Friday, October 19, 2007

Evil Dead

(1981) ****

"Join us! Join us!"

Two college boys and three college girls head off to a cabin in the middle of nowhere for a little R & R. Even before they arrive, unnatural things start to happen, though no one is too concerned. On arrival the students begin to settle in to the rickety, no-frills cabin. Scott disappears into the cellar, and doesn't return promptly; Ash goes to find him. In the cellar, the boys dicover some disturbing memorabilia: a book of the dead, "bound in human flesh and inked in human blood," says the audiotape conveniently situated near the book itself. The book contains incantations that can raise spirits; the tape includes these incantations, spoken by a professor investigating the mysteries of the book. Despite the girls' protests, the incantations are played aloud, and the creepy, gory horror instantly rachets up, and up, and up.

I haven't ever seen a better low budget horror movie than the Evil Dead. This movie makes the case that a low budget is literally no excuse for poor quality. Sam Raimi brought a freshness and originality to the genre even while rehashing/spoofing it. The movie has a distinct tongue-in-cheek quality though it is genuinely gross and scary at the same time. The acting and dialogue are B-level but fit the type of movie perfectly. The reactions are what you would expect from real people if they found themselves in these unrealistic situations. We get loads of blood, violence, shocks, and even pathos. Evil Dead is great, oogy fun; definitely not for the squeamish!

8 comments:

Johnny Sweatpants said...

Was that the first time you'd seen this one AC? I've watched it more times than I care to admit...

Right on about the low budget not being an excuse for poor quality.

AC said...

no, oddly enough, your brother lent me and Jon his Evil Dead video the year we all moved to Boston. i hadn't seen it since, though, and that was over 10 years ago. i thought it held up to a second viewing very well.

DCD said...

Excellent. I think it's been about that long since I have seen this flick. I'll have to do a re-watch!

Whirlygirl said...

Great review AC! I watched this for the first time last Horrothon.

Jordan said...

I only saw the second one ("Groovy!") and loved it, although it is pretty ridiculous.

AC said...

thanks DCD and Whirlygirl!

Jordan, I think you'd dig Evil Dead. In fact, I'd appreciate your insights (and anyone else's) where the sly sense of humor is actually coming from. Often I was smiling or at least amused when nothing funny was going on.

Jordan said...

WIth ED2 it's obviously the crazed Bruce Campbell creating the weirdly funny tone.

AC said...

agreed.

he plays it comparatively straight in ED, though.