The Evil Dead
September 27th 2007 03:07
Raimi originally filmed it as a 20-minute Super-8 flick titled Within The Woods. Then with the help of his long-time producer pal and business buddy Robert Tapert they re-made it as a feature length 16mm production filming over the end of 1979 and into 1980. It premiered in Detroit in October 1981, in the home state of Raimi and lead actor Bruce Campbell. It didn’t reach Australasian shores until a few years later (I saw the NZ premiere at the Wellington Film Festival in 1984 – boy, that was a special night!)
Five friends go to a cabin in the Tennessee woods for a weekend. In the cellar they discover the mythological Necromonicon; the Book of the Dead, along with a tape recorder belonging to a professor, who apparently owns the cabin. It seems he was dabbling in the occult by aiming to translate the arcane passages held with the book’s leathery-flesh covers.
When in doubt, girlfriend must be dismembered by chainsaw
Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss) possessed
Ash feels the warm embrace of a deadite
Okay, so the acting is uniformly atrocious, and the shoe-string budget reveals itself as pretty hokey at times, but that’s part of the movie’s charm; and it’s so much better than dozens and dozens of other equally low budget movies that are shunted onto the video store shelves. There is a je ne sais quoi about the film that transcends it above so many other indie horror movies.
Hands from Hell
Stephen King was quoted describing the movie as “A dark rainbow of horror … The most ferociously original horror film of the year.” Yeeeeeah! It’s one of those almost perfect Saturday late night beer, hooter, and popcorn flicks with a few aficionado mates. When I say “almost”, it’s only because time has softened its impact a tad, but it’s still a riotous and relentlessly entertaining horror flick for the horror fans, and a crash course in Horror 101 for any newbies.
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