Friday, 26 September 2014

The Evil Dead

"The Evil Dead" (1981, Sam Raimi, Renaissance Pictures, New Line Cinema) is the entry level cult horror B-movie masterpiece by Sam Raimi and the main reason that both Raimi and Bruce Campbell are household names.

A group of college students head out to spend the weekend at a cabin in the woods. When they get there they find the cabin is run-down and creepy. I love the scene with the swinging bench, it's very effective.

While investigating their new surroundings, they come across an audio player with a tape recording and a creepy old book which looks to be bound in human skin.

Being adventurous young people, they listen to the tape recording and accidentally release the demonic spirits (aka Deadites) into the woods. The demons then take turns possessing the teens and traumatising them or killing them in fantastically b-movie ways.

The most serious of the series, The Evil Dead remains one of my favourite horror films to date.
I recommend reading Bruce Campbell's book, "If Chins Could Kill" to get more behind the scenes appreciation of how hard those guys worked to make this film!

Disturbing and gross, with homemade special effects, crafty camera work, sheer determination and the ability to talk his friends into landing face down in muddy puddles and spend days in an old derelict shack making monstrous noises and giggling maniacally, Raimi created the film that would make him a horror legend and earn his reputation as a director. And it would kick start the movie career of one of my favourite horror stars, Bruce Campbell, earning him a dedicated fanbase of nutjobs.

Milk oozing deadites for the win!

[Image: Renaissance Pictures]