Evil Dead (1982)
Director: Sam Raimi
Five young adults go to a cabin for some quiet good times. Their plan is foiled when they accidentally awaken some pissed off demons. The demons do some of that possessing thang, the axe is brought out…figure out the rest…
A horror classic. In my book of the dead, Evil Dead put the ER in SPLATTER. God is this flick messy. What sets this badboy apart from other bloodfests is the way Raimi approaches it. The directing in this film is outstanding: kinetic, energetic, relentless and even artistic. Whoever said that good directing is when you don't notice it, is full of shite. Raimi is all over this one and showcases his eye and talent non-stop.
The film is filled with shocking scenes and never holds back. A woman gets raped by trees (f**ked up), people get hacked to pieces, hands get chewed off…you name it, it's here. Amidst all of the bloodshed, Raimi even manages to slip in a sweet love story that actually works and ups the stakes of the movie. You go, boy!
Yes, some of the dialogue feels a bit dated. Yes, the characters do the occasional dumb thing (like investigate that strange noise). Yes, the effects are crude by today's standards. But the bad lines and the bad moves are easily overlooked. The "homemade" effects actually up the disturbing quotient of the film. Nothing is made pretty here, everything is gross and sticky. No CGI can ever accomplish that. I even liked the cheesy claymation at the end…messed up!!!
This movie does it all. It creeps you out, has you on the edge of your seat, grosses you out and has your mouth drop with its hyper slick style. This is pure horror art. This is Evil Dead.
Plenty. This flick has all the bases covered and then some. Possessed folks, decapitation by axe, chainsaw fun, decompositions, rape by trees…the works. My fav is the pen stabbing in the ankle…OUCH!!!
Bruce Campbell (Ash) is not the one liner spitting hero yet but he's still very convincing and sympathetic. Ellen Sandwess (Sheryll) is plain looking but she works, especially when she's possessed…CREEPY!!!!! Hal Delrich (Scotty), Betsy Baker/Linda and Sarah York (Shelly) all do well. They come across as normal people (not pretty boys/girls) and that makes the gruesome events much more effective.
T & A
Light tit action. One through a window (side shot) and one during the rape scene (not fun). Excuse me while I get a life.
Steadycam shots, tilted angles, great play on sound (the swing) and silences (when the car is driving through the woods). This film is all style and that adds to the creepy factor. This movie wouldn't be as scary if Raimi wasn't behind the camera. The man is a freaking genius. This flick smells like death.
The score is like the movie : extremely off the wall. It works.
Distributor: Anchor Bay
Is it me or are there WAY too many Evil Dead DVDs floating about? Talk about milking your core audience, yo! Let's see how this one holds up.
IMAGE: Let's not forget that The Evil Dead was shot on 16 mm. Taking that into account, this 1.85:1 enhanced for 16.9 TV widescreen transfer is pretty slick. Yes, we do get some occasional grain but I for one have never seen the film in better condition. So props for the image, Anchor Bay!
SOUND: The DTS and Dolby Digital tracks serve the flick very well. The dialogue, the edgy score and the many house noises never sounded so sharp and clear. Hit the lights and get ready to be spooked. We also get a THX optimizer option.
EXTRAS: Evil Dead fans rejoice! We get a jamboree of kool extras!
Audio Commentary- Sam Raimi and Bruce Tapert: Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert hop in with good energy to discuss the many effects of the films, the complications that arose and how they were eventually accomplished. They also make fun of actor extraordinaire Bruce Campbell. Even though this feature length commentary is more satisfying on a technical POV than a personal one, it's still a hoot.
Audio Commentary- Bruce Campbell: The real fun begins here, with cocky Campbell giving us a truckloads of info about the shoot, working with the effects and how are some of the more complex camera shots were executed during this feature length commentary. Is it me or can I listen to this arrogant dude talk for hours?
Behind the scenes footage and outtakes: Yippee hurray! Here, we get some various takes from the flick, we get to see how some effects were accomplished, the actors in action and a couple scenes that didn't make the final cut. Fun freaking 18-minute stuff!
TV Spots: We get 4 gnarly 30-second TV ads for the film. Although the image is grain filled, it's to be expected and they're a blast to watch.
Poster and still gallery: A collection of film stills, on-set stills (Raimi in action), effect stills, storyboards, creature sketches, various poster art, the works! There's an intimate feel to this feature, it's like going through somebody's private photo album. My only complaint is that there's MUCHO pics here and I got tired of pressing my remote control button to skip to the next image. I know I'm lazy...a montage would've been kooler. Overall, it's still a treat to check out.
We also get the film's Theatrical Trailer, a way kool Animated Menu (that uses scenes from the film) and Talent Bios. Overall, this DVD is a bubbleliscious Evil Dead experience. I can't say how it measures up to the other ones on the block (way too many out there) but on it's own, it's very satisfying. Thank you Anchor Bay!
Evil Dead is one of a kind. Its simple story, wonderful gore and flashy directing make it happen. The movie holds up very well today and still made me cringe. This is a no hold barred, in your face horror dish. Dig in and have a blast you twisted bastards!!!
Total budget for the film was US $50,000.