-safety offered by the cabin. Whenever the plot gets within even two or three beats from dragging, someone turns into a demon!
What else can I say? This movie is like the Exorcist with ninjas.