Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Eli's Movie Reviews: The Evil Dead

Listen up, kids, because I'm only going to say this once: If you want to see an 80's film about demons, college students, and a very manly man with a very womanly name, then you need to pick up a copy of The Evil Dead (also, loosen up your standards a little). The story follows a group of college students on their weekend trip into the woods. While there, they discover The Necronamican (seen left), a book which if read has the power to bring the souls of the dead into our world. If you're on the edge of your seat, nervously biting the end of your nails in anticipation of what's going to happen next, you're an idiot with no concept of narrative structure or plot conflict...just see the movie.

Although this movie isn't afraid to touch on the heavy subjects (friendship, morality in the face of death, and demons raping women via posession of trees), it's more of a comedy than anything else. The protagonist Ashley, a role shared both by Bruce Campbell and his massive chin, is nothing more than a bumbling idiot who runs around melodramatically while fake blood is thrown on him by the bucket-full. The biggest question is if this is a failure of a horror movie that takes itself way too seriously, or is it a brilliant stroke of cinematic genius that dosn't take itself seriously enough? Consider the follwing:

1. The role of Ashley's girlfriend is played by two people whose hairstyles couldn't be more different.
2. Immeditely after crying over the loss of his girlfriend, Ashley proceeds to beat the demon she's become with a log. Not a twig, not a stick, not anything you'd normally use beat the living dead...but an ENTIRE LOG.
3. A tree rapes a girl. I'll be the first to admit that this was a very uptight girl who was stuck as a third wheel and probably needed to get laid (hell, I know I) would in that situation), but I've never seen anything to make me believe that demons are posessing trees in order to live out some sick, twisted, cross-dimensional fantasy.

Conclusion: Absurd though it may be, this movie is brilliant. If demons frighten you, you'll be scared. If they don't you'll be rolling on the floor.

B+ for Cinematic Form
A for Entertainment Value
A+ because Bruce Campbell has a chin with a mind of its own

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead is a low budget horror film created in 1982 by director Sam Raimi (who is also the director of Spider-Man). The movie stars Bruce Campbell and Sarah Berry who are two of five teenage friends who rent a cabin out in the backwoods of Tennessee for the weekend. Shortly after arriving at the cabin the friends stumble onto a mysterious voice recorder in the basement which tells a story of horrific possessions as well as an incantation which releases evil spirits onto the cabin once more. Along with the voice recorder the friends find a book called The Book of the Dead which is pretty much an information guide to the underworld that comes into play later on in the film.

Eventually four of the five college students become possessed by evil spirits and are now part of the undead army. Ash (Bruce Campbell) must find a way to survive the night with nothing more then a shotgun with very little ammo and his wits. Ash cannot leave the cabin because even the woods are his enemy so he must stay the entire night before being able to escape to civilization the next morning.

If you like horror films at all this is a film you have to watch. Although it’s not the scariest of films it is very well done for the amount of money that was put into it. The special effects are obviously a little weak because of the time the film was created but overall it gets the point across even though most of the effects are in Claymation. The plot like most horror films is pretty standard with young teenagers running away from some kind of evil and sooner or later being taken out one by one. The filming was done in a very professional well done fashion. There were a few shots and angles that were pretty interesting starting with the introduction when the car pulled up to the cabin.

Overall the film is just a fun movie to watch and I highly recommend viewing it along with its two sequels Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness because the trilogy is simply a classic.