Total Pageviews

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Evil Dead

     Sam Raimi's "The Evil Dead" is about 5 college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in the woods who uncover the Necromonicon, or the Book of the Dead, in the cellar.  Of course, being a horror movie, they unwittingly unleash flesh-possessing demons which in turn begins all the fun.  Raimi, for such a low budget, brought much originality and ingenuity to the movie, which Stephen King himself has described as "the most ferociously original horror film of the year".

      "The Evil Dead" has achieved tremendous cult status, with fans taking it very seriously.  (There is even a musical based on "The Evil Dead"...)  I admire the first film in the series- Raimi really did show tremendous talent with what little money he had- however I do tend to find the series overall slightly overrated.  "Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn" is basically the same movie as the first, just re-shot with better lighting and effects, and the third film "Army of Darkness", finds Bruce Campbell transported back to 1300 A.D. battling the undead.  I do find the third entry nothing short of ridiculous (sorry!  just my opinion!) - the novelty having long worn off by now and much more of a silly comedy.

     Bruce Campbell seems to be having a ton of fun in these movies, although I have always been frankly puzzled at all the devotion to Campbell and these movies.  Of course the movies are campy and slightly poking fun at the genre- you can see that a mile away, and I appreciate that aspect- I just think they could've gotten a little more creative in the sequels- instead of re-hashing the first one again in Part 2 and taking Ash out of the woods in the third.  But I suppose that happens in most franchises, yes?  Now having said all of this- the original "Evil Dead" contains some great memorable scenes.  The moving camera shots are tremendously creative.  Raimi's use of sound is also very effective- as in the porch swing pounding against the cabin when they first arrive- and the drips in the cellar as they first find the Book of the Dead.  The three girls seem to be having a blast in this movie, and it shows.  They are great fun and manage to keep up with the manic Campbell.

      I remember actually being scared the first time I saw "The Evil Dead"- oh, I guess it would've been around 1984 or so.  That shot of the swamp or bog or whatever it is at the first of the movie stuck in my mind for years after.  I love the shot when the camera decides to start slowly following the car down the wooded lane to the cabin- this movie's got tremendous atmosphere.  Plenty of gore for you so-called gorehounds- although almost cartoonish at times, the inventive camerawork keeps it fresh and entertaining.  Bottom line- Raimi and Campbell were able to create that magic something which most first time directors only dream about that has captivated fans for almost 30 years now.  If only most movies today could muster up even half of that originality...

No comments:

I in no way claim ownership of any image or video used on this blog.