Everybody has that one movie that always makes them happy. Most people watch some silly melodrama, or a black-and-white classic to take their mind off their troubles. Not me. This is my go-to choice for viewing whenever “real” life gets me down. I just pop in my trusty copy of Evil Dead 2, and all my cares seem to disappear like Ash’s hand…
Reason #1 – You can never have a worse day than Ash does.
Seriously. This has to be the worst 24 hour period anyone has ever had. Poor Ash just wants to go out for a secluded getaway with his main squeeze, Linda. As soon as they arrive for their romantic date, they quickly find an old book in the cabin and learn that someone has been summoning demons. Linda is sucked out the window and possessed by evil, and Ash must decapitate her with a shovel and bury her in a shallow grave. This all happens within the first six minutes of the movie!
Reason # 2 – The giddy use of low-budget special effects and stop-motion animation.
There is a reason I reach for Evil Dead 2 over the original, and it is the sense of ridiculous humor present in almost every scene. Consider how they simply toss skeletal rag-dolls at our hero to fight off. Or the brilliant physical comedy Bruce Campbell displays while his hand is inexplicably possessed by demons. The blatantly unrealistic stop-motion animation used to re-animate Linda for her dance. The screeching monkey sounds as Ash fights the demon from the fruit cellar. I love it all, in it’s cheesy goodness!
Reason # 3 – This.
Reason #4 – Ash, the good-natured hero.
Ash Williams, as portrayed by Bruce Campbell, has become an icon of the every-man. He is no one special, just a guy who got dealt a shitty hand on his romantic weekend. But, man, does he roll with the punches! After decapitating and burying his love in the opening minutes of the movie, he gets randomly possessed, beaten up by his own hand, and locked in the cellar with a monster. The director, Sam Raimi, confesses in the special DVD features that many of the scenes were written in just so that he could torture his good buddy Bruce.
Despite his many unexpected clashes with inexplicable evil, he keeps his enormous chin up. Ash is a hero, because he deals with this madness the best way he can, and laughs along with the uncontrolled chaos he finds himself facing.
Reason # 5 – The thing in the woods.
The scariest things are always the things we do not see. We learn all about this demon resurrected by the book of the Dead, and see it possessing the cast of the film, compelling them to eat hair and such. But we never actually see the thing haunting the woods. It is shot in great first-person fashion, gliding through the woods at a relentless pace, knocking over trees and obstacles to get at our hero. But it is just something out there in the woods, and we never see it eye to eye, much to the film’s credit. The best effects are ambiguous, and Sam Raimi perfected it all those years ago, with this film.
I hope you have enjoyed this look at one of my all-time favorite movies. Leave some comments, and let me know what you guys think.
And if you have never seen this masterpiece, do your homework!
Faithfully submitted by Darth Biscuits.