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'Baby, I ain't holdin' yer hand!'
Well, you certainly couldn't laud this film for the realism of its special effects, but in terms of throwing everything at a film in the hope that some of it sticks and scares, then this film has it all. Sam Raimi is probably best known for his direction of the Spider-Man trilogy of the last decade, but those who have been aware of his earlier work will be well versed with his love for the horror genre.
Evil Dead II is a direct sequel to the events of Evil Dead, which saw a group of young adults come across a hidden cottage in the woods which was home to a number of undead beasts, zombies and a supernatural element that must have been a director's delight. Ash returns to the shack (is it the same shack or a different location? Is it even the same person?) with his girlfriend, and before long there are weird goings on. Something else is lurking in the dark and when it finally reveals itself, you won't know whether to laugh or scream!
The first half an hour or so is solid with Bruce Campbell as Ash as he hallucinates, sees people and things being possessed, and yet manages to try and maintain an air of calm. He appears to die and then be resurrected, and wrestles with other beasties that come along, defending himself and other randoms who turn up against all manner of evil attacks.
Some of them are cinematic brilliance, and you can easily see why this film has been praised for its ingenuity and for choosing to throw the kitchen sink at the screen. From a maniacally cackling moose's head to blood bursting through the walls; from an eyeball shooting into someone's mouth with us getting the view from the eyeball's trajectory to more maniacal cackling from designer zombies appearing from the cellar. It's brilliant. Purely brilliant.
I couldn't help but marvel at how random my reaction was as well. There's nothing special about the acting, but the way in which this sort of horror film plays out on screen has always been something I've thought is brilliant. The hours spent on the special effects are impressive and somehow scarier than a lot of the digital work that you and I see nowadays. This is horror with artistic flair and talent, and the use of sound effect and liquids to produce the atmosphere, where the music makes more of a difference, and the camera angle needs to be tidier and tighter than these days in order to show what you need and hide what you want the mind to be guessing is there.
If you're after a horror film that will simultaneously impress you and make you snigger, then this is it. There's even a brilliant ending that pays homage to a classic film, mimicking it, although I don't want to tell you for fear of giving it away. Safe to say that Raimi never gave up making follow ups to this film, and nor should anyone ever give up on this or any other horror flicks by the director. We know it's not real, but the fact that the graphic designer and director and camera operators have managed to animate these inanimate creations somehow makes it creepier. Loved it.
Evil Dead 2 is a film loved by critics and movie goers alike. It fast, fun, gory and has a good story to boot. i watched this film for the upteenth time the other day (it was halloween after all) and was surprised by how well it still stands up to more modern horror films.
The film is basically a more stylized remake of the first film which means a bigger budget and bigger laughs! Although to be honest it doesn't really sticvk to the original too much and is all the better for it. The story follows Ash (bruce campbell) and his girlfreinds visiting a log cabin in the middle of nowhere to get away from it all. Little do they know that the last person there was an historian who was researching the book of the dead which he found on one of his expeditions and has now gone missing. They find the book of the dead (on audio tape) and unwittingly release demons into the surrounding woods. This causes mayhem and its up to Ash to save the day with his trusty boomstick and chainsaw. What follows is a whirlwind mixture of humour and horror. Its all done in Raimi's iconic slapstick which never really makes you cringe at all but all your horror cravings are satisfied. Sometimes this is more like a psycological horror as
this is a great film and shows just what Sam Raimi is able to do when he is let loose. the real star here is Campbell who thanks to this role is forever going to be an icon. In truth he is great in the role and its a mysterey as to why he never made it big.
If you have never seen evil dead 2 then it really is a must see. Even if your not a fan of horror you can enjoy this as its so slapstick at times. I mean the blood changes color and is never red!
Evil Dead II is the often credited as the film that spawned the genre comedy-horror and it is the sequel to The Evil Dead, although it could be argued that the film doesn't really class as a sequel and more a remake. The film is directed by Sam Raimi and stars Bruce Campbell in his legendary role as Ash.
The film begins the same way that the first film begins but without all the characters, Ash and his girlfriend Linda head to up the hills to a secluded cabin where Ash finds The Book of the Dead and a tape recording of Professor Knowby reading from it. Ash plays the recording and when he hears a window smash and Linda scream he goes to see what has happened, he sees Linda has been possessed and proceeds to behead her, he then buries her and attacked by an invisible force that carries him through the trees and ends by smashing him into one and leaving him lying in a puddle. He tries to escape but the road leading up the hills has been destroyed so with no other choice he returns to the cabin where he goes through hell.
There are some very comic scenes in this section of the film, one of the best is Ash looking into the mirror saying 'I'm fine, I'm fine' and then all of a sudden his reflection jumps out and says 'I don't think so, we just cut up our girlfriend, does that sound fine? Immediately after this Ash's hand becomes possessed and we see a slapstick battle between him and his possessed hand. This ends with him removing his own hand with a chainsaw, his hand then continues to attack him squeaking like some sort of mouse, he eventually catches it and traps it under a bucket and puts some books on top, the book at the top of the pile is entitled A Farewell to Arms.
The comedy is there for all to see throughout the film and it is much less serious and something of a parody of the first. It's not just the comedy that makes this film a classic; we see Raimi's raw creative talents throughout, in the plot and in the direction. Every time it seems like the film has nowhere else to go writers Raimi and Scott Spiegel take it in another direction. Firstly, Knowby's daughter Annie, Ed, Jake and his wife Bobby Jo turn up, they realise that something has happened to Annie's parents and throw Ash in the cellar. Annie then plays more of the tape which explains what has happened throughout the film so far, suddenly they hear sounds coming from the cellar where Ash is being attacked by the re-incarnated form of Henrietta, Annie's mother. This is just one of many surprisingly unpredictable plot twists.
The films dialogue is full of ridiculous one-liners and bright witty comments, when Ash shoots his hand and shouts 'got you, didn't I, you little sucker' is one moment that sticks in mind. There are moments like this throughout the film and although it is very slapstick and not overly clever it is still pretty funny. The best scene from the film involves the furniture and wall fixings in the room laughing, from the standing lamp to the Moose head seeing this Ash begins to laugh as he balances on the edge of insanity, it is a brilliant scene and one that had me laughing along with Ash and the furniture.
As well as having a good solid script and some decent plot twists, Raimi directs the film brilliantly. The camera on a roller moving towards the cabin, coupled with a weird hissing noise to create the illusion of an invisible force is pure cinematic gold. It is techniques like this that prove Raimi is a creative god, being able to make this film on such a small budget and create such a level of commercial success is pretty impressive, particularly as the film remains a cult classic and has and still does have a massive influence on popular culture.
Bruce Campbell is ridiculously good as Ash, his slapstick sequences and wide-eyed craziness are what make this role iconic. It is a remarkable comedy performance but he doesn't act stupid all the time, he also portrays the fear of the situation brilliantly but it is ultimately his borderline craziness that makes him so impressive. The rest of the cast are ok, they don't let the film down and no one steals the spotlight although that would be a pretty hard thing to do, it's Campbell that runs things in this one man show.
Throughout the film it is blatantly obvious that it was made on low budget. The special effects leave something to be desired, the blood that gushes out of the wall and out of the cellar simply looks like red water, which it probably was. The zombies sometimes look more like a part of Jabba the Hutt's crew than the living dead and when Bruce is trying to escape in his car it is blatantly obvious that it is a model. Weak special effects is something that is to be expected in a low budget affair like this and whilst it does look ridiculous is does add to the slapstick comedy effect of the whole film.
As well as poor special effects the film is full of very noticeable inconsistencies, the characters seem immune to becoming bloodstained and dirty, when Annie gets covered in blood streaming out of the cellar she stands up and has a mere speck of blood on her clothes. Throughout the film Ash who is constantly being thrown into walls, smashed over the head and getting covered in blood, seems to miraculously come clean, throughout he only has three minor cuts on his face and the blood that covers his face one minute is gone the next. Again, this is probably as a result of the low budget and the fact that the filmmakers just couldn't afford to keep the actors looking like they were going through hell; it is just another misfortune that ultimately adds to the slapstick style.
The only thing that really disappointed me about the film was the ending; it is the sort of ending I hate, the sort that would normally ruin a film for me. The ending to this just leaves it set right up for a sequel. It isn't imaginative at all and is just an easy way to make more money from the success of one film. Luckily, I enjoyed the film a lot so the ending didn't ruin it entirely.
If you haven't seen this film yet, put it at the top of your wish list. It is an absolute classic; it is very enjoyable and shouldn't be missed. It is a film that spawned a genre and it isn't just a sequel to the original it rips the original to shreds.
Evil Dead II starts where the original film finishes, continuing the story after a brief recap of the 1st films events. In case you haven't seen the original Evil Dead movie its basic is plot is this; a group of students arrive at a log cabin in the Tennessee Mountains for a weekend away, they discover that the cabins previous occupant had been an archaeologist named Professor Raymond Knowby, who had discovered the ancient Book of the Dead, the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. By listening to his recorded incantations read from the book, they trigger the awakening of demons in the woods. The rest of the film sees the main character Ash (Bruce Campbell) fighting the demons as they possess his friends one by one.
Just like the original, director Sam Raimi's Evil Dead II is a comedy horror film. Originally released in 1987 it has gone on to gain cult status amongst fans, largely due to its over the top gore, violence and dark humour throughout.
There is some debate amongst fans of the films whether this is a sequel or a remake of the first film, even though Sam Raimi has stated himself it's a sequel. This is mainly due to the films opening 7 minutes which recap the first film, but everything has been re-shot, editing out some of the characters and major events. This is due to legal reasons, as Sam Raimi lost the rights to use footage from his original film, as Evil Dead II is distributed by a different company.
Much like the first the plot is pretty basic, with Ash (Campbell) spending the film killing demons which attack the log cabin, with the help of his chainsaw and shotgun! He is joined this time by another group of archaeologists who arrive after hearing about the Book of the Dead. Without giving away the ending too much, the film finishes of a cliff hanger with Ash dragged deeper into the word of the Necronomicon, straight away setting up the 3rd Evil Dead movie, Army of Darkness.
In conclusion you can see why Evil Dead II (and the whole trilogy) is regarded so highly by some film fans. I personally don't find it scary, more disgusting and creepy, but its strengths lie in its slapstick humour and over-the-topness. Really entertaining film.
The main cast includes...
Bruce Campbell as Ash
Sarah Berry as Annie
Danny Hicks as Jake
Kassie DePaiva as Bobby Jo
Ted Raimi as Possessed Henrietta
Denise Bixler as Linda
Richard Domeier as Ed
John Peaks as Professor Knowby
Lou Hancock as Henrietta
Director: Sam Raimi
Release Date: 26 June 1987 (UK)
Runtime: 85 minutes
Available on DVD and Blu-Ray
Evil Dead 2, also known as Evil Dead: Dead by Dawn, is Sam Raimi's follow up to the 1981 demonic freak show known as the Evil Dead, and it's clear that in 6 year gap he hasn't lost an ounce of his talent.
Evil Dead 2 begins pretty much from where the first film left off. Ash Williams, our favourite hapless protagonist, has barely had time to recover from the horrors of the first film before the Deadites are upon him in yet another brutal attack. Tried, traumatized, and now partially possessed, it seems that life can't get any worse for Ash. Of course, this is the Deadites were talking about. Soon he's being harassed by his headless former girlfriend, being given the run around by a particularly malicious severed hand, and being periodically throw into things by invisible forces. Take all this, and throw in an unfortunate group of amateur archaeologists and helpful locals, a demonic mother in the basement, and a runaway appendage, well, you know there's only one way this can go.
Although Evil Dead 2 is essentially a repeat of the first movie, using pretty much the same situation and the same enemies, it still manages to be highly original and entertaining. Sam Raimi has a wonderful talent of breathing life into his work, making this film a highly energetic, sometimes mind-bending experience. Like the first movie, as well as the 1992 sequel, Evil Dead 2 is punctuated by Raimi's strange, and often incredibly dark, sense of humour, meaning high velocity eyeballs and homicidal ostrich women are nothing out of the ordinary. Once again Bruce Campbell steals the show as our poor set upon hero, and the fact he's crazy the majority of the time makes him even more likeable. Don't ask me why, but Bruce is the only one who can make insanity look awesome.
I've seen enough movies to have suitably low expectations of sequels, but Evil Dead 2 has always struck me as one of the rare successes. To sum up it's pretty much an hour and a half of Campbell catchphrases, highly kinetic animatronic madness, and a series of demonic nightmares that would make Linda Blair hand in her crucifix. The conclusion: pure awesome.
Some films become such integral parts of popular culture that they almost become redundant as viewing experiences in their own right. If we were to make a collective decision never to watch another frame of The Matrix or Star Wars, for example, chances are animated comedy series' three decades from now would still be making obscure references to the most minute plot developments, and we would STILL be rolling our eyes and thinking about how sick we are of those particular motion pictures.
Sam Raimi's Evil Dead series stays just the right side of ENOUGH!, remaining absurdly entertaining and engrossing even after the Nth students-in-bars-doing-Bruce-Campbell-for-their-friends routine has had us grinding the last of our teeth to dust.
Evil Dead 2, arguably the best in the series (although a strong case could be made for its predecessor) is still funny enough, short enough, violent enough and packed with MORE than enough ingeniously devised gore-drenched slapstick to withstand any amount of re-viewings and quoting-sessions.
For all intents and purposes a spoof / remake of the first film (itself an elaboration upon Raimi's earlier student production Within The Woods), Evil Dead 2 wastes not a second of its running time on anything so perfunctory as plot development or character establishing. Scarcely four minutes have passed before we're settled in the cabin where 98% of the action takes place, allowing young lovers Ash (Bruce Campbell) and Linda (Denise Bixler) the briefest of romantic moments before letting loose all the evils in creation for an hour-and-a-half onslaught of demons, dismemberment, madness and decapitation.
For the first half-hour, Evil Dead 2 feels like the splatter-horror Wall-E - one man situated in a harsh, alien environment communicating only in frenzied barks and delirious laughter, going about his business with no contact from anyone else - business along the lines of getting possessed, severing his demonic hand with a chainsaw, fleeing the dancing corpse of his recently beheaded girlfriend, enduring mockery from the ornaments etc etc.
Everyday stuff, all round.
Evil Dead 2 is just a whole heap of good ol' fashioned FUN. It's hilarious, and yet also - particularly when the supporting cast show up and tension begins to escalate - genuinely scary.
It is also dripping with cinematic genius. That staggering Birth Of Doc Ock scene orchestrated by Raimi in the brilliant Spider-Man 2 is equaled several times herein. When that Evil comes careering from the woods, ploughing in and out a car windscreen, storming about the cabin, smashing through doors ceilings, propelling an increasingly wired Bruce Campbell halfways across the forest, you just try and restrain a cheer, particular when considering how this is all pre-CGI hand-crafted effects work, and that it hurts like hell to get smacked up the face with a tree branch.
Bruce's grievances regarding the physical punishment he endured throughout filming are related in gloriously entertaining detail on his DVD commentary and the joyous, endearingly self-deprecating Making Of documentary, itself taking great delight in pointing out every continuity error, every glimpse of an actor accidentally flashed through a hole in a monster suit, every tell-tale mistake in the FX. It all serves only to increase ones enjoyment of the film, and to enforce one's sense of admiration for the achievements herein, rather than detract from it.
None of the three (so far, anyway) Evil Dead features are anything less than entertaining. Even the third, the weakest of the lot, is a world of fun, stuffed with a world of prime Campbell quippage and much giddying, deranged deadite-blasting. The middle installment, though, might just be the high-point. All the horror of the first one and the comedy of the third meshed in a beautiful opera of carnage and chins and chainsaws.
No matter how many times you've seen it, there's always room for another go. And with the DVD doing the rounds at ridiculously cheap prices, there's no excuse whatsoever to have it missing from your collection.
With the third movie in the Spiderman franchise now on general release in the UK, fans of the director, Sam Raimi, may choose to wind the clock back and reflect on his earlier directorial days when he was cutting his teeth on low budget, horror exploitation movies like those in the seminal Evil Dead franchise. Having directed the watershed Evil Dead released in 1981, the sequel - Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn - remains as popular today as it ever it was and provides an insight into the creativity of a man now widely accepted as a innovator in his field. Evil Dead II was released in1987, directed by Sam Raimi and written by Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel.
Ashley Williams (Bruce Campbell) heads out to a cabin in the woods for a romantic weekend with his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bickler). Stumbling upon a tape recording of old archaeology professor Knowby, Ash plays a recorded incantation that unleashes an evil force. The recording is of passages from the Necronomicon or Book of the Dead and is a mechanism to set free evil spirits. Following Lindas possession by a rather nasty entity, Ash beheads his girlfriend only to be subjected to a torrent of terror by both her possessed body and a malicious head. Not only that but an invisible force in the woods and some particularly frightful types in the cellar also get in on the act, terrorizing poor Ash. With our hero struggling to fend of the mischievous but deadly harpies, the professors daughter returns to the cabin together with her research partner, Ed, and after eventually realizing that Ash isnt the villain of the piece, the group battle the forces of darkness in an desperate attempt to avoid being dead by dawn.
The single biggest difference between the first movie and the Dead by Dawn sequel is the humour running throughout the second movie. Largely inspired by the involvement of Ed Spiegel, the movie never takes itself too seriously and Campbells decent into madness is underlined by his camp, over-the-top theatrics that makes the film so unique in its end product. Having established himself as Ash in the first movie, Campbell goes to town in Dead By Dawn riding a gamut of emotions, usually wide-eyed and often borderline crazy. With some iconic scenes that have forever framed the Ashley Campbell character in a perpetual computer-game sponsored Hall of Fame, Ash dramatically clamps his possessed girlfriends head in a vice ready to mete out its fate with a chainsaw, dismembers his own hand and ultimately equips himself in a make-shift body harness to insert the chainsaw in place of his missing hand and carry a sawn-off shotgun in the other. Images subsequently worth millions in the world of PC gaming. Raimis direction is the other big reason to celebrate. With a roller coaster ride of different camera angles and an imagination that takes the movie onto a different level, there are so many scenes that stand out. Take a bloody-faced Ash laughing maniacally as a stags head, a lamp and a rocking chair build into a crescendo of hysterics, Ash crawling along a glass-strewn floor to stop his possessed hand from reaching a meat cleaver and a shoot out between Ash and a giggling mouse-like rogue hand taunting the main character from the safety through a mouse hole and the other side of a plastered wall and you have a rogues gallery of insanely inspired scenes.
Where the movie suffers is in some of the special effects used. A scene shot where Ash is driving a car across a bridge spanning a ravine is very obviously a model and the stop motion animation featured at times is pretty clunky. Quite how Ashs dismembered hand manages to squeak when it hasnt got a mouth is anyones guess and the walls gushing red blood looks for all the world like the colored water which it probably was. With so many sequences relying on a plethora of various effect types then it was always going to be a challenge making them all seamless and, in this respect, the movie looks the low budget movie it clearly was. None of the rest of the cast really get a look in beyond Campbells amazingly over-the-top performance and the typecast Hillbillies that provide the trail route for Knowbys daughter and male friend to get to the cabin are distinctly understated and fairly unconvincing. Notwithstanding, many of the special effects are legendary and Raimis camera mounted on rails together with a disturbing, onrushing sound affect, pushed by hand to create the effect of the invisible entity closing in on the cabin is the stuff of movie folklore. The controversial tree-rape scene from the first movie gives way to a sinisterly active haunted forest that closes in on the cabin as the movie reaches its conclusion, providing the setting for the closing reels and the films climax.
The script is choc full of cheesy one-liners endearing the muscle-bound lead to an army of fans and leading to a third film that leads directly on from the second. Typical of the dialogue is Ash looking into a mirror after another lunatic sequence of events. As he stares at his reflection Ash utters I'm fine... I'm fine only for the Ash in the mirror to jump out, grab his alter ego and reply I don't think so. We just cut up our girlfriend with a chainsaw. Does that sound "fine"? At one point as Ash is preparing to separate from his hand, a pile of books fall onto the floor with the top book flying open to reveal its title - A Farewell to Arms - and its in-jokes like that that infiltrate the final movie on a much bigger scale.
Ive seen the Evil Dead 2 movie numerous times now and always enjoy it for its black humour, innovative special effects and for Bruce Campbells amazing one-man show. Whilst very much an 18-certificate and a run time of 85 minutes, "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn" is generally more accessible than its predecessor and more viable than the third movie, "Evil Dead 3: Army of Darkness". Sam Raimi engendered a whole new dimension to horror/fantasy flicks that still resonates today. For horror aficionados its a classic movie in every sense; for first time viewers then its a must-see and a movie that you will probably never forget!
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The Evil Dead series certainly does have a big place in every horror lovers heart. As camp as they are scary and with a superb star to head them out they are favourites in pretty much every horror movie fans collection. It also shows just how versatile Raimi is as a director. From all out-gore to superhero escapades he certainly knows how to do things well.
Its not really accurate to call this a sequel. This is more of a remake of the original and is basically what Evil Dead would have been if Raimi had the budget for it. Thanks to the success of the original Raimi really did let loose on this film and gave it all he had which isnt surprising seeing as it was rumoured his career was in freefall at the time. Ash (Bruce Campbell) decides to treat his girlfriend to a nice few days in a run down cabin in some remote woods because obviously he hasnt heard of cheap motels. Alas, it would seem their idyllic retreat is about to be gate-crashed by the evil spirits of the woods as Ash unwittingly unleashes all kinds of hell. Soon Ash is not only battling his own sanity but also a whole wood of evil and walking dead that seem to stop at nothing to send him to an early grave. Its up to him and a few gatechrashers to try and send the evil back to its own dimension but that sure as hell wont be easy.
While the film certainly follows the blueprint of the first to sometimes exact replications there are a few notable differences. The film is a lot funnier than the original. The first film wasnt intentionally funny though it would be hard to call it a serious horror flick. This time though humour is rife throughout the flick. Much of the film is devoted to Ash slowly losing his grip on reality as well as trying to fend off his possessed hand. There are a few sight gags but the humour is really more in-your-face thanks to the over the top style the film adopts.
Gore also plays a big part in this film which isnt surprising looking at its predecessor. Things are wound up a notch in terms of sheer absurdity of the violence and blood shed. We have headless dead people wielding chainsaws, a house that seems to hold ten tonnes of blood and decapitations a-plenty. The effects are a bag of good fake and laughably fake but the laughable ones just add to the whole sense of fun the film possesses, having the gore look real just wouldnt work in this film. That said the effects are an improvement over the original thanks to the bigger budget and looks a whole lot better for it. Even the deadites look spruced up and a lot more icky than before. While there is an abundance of violence it does seem to have been toned down somewhat from the original probably to avoid an NC-17 rating in the states so as to get a bigger audience packed in the cinemas. There is no tree rape scene to make you shift uncomfortably, indeed this version is just a lot more violent but cuts away at the most intense moment. Those who winced at the pencil being drove through ankles in the first film will also find nothing like this here. Itll save on anyone feeling noxious but those who wanted a full on violent massacre will do well to note that things are tamer. That said its still miles ahead in terms of all out over the top gore than any film around at the time and even today.
Raimi puts his directional skills to full effect on this film. The much loved camera trick of knocking down doors and smashing through windows is used here, some would say a bit too much, to even bigger effect. The claustrophobic feel of the cabin is superbly realized via a chase of Ash through its (quite many) twists and turns in forever keeping close to the character. He also knows how to mix humour and horror well. While this isnt as nerve wracking as the first film there are still plenty of shocks to make you jump a bit, though people who have seen the first film will be able to see a few pieces coming a mile off. Tension is provided in a few cases when the camera slowly closes up on a door creaking open leaving you wandering what the hapless people are going to find inside. Raimi also never really lets up in terms of having something going on. You are whisked away on a none stop horror ride that keeps flinging bits of blood and dead bits at you at a relentless pace. Sometimes feeling disjointed but for the most part this works well.
As gore-infested and entertaining as the film is, the film does lose its way at some points. The first segment of the film is a good laugh, theres no doubt about that and shows why Bruce Campbell is loved as a cult horror icon. However theres a whole lot of the slapstick humour, no doubt forming from Raimis love of the Three Stooges, that can seem to be drawn out a bit too much at times and you just wish the film would hurry things along a little bit and get on with the story at hand. That said when it does get moved along with the inclusion of the merry band of new people it doesnt really add too much. As characters theyre unlikeable and they also do some pretty dumb things such as blatantly running off into the woods alone which isnt something even the dumbest people would do. In the first film it was Ash and his buddies in this one its Ash and some random annoyances. Also the fact that this really is just a remake will disappoint some people in wanting an advancement on the series but if they want that they are catered for in third instalment, Army of Darkness. That said these things dont really bring the film down too much and any horror fan will get a kick out of it despite these faults.
The lack of any real talent in the casting is saved by Campbell. This is pretty much his own film to show off just what he can do and to put his mark on the horror genre today. Campbell portrays Ash as a sort of unwilling hero. While hes still slightly wimpy and not all that bright he can also turn about face and deliver some punishment to the evil things that surround him. Seeing as he has the first half to carry the film pretty much on his own he really does do a good job and it really wouldnt have worked if we had someone not willing to put themselves out like the way he does. We also get to hear some of his now famous one liners groovy, swallow this etc are all well remembered and often quoted favourites that have been referenced in other forms of media. The other characters are just there to edge the story on a little bit and are almost all uniformly bad. However the bad acting is a sort of advantage to the film as it adds to the humour of it all.
Evil Dead 2 may be dismissed as too funny by some of the fans of the series and its certainly not as dark as the original but it does deliver both laughs, scares and gore on high levels which is not always something a horror movie can get right. This, along with the other films in the series, still stand out today as true horror classics that people from all generations seem to love. While the horror genre can try and take itself seriously and fail, Evil Dead 2 manages to make a great parody and succeeds on other levels too. Entertaining throughout this is one horror film not to leave to rest.
EVIL DEAD 2 IS
A film for Bruce Campbell lovers
EVIL DEAD 2 IS NOT
A true sequel
As scary as the original
A film with a stella cast
Recently I have been hearing the following from the uninitiated - "Evil Dead 2? Isn't that a little bit like Wrong Turn and Cabin Fever?" Wrong way round numb-nuts, is my usual contemptuous retort. Not only is Evil Dead 2 the thematic template and basis for the recent spate of similar styled horror movies, it is also their superior in every conceivable facet. By a long, long way! In fact, it should be made a criminal offence for such rubbish to even be mentioned in the same breath as one of the 1980s true classics - if not one of the greatest movies ever put to film.
Hopefully I've now got your full and undivided attention with that last line. I can hear you all thinking, "What? Evil Dead 2, one of the greatest films ever made? You're having a giraffe Clowny?" Unfortunately not! Whilst authoritarian and renowned critics will constantly harp on, in an attempt to subjectively persuade audiences, about more established classics like Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia and The Godfather proclaiming them the greatest films ever made, it is just as likely said critics have simply scoffed at the title of Evil Dead 2, snobbishly presuming it to be an exploitative and dire eighties horror flick. Sam Raimi's predecessor, The Evil Dead, was certainly exploitative (not dire though). Made on a shoestring budget of $150,000 it was an articulated examination of how to make an independent film on the cheap and contained a rape scene involving a possessed tree that garnered The Evil Dead notoriety as one of the earliest labelled video nasties in Britain. Stephen King considered it to be "the most ferociously original horror movie" he had seen at the time. What followed The Evil Dead for the remainder of the decade was a myriad of unoriginal straight to video bloodbaths, simulating The Evil Dead, in fact trying to be the next Evil Dead, which had come to saturate the horror genre; but by unscrupulously placing Evil Dead 2 within this batch of sub-standard, badly acted and directed, provocative bloodbaths does the film's technical merits, originality and sheer enjoy-ability a major disservice.
Evil Dead 2 was released in 1987 with the original's director Sam Raimi (Spiderman, Darkman, A Simple Plan) and hero Bruce Campbell (Army of Darkness) returning for the sequel. Following a spookily narrated prologue that divulges the history and creation behind the Necronomicon (The Book of the Dead from the first film), Raimi quickly establishes the films simple premise. Whilst staying with his girlfriend Linda at a secluded cabin in the woods, dim-witted hero Ash (the magnificent Bruce Campbell) turns on a tape recording of a nowhere to be found professor that recites passages from the Necronomicon, awaking dark spirits in the wood outside. Linda is possessed and after swiftly removing her head with a blunt shovel, Ash barricades himself in the cabin, defending against the evil spirits with only a chainsaw, shotgun and what little wits he has, whilst slowly going nuts. The professor's daughter (plus others) turn up looking to find her father's research, but are instead drawn into Ash's fight for survival as the night turns into a non-stop bloodbath of outrageous horror and possession of the living. And that's it!
So far, so sounding like the myriad of unoriginal straight to video bloodbaths that had saturated the horror genre, circa 1987 - right? Not quite! Most other horrors tended to concentrate on the now typical tactics of loud noises to make the audience jump, long drawn out sequences revealing a supposed "big scare," a high body count and excessive dialogue laden scripts in order to make their scenario's seem more credible - original circumstances to place characters in is not the traditional vogue. They also tended to take themselves way too seriously. Evil Dead 2 rightly stands up and defies such conventions.
The script, with dialogue paired to a minimum, is concise in its simplicity, not only allowing Raimi to concentrate on a hyper-kinetic camera style, but also incorporating a focus on the vast array of original ideas present to replace the lack of dialogue. The pace simply does not let up. Five minutes in and the premise is alight, blunt shovel and one decapitation down, followed by half an hour of Ash in the cabin, alone, versus the dead. This is a wonderful and masterfully executed scenario. Within these thirty minutes the audience's enjoyment is measured by the amount of sheer physical and mental pain that Ash suffers. Flung through the windscreen of his car after hitting a tree; his reflection attacking him; laughed at by the cabin's furniture and ornaments (creepily surreal); the torment of seeing his only escape out of the woods destroyed; chased through doors by an unseen evil; his girlfriend's decapitated head biting his hand and refusing to let go; beating himself up and smashing plates over his head along with general falling over and the bloodbath from hell, culminates in the greatest filmed sequence of self-mutilation ever. Like I said, pain and suffering equals audience satisfaction.
Unsurprisingly, Raimi is a big fan of the Three Stooges and the whole thirty minutes plays like a one man performance of a number of their sketches, albeit much darker, bloodier and blackly comic. It helps that Campbell is a virtuoso physical comedy performer. Coming across as a proto Jim Carrey, but less annoying, the range of screams, wails, facial contortions and bone crunching falls he performs, provide the character of Ash with a rare realism not often found within the horror genre, or even films in general - a central character that actually gets hurt and humiliated. Frequently! This is not a man who is your typical hero; he is not a highly trained Special Forces commando or a superhero; he is simply a flawed human being, borderline numbskull. Campbell is entirely credible as Ash, playing him with idiotic delight and maniacal frenzy. His cowardly nature and terror imprinted facial expressions creates a plausible human reaction within the incomprehensible situation Ash finds himself in.
With the inclusion of new characters arriving at the cabin, the pace slows slightly (but not much) allowing for some character interaction on how to defeat the evil. The remaining actors, who are relative unknowns, do a commendable job in keeping the horror fresh and invigorating. Possession is rife, flying eyeballs take precedence in one of the films most hilarious moments, and a few original deaths are truly enjoyable. Yet, what stands out again is Campbell. Building up to the finale and with the required pages of the Necronomicon being shared with a soul-sucking demon in the fruit cellar, Campbell features in a scene that has engraved Ash into the vaults of movie iconidom. Venturing to the work-shed, the previously subtle and claustrophobic music transforms into a pumping adrenaline fanfare, Ash fires up the chainsaw, twirls the shotgun into a newly made holster on his back, the camera zooms to a close-up on his face as he utters the memorable word... "Groovy!" before carving himself up a witch.
In all respects Evil Dead 2 would be Campbell's film if not also for the excellent score, special effects, editing and direction. Indeed each aspect of Evil Dead 2 seemingly melds together into one perfect whole. Joseph LoDuca's score is creepy and plodding at first, adding an appropriately intense atmosphere to the already claustrophobic cabin, before building up to a rampant heroic fanfare as the battle against the dark spirits reaches its conclusion. The effects to this day still hold up well. Some of the stop-motion photography (mostly when the Henrietta demon's head transforms) has obviously been surpassed by developments in CGI, but there are still some sections that hold their own today. Central to this is Doug Beswick, without whom the surreal visuals of the macabre waltz sequence performed by Linda's rotting corpse and the much praised furniture and ornaments laughing sequences would have been very different. They still have the "wow" factor about them and have dated little. Yet, holding all the elements together, holding all the keys to this master-piece, is Sam Raimi. Evil Dead 2 would fall well short of its perceived classic status without Raimi's assured direction, innovative camera set-ups, exquisite imagination or intelligence.
Raimi brings a great visual eye and flair for some truly imaginative shots, without ever falling into the trap of style over substance. Sure there is a kinetic energy and franticness behind the now often copied roaming POV (point of view) shots of the unseen evil (effectively known as wheelbarrow cam) heading towards the cabin, no more so as when its chasing Campbell through numerous rooms, ploughing through doors whilst the camera stays focused on Campbell squeezing though the maze like cabin trying to escape. But Raimi also shows prior restraint in the camerawork, often focusing on close-ups of Campbell and distilling the energy of the film from his performance instead. The close ups on Campbell's features during the scene of self-mutilation, blood spraying in his face and his maniacal laughter of "who's laughing now" needs no further elaboration from the camera. Neither does the close-up of uttering the immortal line "Groovy!"
Added to this direction is Raimi's involvement in the script. As already suggested Evil Dead 2 is influenced heavily by The Three Stooges shtick of punches and pratfalls and whilst the film does transcend barriers beyond horror and comedy, it successfully maintains this blend of genres for another reason. Understanding that The Evil Dead was possibly responsible for the over-saturation of horror movies in the eighties market, each as bloody and exploitive as the next, Raimi decided to make Evil Dead 2 as a spoof of the genre. Mixing comic absurdity and elaborating on the ridiculous amounts of blood used in these films (via use of a fire-hose), as well as defying numerous horror conventions (a male lead rather than female, a hero used as a punching bag and, most importantly, no teenagers) Evil Dead 2 produces an original variant on an often-used theme. Indeed it is this self-referential and knowing wink towards spoof and satire, without ever being openly mocking or falling into the trap of downright silliness, that makes the film so much more accessible, enjoyable and memorable for audiences. Evil Dead 2 works as a commentary on the state of horror filmmaking in general, well before the term "post-modern" was closely associated with Wes Craven's Scream franchise.
So, there you have it! If that has not convinced you to finally submit yourself to Evil Dead 2, nothing will. Not only is it a masterpiece, it is also an example of the perfect sequel - the same (low budget, cast of non-actors, use of one location, pile on excessive gore and carnage, do not let up on the whip-cracking pace) yet entirely different (more imaginative set-pieces, half hour of a one man show, aspects of comedy and a sophisticated intelligence). It is a shame the same cannot be said about more recently released rubbish like Cabin Fever or Wrong Turn!! 17 years have passed and at last Evil Dead 2 is finally getting the recognition it deserves!!
Overall - Evil Dead 2 is a work of unparalleled genius where everything fits perfectly together. What more do I have to say? Well, I haven't mentioned Ash being dropped down the cellar stairs onto his head, the POV shot smashing its way through car windows, Ash's girlfriends head clamped in a vice, the highly original yet unexpected ending (prepare to laugh your ass off at that), blah, blah, blah, blah...
What's on the DVD - Extras wise there isn't a myriad of stuff on the DVD. There's the usual trailer, a thorough behind the scenes documentary that looks at the creature design, prosthetics and effects used in the film featuring Campbell and Raimi messing around on set enacting Three Stooges skits, still galleries and standard biogs. Functional more than anything outstanding.
However, where the DVD does score very highly is on the director's commentary - and the purchase of the DVD is probably worth this alone. Raimi, Campbell and their good friend Scott Spiegel (co-writer and one of the many fake shemps) enthuse over the movie like school children. This in itself is of great interest as it informs on certain aspects of the film-making process and how impossible things were done (informing on the POV wheelbarrow cam and ram-o-cam) whilst also being generally entertaining as each berates their colleague for the poor job they done. Some highlights include Sam Raimi's direction on getting Bruce to deliver the correct pitch of scream as well as the sheer physical torment Campbell was put through in the films making, including the fact he almost drowned in the bloodbath sequence.
Quality stuff - the commentary enhances this further as an ideal purchase.
Director: Sam Raimi (Spiderman, Darkman, A Simple Plan)
Screenplay: Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel
Bruce Campbell .... Ash
Sarah Berry .... Annie Knowby
Dan Hicks .... Jake
Kassie Wesley .... Bobbie Joe
Ted Raimi .... Possessed Henrietta
Denise Bixler .... Linda
Richard Domeier .... Ed Getley
John Peaks .... Professor Raymond Knowby
Lou Hancock .... Henrietta Knowby
Running Time: 85 mins
Cost: Usually retails between £5-£10. Anymore than that and you're being taken for a mug!!
© clownfoot, May 2004. This review was taken from my opinion on Evil Dead 2 on the ciao.co.uk website.
The Evil Dead series, starring Bruce Campbell, has become a cult phenomenon, turning what was once a low budget horror flick into a marketing machine, complete with special edition DVDs, videogames and action figures. The series also made a cult star out of its unlikely hero, Ash - Bruce Campbell is a name known to many movie fans, and a familiar face in a number of films. The original Evil Dead soon warranted a sequel (of sorts) with a larger budget and a more comical feel - that film is Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn. The current DVD release is brought to us by Momentum Pictures, and tends to go for quite a low price - usually around the Â£6 mark. The quality of the DVD is, however, anything but budget, and certainly good value for the price. The features include a trailer, a Making Of... documentary and commentary from star Bruce Campbell, director Sam Raimi, and producer Robert Tapert. All this is wrapped up in a hard DVD case that boasts quite a stylish cover - this is a DVD release that does not reflect its price. The film concerns a man named Ash, who takes his girlfriend Linda to a log cabin in the woods for a romantic holiday. However, Ash finds and plays a tape that just happens to by a recitation of the passages from the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, the "Book of the Dead". Linda is possessed, and so begins Ash's nightmare, as he tries to fight the forces of evil. Its a simple premise for a simple film, and one that allows for a number of clever (if sometimes not too convincing) special effects. Some of the make-up, especially that of the possessed Henrietta (played by Sam Raimi's brother, Ted Raimi), look incredibly convincing; other effects, such as the flying eyeball, are less so. Nevertheless, there are some jumpy scenes in this film. Overall, however, the effects are knowingly over the top, with literally fountains of blood from the slightest of scratches. This is great - it gives the film a comedy feel, and makes it ideal en
tertainment. Bruce Campbell's performance is superb. The man is a good physical actor, and he displays this ability to the full in Evil Dead 2. The other actors are OK, but they are there ultimately to get killed, and so character development for these is virtually non-existent. The hillbilly character who goes after his girlfriend 'Bobby Jo' is hilarious, though. The DVD isn't overflowing with extra features, but what is on here is good. The making of documentary is very interesting, especially as it details how the special effects were done, and the ordeal Bruce Campbell was put through. There is also a trailer - a fairly standard feature on most new DVDs, but one that is always welcome. The commentary on this disc is superb. Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert work well together, and there is a more relaxed and jokey feel here than in the commentary for other films. The commentary points out interesting facts, such as the exact scene where Raimi broke Campbell's jaw with his motorbike; and also points out bits you might have missed, such as the sweat that literally falls from Ted Raimi's ear as he flies round the room. The film's sound is recorded in Dolby 5.1, and this certainly adds to the film - you can hear the evil approaching from the rear speakers, and the sub delivers some punchy bass. Those who speak German, Italian and Spanish will have to make do with mono sound, however. Picture transfer is very clear considering the low budget nature of the movie, and the film is in widescreen, adding to the cinematic quality of this DVD. Those with a good home entertainment set-up won't be disappointed by this DVD; then again, neither will foreigners with mono TVs. Overall, this is a great budget DVD. Considering the price, there is nothing to complain about. The DVD lacks the features (and the cool-looking box) of the original Evil Dead, but it is also far cheaper and a better film. Those n
ew to the Evil Dead trilogy should start with the Evil Dead 2 - its the best film in the series, and at Â£6, won't break the bank. Groovy!
The Evil Dead II came out in 1987 and firmly established itself as a favourite among horror fans. It features a kind of hysterical, manic humour mixed with gut-renchingly gory violence and some genuinely creepy scenes. The end result is a horror masterpiece. Evil Dead II is basically a remake of Evil Dead except the budget is bigger. Sam Raimi as writer/director and Bruce Campbell as lead really make this film an experience. The action is set in a remote cabin in the woods and starts with the arrival of Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend (soon to be possessed bimbo). The cabin was being used by a professor and his wife who were translating the Necronomicon, or Book of the Dead. Ash proceeds to play the tape of the incantation made by the professor and all hell breaks loose. His girlfriend disappears and returns possessed, Ash tries to escape only to discover the bridge has curled up on itself. He returns to the cabin and begins his hilarious descent into madness. Things really hot up when the professors daughter arrives with a, too quiet to survive boyfriend, and two hillbillies with victim stamped all over them. The gore and special effects in this film are excellent despite a still relatively small budget. The action lasts just 85 minutes and there is no time for boring bits, the pace is fast and furious. The Deadites in all their various forms are frightening, grotesque and at times hilarious. What really makes this film though, is the incredible, over the top, thoroughly manic acting performance from Bruce Campbell. The character of Ash is a great invention and is developed further in the third Evil Dead film (Army of Darkness), although in both it is Bruce who brings the character to life. His delivery of some quality one-liners is excellent but the most incredible thing is his unbelievable facial expressions, the scene where he is going mad and laughing with the house always reduces me to hysterics. I like the idea as well, the thought
that your brain may descend into madness in order to ensure your survival. This film is very much the product of Campbell and Raimi, the other actors are the usual sub-standard horror film victims. Raimi's unique direction is obvious throughout, the camera zooming through the woods and the cabin is very effective and the creepy sound throughout adds to the mood. The voices of the Deadites are top class, dripping with evil, look out for the creepy witch in particular. It is shame that Campbell has not found any other parts which use his talent so well but there probably isn't much going for a psychopathic, wise-cracking demon slayer. I have recently seen him on Xena which strikes me as a bit desperate but you can also get more of his wisecracking and Deadite slaying on the new Evil Dead computer game which just came out in the UK and features some all new Ash put downs done by Bruce Campbell. Overall this film is essential viewing for any horror fan and I would recommend it to those with a passing interest as well worth a try. The blend of humour and gory violence works well to create a unique film, and as a horror fan myself I cannot rate it highly enough.
This has to be one of the best horror films I have ever seen. It is about Ash who survived the first evil dead and is trapped in the woods by the evil who demolish the bridge. He is joined by Annie, the daughter of the person who ressurected the dead in the first place, annie's friend, and Bobby Joe and Jake, two locals who show Annie and her friend to the cabin. The evil returns and possess Ash's hand. Ash then proceeds to chop off his hand and fight the evil. When Annie and the others arrive he shoots at them, thinking they are evil. They lock him in the cellar. Annie listens to the tape recorder her father left and discovers he set the evil free. His wife then became possessed and he killed her and buried her body in the cellar. They free Ash when Henrietta comes to life and lock the cellar. The evil slowly picks off the people in the woods. They discover the only way to stop the evil is to translate the pages from the book of the dead, but when Bobby Joe goes missing Jake throws the pages in the cellar. Now the only way to send the evil back is to go into the cellar to get them. I can't say how good this film is. Aswell as having the horror element and successeds in making you jump, it is also very funny, like when Ash gets beaten up by his own hand or when everything in the cabin bursts out in laughter. This is a horror classic with a great plot, acting and directing. The end leads nicely on to Army of Darkness. If you liked the Evil Dead you will love this. See the dead return to swallow your soul again.
Evil dead 2 is cool, Evil dead 2 is in my opinion one of the most excellent horror films made. The effects and overall appearance associated with the zombies is outstandingly gruesome and strange, yet they have an overall comical theme. They are almost larger than life or verymuch exaggerated. This is just one aspect which I love and feel creates a superior sence of quality which is not given or even shown by the films predecessor. The other comical aspects of this film are shown in the way in which Ash' dismembered hand gives him a cheeky middle finger and with the exaggerated expressions of Bruce Cambell. Other colloquialised sentences which are said in a most menacing manor such as "Groovy" and "Whos' laughing now?" really give the film itself it's character. I myself thought it a good film, yet it's definately one for the faint of heart, it is worth a look however! Thunderchild
Ahhhh Sam Raimi you imaginative creator you. A masterpiece and if you read these i salute you sir! Evil Dead hmmm well the title explains the movie full heartedly doesnt it?. The movie revolvs around our hero Ash played by Bruce Campbell and is set in an old log cabin deep in a forest. Our hero Ash takes his girfriend up there for a little romantic time. As she is getting ready Ash pops the champagne and as he does he finds an old tape recorder that uses reel tape. Ash switches the reel tape on, which starts playing the voice of an old man who talks about a book, which is the archealogical discovery of the year. The book is called the Necrenomicon or "the book of the dead". The old man seems to be a professor as he describes the book, which is made of human flesh and written in human blood, as being written in a very old language but he is able to decifer some of it. As he recites some chants in the book, the tape recording is not only heard by Ash, but those chants are sacred and awaken the very demons of the forest who hunger for the book and also for human souls. As the tape is played a demon comes from below in the forest and rampantly flies throught the forest splitting trees in its path. But Ash doesn't knows this and continues to listen, the demon, which everyone knows by now is seeking the cabin with Ash and his girl in it is getting more fearsome and when he reaches the cabin he goes straight for Ash's girlfriend. In the main part of the cabin Ash hears a window breaking and a scream from his beloved. He frantically runs to the bedroom to find a broken window and his girlfriend's necklace on the ground, his girlfriend is nowhere to be seen. He boards up the window and continues to listen to the tape. The old man on the tape seems shaken and worried of what he has done and tells in this diary like tape of what he has just awoken! Ash being
our hero, confronts with numbers of demons, being possesed himself and having to fight the demons from swallowing his soul. He also gets vistors to the lodge who end up as more food for the demons!!! All in all a good movie, and a classic!!!!! One of a trio i might add, Evil dead one being the first is like the second one except for certain parts, the third one, called Army of Darkness, is set in medieval times and there are two different endings to that one! Sam Raimi how do you do it?!?!?! I recommend Evil dead 2 to all horror fans, it will open your eyes to real directing from the 70's!!!
The title may fool you into thinking you have missed some significant information in the first Evil Dead provided but infact Evil Dead II is more of a remake than a sequel! Basically Sam Raimi (director) has more of a buget to play with and makes the most of it to produce one of the best horror films of our time! The plot is basic as they come. A bloke (ash) takes his girl(Linda)to an abandoned cabin deep within the woods zombies. The Anchorbay Limited Edition does the film justice in providing an excellent picture and amazing Dolby 5.1 sound. The picture is presented in its original aspect ratio 1.85:1 and is anamorphic. This makes the picture crystal clear and there is very little presence of grain, which is excellent considering the age and buget the film was made on! Blacks are deep and colours are rich, much improved to the LD! This could be expected as the DVD is THX certified. The sound is terrific! Ive watched this film on sterio and mono for quite a while and knew what potential the film had though Dolby 5.1! The sound is pushed to the limit as all the sounds come from the speakers they should. There is plenty of rear activity provided by the howling winds as the camera cuts outside and the "force" powereing towards its next victim. The extras are good but not as much as i was expectiing are on the disc. Audio commentry by writer-director sam raimi, star bruce campbell, co-writer scott spiegel, special make up effects artist gregg nicotero. behind the scenes featurette : the gore the merrier theatrical trailer evil dead : hail to the king video game preview still galleries talent bios for bruce campbell and sam raimi a 5" x 7" theatrical poster 48 page booklet The commentry is excellent giving an insight into the making of the film and some of the things that went on behind the scenes, as well as bruce an
d raimi breaking each others ass! the featurette is enjoyable and informative, especially the (very)short film at the end (Evil Dead Baby). The packageing is very nice but may stand out in your collection. This can be annoying and has caused a re-designed case for Anchorbays future releases. Evil Dead has influenced many films after it due to its bizzarre mix of dark comedy and horror, this is an essential film for all fans of horror!
Writer-director Sam Raimi's extremely stylized, blood-soaked follow-up to his creepy Evil Dead isn't really a sequel; rather, it's a remake on a better budget. It also isn't really a horror film (though there are plenty of decapitations, zombies, supernatural demons, and gore) as much as it is a hilarious, sophisticated slapstick send-up of the terror genre. Raimi takes every horror convention that exists and exaggerates it with mind-blowing special effects, crossed with mocking Three Stooges humour. The plot alone is a genre cliché right out of any number of horror films. Several teens (including our hero, Ash, played by Bruce Campbell in a manic tour-de-force of physical comedy) visit a broken-down cottage in the woods--miles from civilization--find a copy of the Book of the Dead, and unleash supernatural powers that gut every character in sight. All, that is, except Ash, who takes this very personally and spends much of the of the film getting his head smashed while battling the unseen forces. Raimi uses this bare-bones story as a stage to showcase dazzling special effects and eye-popping visuals, including some of the most spectacular point-of-view Steadicam work ever (done by Peter Deming). Although it went unnoticed in the cinemas, the film has since become an influential cult-video favourite, paving the way for over-the-top comic gross-out films like Peter Jackson's Dead Alive.--Dave McCoy