Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Evil Dead


(1981) *****

Wham! Slap! Kapow! Sam Raimi trots out his dynamic "you are there" camera style and kicks my ass all over that cabin. This is one of those rare movies that manages to be a surprise every time. I could never get used to the sounds the Possessed make, I could never see Linda cackling in her nightgown and not freak out. Now this is a possession story I can get into, unlike stupid Ring Two.

It's satisfying to watch this from the perspective of a world in which we have Sam Raimi, director of blockbusters. To have someone like him in the mainstream is good, but it's funny how much he's toned it down. Think this movie vs. Spiderman. This raw, undiluted Raimi is like the Three Stooges on bad acid -- it would have to be, to make such a rollercoaster experience out of a movie that basically takes place in one room.

Other appealing aspects of the guerilla vibe are: young Bruce Campbell, grainy film quality that makes everything even more evil, dialogue that proves there's a fine line between stupid and clever ("We can't bury Shelly, she's a friend of ours.") and did I mention young Bruce Campbell? With all that in play, you don't even question what the appeal is of getting "right up in the mountains" in Tennesse.

And there's Bruce Campbell getting drenched with blood! Gouts of it, from out of his lover's neck! Who he just decapitated! This movie is like that, just one long sequence of exclamation points. I realized by shunting the Romero movies out of my Classic Roundup (for a Zombie Roundup next year), I tipped the gore meter heavily in Raimi's favor. But talk about setting the bar!

This movie is so good, it's worthy of the Stephen King quote on the original VHS box, before he devalued his opinion by turning into a total quote whore. Tell your friends -- my friends already know.

1 comment:

JPX said...

That's the perfect photo to capture how insane that film is!