Sunday, June 5, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: The Evil Dead (1981)

"I believe I have made a significant find in the Kandarian ruins, a volume of ancient Sumarian burial practices and funerary incantations. It is entitled "Naturum De Montum", roughly translated: Book of the Dead. The book is bound in human flesh and inked in human blood. It deals with demons and demon resurrection and those forces which roam the forest and dark bowers of Man's domain"- voice on recorder

"Look at her eyes. Look at her eyes! For God's sake, what happened to her eyes?"- Shelly

"Shut up, Linda!"- Ash

One of THE all time classic horror flicks, this campy send up spawned two more famous sequels. This one is a keeper folks. If you haven't seen it, but you've seen Spider-Man, go back and check out the director (Sam Raimi)'s roots. Its great to see what a young innovative filmmaker can do on a limited budget. Take a look at the shitty franchise horror flicks being churned out today in hollywood, and you can tell what it takes to make a really heinous bone chiller. Backwoods and no money. A bunch of fake shemps and Bruce Campbell in the film that made him a cult character, THE EVIL DEAD!!!

So 2 dudes from Michigan State take their girlfriends and one of them's sister out to the middle of nowhere in Tennessee to have a little camping session. Seems like they were a little PG about the whole thing. I mean if I was trying to get laid out in the woods, I'd NEVER take my little sister. I still have no idea about that. But then again, maybe Ash was the old-fashioned type. Things start looking hectic before they even get into the woods, when they start over a bridge, the car they're driving almost goes through the bridge because its so rickety (the bridge, not the car). The car LOOKS like a piece, but I can assure you: Classic Oldsmobiles are BADASS. His is a yellow '73 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Holiday Sedan. I had a green '71 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. Super similar, and super badass. His has been featured in every one of his films. But I digress.

So they get to the house, and find this book that's supposedly the Sumerian Book of the Dead. "Bound in human flesh and written in blood." Then they find a tape recorder and play it, and just the speaking of several of the words on the tape causes smoke to begin rising from the ground outside letting us know that the shit is about to go down. Lil sis Cheryl is having none of this shit, so she's hits the bedroom and begins taking off her clothes (yes) and combing her hair. Demons beckon her to "join us" and she GOES OUTSIDE THE CABIN IN A FUCKING ROBE to investigate. Then trees start chasing her and then they hold her down and rape her. Its a pretty fucked up scene as I don't condone rape from humans or trees.

I'm not gonna sit here and ruin the whole thing for ya, because this is nothing short of an indie masterpiece that was banned in tons of countries upon release. You gotta watch it. One of my only beefs with the thing is that no matter how much blood is spilled, or coughed up, splattered, oozed, or melted onto Ash's shirt, pants, face, arms and legs, he's always pretty well dry and clean during the next scene. This doesn't REALLY matter to me, but it makes you want him to be running around with the shit just caked all over him. For all the unbelievable shit that happens to him over the course of those few hours, he should very well look a complete and total mess, yet he somehow maintains his charming good looks even when greased down in dried demon's blood. One other thing- Scott totally got a haircut halfway through filming!!! No bullshit there, that's just how shit goes I guess.

Now I have to go and watch Evil Dead 2 because I feel like watching these as a teenager, I remember thinking that there was some sort of discrepancy between what happened in one and what happens in two. I haven't read about it, haven't thought about it, but it seems like 2 was about the same movie just made better or a bit differently. Or one of the actors played a different character or something....


It looks like ol Ash got possessed at the end of this one or was about to, so maybe that was the discrepancy I remember. Like they never say anything about it in the next one. I can't remember, it's just been too many years. I guess I'll have to watch and see. Anyway, Enjoy it.


  1. I watched this one a couple of years ago for the first time since I was a kid, and I forgot how gory it was compared to EVIL DEAD 2 and ARMY OF DARKNESS. Even the fucking HOUSE bleeds! I prefer part 2, but I appreciate the first one because, like you said, it shows that you can still make a kick-ass movie with no money.

  2. I have a deep affinity for this franchise, but I have to say that Evil Dead - at least to me - feels like the rough draft to Evil Dead 2. It's not that it's bad, but it is pretty much the same movie with some of the former's problems solved or fixed.

    So glad to see this flick up on yer blog.