It’s one bloody and violent thrill ride that for sure!
The Evil Dead (1981)
Directed By: Sam Raimi (Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness, and um..Spider-Man)
When I was a small child my family would tape cartoons off the television for me to watch, and naturally I’d get bored, go find a tape, and watch it on a regular basis. Now I don’t know if this was a mistake, or a cruel joke but one day I found a tape that said “Pound Puppies” on it..this of course was a cartoon from the 80’s. So I popped it in, I watched it and when the movie ended I let the tape run. Unknown to me was another movie right after the cartoon..that movie was The Evil Dead..I didn’t make it through the whole movie.. The Evil Dead is a little film you might have heard of..before the later sequels Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness would go on to be known for slap-stick horror comedy, rest a sure the original didn’t have all that much comedy to it! And when I was young I found it damn near terrifying. But when I got a little older, the horror bug bit me I finally did finish watching The Evil Dead and today it’s one of my all-time favorites. Filmed in the woods of Tennessee (not any easy place to film anything in, take it from me) The Evil Dead would go on to create quite a stir when it was released, being noted for it’s gallons of blood and gore, the film would be one of the first to go on the UK’s “Video Nasty” list. And I can honestly say it was probably the first REALLY violent movie I ever seen.
A movie where five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they mistakenly release flesh-possessing demons with the aid of a “Book of the Dead” might sound like your typical horror film by today’s standards but trust me the end results of this film is anything but typical. What we get with The Evil Dead is a rare case of a film from yesterday still holding up and even topping tons of films made today. Known for the gore and tree raping that takes place in this film The Evil Dead also gave us a future horror ICON in Bruce Campbell, playing the role he would go on to become a horror legend with, Ash.
But here’s the thing, if you have never seen The Evil Dead but have seen Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness you may come into this one for the first time looking for a horror comedy in the vein of it’s sequels..well let me tell you..that’s NOT what you get with this film. Ash isn’t even the macho hero we’ve come to love yet. In this film we get Ash (At times called Ashley by his sister) before his machismo..shall we say..drops? He also has a uni-brow but we don’t want to get into that do we? Ash at time acts like a down right wussy as the horror unleashes all around him and he watches friend by friend become taken over by the evilness the book unleashes and thus lead to he himself being forced to dismantle, and dismember them. But if nothing else, it shows you from a character standpoint how Ash would become the ass kicker he would later become.
The movie over-all has that dirty, grimy feel that many outrageously violent or moral teasing films like I Spit On Your Grave, or The Last House On The Left has which adds to the tone and feel for the movie. But in this case it’s more of a over dose on violence rather than an over dose on the themes that the other films I’ve mentioned here has, although the trees coming to life and raping a lady could possibly bring up the question if this movie shouldn’t be tossed in the same group with those. A question that I will let you all decide with a poll.
But in the end this film is without question a classic, with plenty of re-watch value. There was a time when I’d say this film would be listed right behind Evil Dead 2 in my ranking of the trilogy, but now I’m going to have to admit I like this one WAY more than the others.
It’s a violently good time with this classic folks. If your a horror fan and you’ve never seen it then DO NOT wait another day, run and see this one by any means you can. It’s hard to believe isn’t it that the man who most the world will simply know as the man who has made all the Spider-Man movies made this gory tail of a book bound by human flesh and written in blood? But it just makes me wish he’d dive back into the horror genre..I haven’t seen Drag Me To Hell Yet, but I fear it won’t live up to this stuff.
Also with all the blood, guts, and tree rape you get in this film I must ask you the readers the question of…does The Evil Dead belong in the group of films we label here as “Hell In A Handbasket”? The pole should be up shortly so by all means vote away and let me know!
The Rating (8.5/10)