Sunday, 16 June 2013

Review - Evil Dead 2 (1987 - Dir. Sam Raimi)

So many films are billed as 'Rollercoaster Rides' and end up being about as thrilling as a trip on the little steam train at Mablethorpe. In fact, that's too exciting. The train is broken and the bloke in the crazy golf kiosk has let you have a sit on it for a quid. And you're doped up on barbiturates. The only thing stopping you falling into a coma is the pensioner who's talking to you about crown green bowling techniques. But Evil Dead 2 is one of a very small number of films that can legitimately lay claim to this label.

The Evil Dead started with scenes of getting to know the prospective deadites. Evil Dead 2 doesn't bother with any of that malarkey and wastes no time getting started. Then it doesn't let up right until the end. 

It is so evident in this film that Sam Raimi loves torturing Bruce Campbell. He's dragged through trees, performs some minor surgery on himself and gets repeatedly beaten about the face and body. If you've never seen this, it's great seeing how many different ways that Raimi can cause Brucey pain, both physically and mentally.

Evil Dead 2 must surely be one of the most quotable films ever (not maybe quite on a par with Weird Science but close). Two of the best are one word quotes too: 'Toolshed' and the classic line, 'Groovy'. 

Part of the brilliance of this film is the level of creativity that has been poured into every frame. There's no CGI so everything is done using traditional techniques. As in the first, stop motion animation makes an appearance. When Bruce is drenched in torrents of gushing blood it is real blood and not particle physics applies to red pixels. (And yes it is real blood. Over one thousand chinchillas were slaughtered and squeezed for the fountain that hits him from the wall.) It all gives it a hand-made feel that is really rough around the edges, something that is severely lacking in the overly polished offerings currently doing the rounds. (I still haven't seen the Evil Dead remake, I'll get round to it at some point...)

Mark Dacascos, Nathan Fillion, Radha Mitchell, Natalie Portman and Bruce Campbell - every single one of them makes a film instantly watchable (crikey, even Thor was bearable). If you put all of them in one film it would probably be the most watchable film in the whole history of time since before the dinosaurs first crawled out of their little shells and started slaughtering everything in their paths. Mr Campbell is a legend. There is the distinct impression that he doesn't have to act, he just turns up and is Bruce Campbell. Which is fine by me. He's not the best actor ever but he's top fun. Given a choice of any Bruce Campbell film or any Anthony Hopkins film, I'd plump for Bruce every time.

I don't want to give away any details, because if you haven't seen it you are in for a major treat. To whet your appetite even more it contains a couple of hillbillies. And a chainsaw. That makes it sound like a horror film, but it is much more of a comedy. Even mother of evlkeith say the funny side and enjoyed it.

If you like this you could also try:
The Evil Dead, Bubba Ho-Tep, Maniac Cop.


  1. Mark Dacascos? I guess you like Iron Chef America a lot...

    But no, seriously, even he wasn't able to save "I Am Omega" from being AWFUL. Granted, I liked him in it, somehow... Hey... you might be onto something there...

    1. He's in quite a few really bad films, Alien Agent is another example, yet he always comes out of them fairly well. But get him directed by Christophe Gans...