Sunday, October 24, 2010

MR The Evil Dead

Seems like I haven't done a review in a while!
Sorry guys and gals!

Since Halloween's coming, I better have some more horror-related stuff up!
Joining the reviews of Hack/Slash and Splatterhouse, here's something without which both franchises wouldn't exist...
The master of slapstick-horror...

Movie: The Evil Dead: The Book of the Dead
Directed by Sam Raimi
Release date 1981
Genre horror
Country USA
Back in the 80s, while the horror genre started really pickin' up, everyone was doing slasher flicks and/or scary movies. Both hollywood and independents. It was easy, it was fun and no need of big A-list actors or huge budgets. Just to be somewhat creative in the presentation (deaths/scares..) and exploit any trick from the era.

Two movie amateurs, Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert, decided to start there career with a little horror movie project they had been working on since film school, "Within the Woods". Within the Woods was a no budget horror prototype movie from 1978 they had previously worked on, about a guy who confronts evil in the forest.
With a budget of around ~375,000 $ they wanted to make that idea into an actual full feature movie, cast some actors, have lots of special effects and use a better location, a real cabin in the middle of the Tennessee.
With Bruce Campbell, a childhood friend who was there with them since day one, joined by extras, a composer, a movie editor and and a producer, could they turn this little project into a one hour+ horror fest?

 This is only the beginning for Ash...

The story of Evil Dead is about Ashley J. Williams and a bunch of his friends who go on a little cabin within the woods on a weekend.
There Ash, his girlfriend Linda, his sister Cheryl and his buddy Scotty find a mysterious recording and the Book of the Dead called the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis.

It seems the cabin was a professor's who had been studying and working on translating this book.
After playing the recordings, which reads some passages aloud...something happens in the woods...


The Necronomicon has the power to rise the dead!

First the so-called "evil dead" possesses the trees, the cabin, the environment...
Then it tries to attack and corrupt Ash's gang.
Soon, it manages to sort of "rape" Cheryl and slowly turn her into a Kandarian demon, an undead possessed monster... Then, it is able to infects all of Ash's friends, one by one and quickly, Ash ends up being the only last one standing against these Deadites...

This won't be the last he would see of that damn' book!

The Evil Dead is the proof of what people can achieve when they're truly motivated and love what they're doing.
Done one a very tiny budget (specially consider today's ridiculously high budgets of "horror" hollywood movies), it is truly amazing both visually and in its directing.
The effects are quite gory and spectacular. There's some puppets work, clay-motion, animatronics and even stop-motion!
Sam Raimi and his crew were pretty creative in the ways to spare money and use great tricks.
He mostly based his techniques on the experience he had during Within The Woods.

The fake blood for exemple was made from a mixture of corn syrup, food coloring, and coffee cream...

The movie took over almost 2 years in the making, being filmed once in a while when they could.
In the end they only had Bruce Campbell left from the original cast & crew and his aging through the movie still shows in the end. (he looks actually older in the last part of the movie)

The Evil Dead became a cult movie in its opening, showed that you could perfectly combine slapstick comedy with horror and opened a new way to slasher horror movies where tons of blood are spilled and the characters are mistreated, tormented, punched, bitten, kicked, decapited, amputated, etc...

Overall, more than just your usual fun 80s horror movie.
It launched a new franchise (the Evil Dead series), careers (Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell..) and a whole genre! (which the comics Hack/Slash and game Splatterhouse are the direct modern successors in a way)

The Evil Dead went on to make a lotta money... Many similar movies followed such as Dead Alive, Re-Animator, etc..

The series continued in the much more successful sequels... (next time!)
Bruce Campbell became an horror and B-movie icon!

Anyway, this is a great gory, fun, creative and quite graphic movie!
I really recommend to see this if you're a fan of Sam Raimi directing (his camera tricks, most originated from Evil Dead 1!), Bruce Campbell or just an horror fan.
Though if graphic violence, gore and blood might scare you, start from the sequels, this one's not for kiddies! -__-

Finally, a great cult horror classic, unlike any modern movie!

I give it:
 2 / 3 Necronomicons!


  1. Must get my hands on this movie series... SOON!!!

  2. At least EV2 or 3!
    You gotta be prepared to gore and creepiness for part 1. :P