Movie Title: The Evil Dead
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 1 hr. and 25 min.
Who did I watch with?: Stephie
Where did I watch it?: Home
The Evil Dead, its remakes, and sequels are some of my favorite movies. The original Evil Dead is more or less a straight up horror movie made on a shoe string budget. The practical make up effects and the improvisation of director Sam Raimi mark it as an all-time horror classic.
Its plot opens up as fairly conventional. A group of five friends are driving up to a cabin in the Tennessee woods. Strange things start to happen immediately to Shelly (Theresa Tilly) the one single member of the group. A clock hand suddenly stops moving and while drawing a picture she is overcome by a force requiring her to draw an outline of a book. The basement door flops open all on its own and the group travel into the basement where they uncover the Necronomicon (The Book of the Dead) bound in human skin and a tape recorder from the researcher studying it. During the playback of the tape the researcher reads an incantation that summons demonic forces to the cabin. Shelly is already freaked out and goes out into the woods to investigate a strange sound during which time she is infamously raped by a tree. A scene which earned The Evil Dead a NC-17 rating.
The cabin then turns into a gory hotbed of demonic activity and depravity. The violence seems somewhat comic by the special effects standard of today, but if you take them at face value they are great practical effects for the time period combined with inventive camera work. Ash (Bruce Campbell) evolves into a reluctant hero who totally loses his mind to become the more ebullient character from the later films that cast him in more of a comedic role.
The Evil Dead is a horror essential. See it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: This is Spinal Tap (1984)