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Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Vern Vs. The Evil Dead Trilogy.




Pay attention you primitive screw heads.


I'm going to state right here and now that "The Evil Dead" trilogy is right up there with my favorite threesomes of all time. Yes I would include it on the same list as "Back to the Future"  "Star Wars"( you should know which ones I'm referring to) "The Before Saga"(Sunrise, Sunset, and upcoming Midnight),"Lord of the Rings", "Die Hard" and "Indiana Jones"(last time I checked both of those had only three). The adventures of Ash played brilliantly by Bruce Campbell is a new kind of hero.  Yes he does do the right things, but usually he does them in order to save his own ass.  If something is not constantly attacking him, he is a self arrogant jerk. But would we want him any other way, no.  That is why when bad things happen to him, we can laugh because he's been kind of a jerk throughout.

On Friday April 5th we got a new version of "The Evil Dead" to very positive reviews.  As much as I wanted to see this new version. I thought it would be best to look back on this franchise and take a good look at each movie. Now I urge you to please listen to the commentary tracks on each DVD/BlueRay because they will go into way more depth and detail then I will with this article. This is more or less just a fluff piece, but I hope you enjoy it.

Note***  Each movie reviewed may be heavily spoiled.  So if you have never viewed these movies before, be warned.




The Evil Dead.


Five college students head off to a cabin in the remote wilderness for reasons I'm not quite sure.  When they get there one of the girls starts to hear voices and draws a weird book. It's about that time when a door on the floor springs open and wouldn't you know it someone decides to investigate.  What he finds is a new entry in Oprah's book of the month club. The Necronomicon or Book of the Dead was bound in human flesh and written in human blood.  Included with the book is a reel to reel machine that translate the strange writings and when it does. People become possessed and others die


This was made with a very small budget and it still manages to be very unnerving, even today.  The scene of a girl being sexually assaulted by a tree still freaks me out.  Although I do wonder if she had lived would she be able to pick out the tree that raped her in a line up.  I hate to sound prejudice, but all trees do look kind of alike.  Especially at night. It may be just me as well, but it was kind of annoying the fact that Ash had issues with killing his girlfriend.  Even though she twice tried to attack him.   Speaking of Ash he is very different in this movie. He's not the confident somewhat vain character that is prominent in the other two sequels.  Instead he's really weak and almost cowardly.  Yes I know he's cowardly in the other movies, but for some reason he's even more cowardly.  Still the practical effects are very effective and it still manages to bring on some good scares and some laughs too.  It's a highly original horror film whose story has been told time and time again.


Evil Dead II.


At the end of the first movie everyone dies.  Yes even the sole survivor Ash dies.  So why do we see him appear and why is he going back to the same cabin with a new girlfriend.  I have some theories about this. In "The Evil Dead" that character was called Ashley.  So in this one I believe that Ash is just his twin brother or cousin, but it's not the same guy.  You could also connect the two because when the force comes after him at the end of the first movie.  It could just cut to the scene where he first gets possessed in the second movie.  Get rid of the whole new girlfriend angle and just reference back to his first love instead.  Now that I got that out of the way let me tell you about this tale.  Right when Ash and his new love get to the cabin, the evil starts up again and they kill her.  Now trying to stop a horde of deadites is bad enough, but when you add in the daughter of the man who first found the book of the dead and a redneck couple who helped bring her and her boyfriend to the cabin.  More problems begin to arise.


This sequel is more heavy on the humor then the previous one, and it becomes more of a super hero origin story then a horror one.  Bruce Campbell owns the role of Ash here, and his delivery of one liners and visual sight gags is amazing.  If Buster Keaton were somehow able to be in a slasher flick.  It would be this one.  The moment when his hand becomes possessed is just classic and it features one of the movie's funniest moments. The other one is when all the inanimate objects begin laughing and then Ash joins in on the fun.  The look of it is much more pristine then first one, and the pacing works much better too.  "Evil Dead II" is usually the first movie I show people in this saga.  Followed by "Army of Darkness" and then I show them the first one.  It's the only horror sequel that is even better then the original,and I have high respect for that one too.


Army of Darkness.


Plans to do a third "Evil Dead" were set after the success of number two.  Well that and it does end with the portal opening and Ash going back in time.  Would be kind of silly just to end it there. In this third telling of Ash's battle against the deadites.  We find our hero being sent back in time to a medieval like kingdom.  At first he is mistaken for being part of a rival gang.  But soon becomes a hero when they discover he can fight the evil with his boom stick("Shot smart, shop S Mart"). The elders have a plan that will help get Ash back to his own time, and help save their kingdom as well.  All he has to do is retrieve the dreaded Book of the Dead from a pillar and bring it back.  But before he can pick it up he must recite three words.  Sounds simple, right.  Well it would be if he has seen "The Day the Earth Stood Still"(original of course)


"Army of Darkness" was mine and I'm sure many others very first introduction to this franchise.  I remember seeing the box art for the other two movies when I was younger and thought they were way too scary for me.  The box art for a lot of horror movies were a lot more scarier  then the actual product. Yet this one really stood out because it had a guy with a chainsaw for a hand.  How could I not go see something like that.  All of the great one liners you constantly quote to your friends are in this one, and it does have even more sight gags then the previous two.  Who could forget the awesome moment inside the windmill where a bunch of tiny Ash's are attacking our hero.  Let's also give praise to the stop motion animation and the cool makeup effects too.    This was a huge blockbuster for Sam Raimi and it helped bring in one good movie after the next.  Even though he would not make another horror film until 2009's "Drag me to Hell".  He already achieved legendary status of making this movie.  It's been stated that both Bruce and Sam prefer the original ending which had Ash drinking too much of the potion only  to wake up in a distopian future more then the theatrical one.  But I prefer the second one more because it ends on a high note with having him back at S Mart. Yet when you look at it in the context of the trilogy.  The original ending does work much better.


So to close up shop and put my tools away.  I will say that if this new movie is your introduction to this franchise.  That is great and I thank you for going out and supporting some great horror flicks.  Now if you enjoyed that.  Please check out what helped inspired it.





11 comments:

  1. An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he in fact bought me dinner simply because I found it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this issue here on your blog.

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  2. I remember when i watched the first movie of this trilogy.
    "Why did u woke us up from our ancient thorpor" ....i never forgot that sentence and how it was said,when that girl was guessing the cards,remember?...now that was scary,raw and out of the blue,surprising u with fear.
    For me the most stunning moment of this trilogy.
    The movies are surprising,a bit nonsense its true,not caring much for explanations and reasons,yet scary indeed and very raw.
    The third one was a bit more laboured yet not so scary with a lill bit too much jokes on it,yet not bad at all.
    I heard a rumour a 4th movie was in the make ,im looking forward to watch it if its true,as this maybe not my favourite trilogy but surelly is on my top 5.
    Great subject m8

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting my site Antonio. Yes a 4th movie is in the works, but it's going to be called Army of Darkness 2

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