Friday, April 5, 2013

The Evil Dead (1981)

Number Rolled: N/A [ was 31 on the list ]
Movie Name/Year: The Evil Dead (1981)
Genre: Horror
Length: 85 minutes
Rating: NR
Director: Sam Raimi
Writer: Sam Raimi
Actors: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly

Five college students on a trip find themselves needing to rent a cabin for a stop-over. They have never seen the place before, but they find it not so bad when they arrive. A little musty, but livable. That is, until they find some occult items (including the “Book of the Dead”) in the cellar and Cheryl begins to become affect by strange things. The supernatural effect simply heightens from there leaving Ash to try and help his friends survive the night.

I didn’t roll dice to choose this one. I know! I’m bad. I broke my own rules. Sorry, I just thought it would be a good idea to do this one since I have midnight showing tickets today (it’s Thursday, I pre-write my articles before posting) to go see the remake. We will return to our previously scheduled rolling for my next review.

“The Evil Dead” is hailed as a staple of the horror genre. I’ve seen this movie several hundred times and I still feel myself not only able but happy to sit through it again.

Though there are some definite corny aspects to the film, they aren’t swept under the rug in the hopes that you won’t notice them. Those moments are brought into the light and made fun of. The movie owns its imperfections. Scenes last a bit too long here and there, but the movie makes it amusing. The graphics are pretty much clay inspired, but it was the early 1980’s, so of course it wasn’t going to have the kind of graphics we have now. It’s gory and brutal and one hell of a cult classic.

I would also like to note that before I did my research for this movie, I’d never heard of a “Fake Shemp.”  I came across the term when I was looking up all the actors names and found a list much, MUCH, longer than I expected. A huge amount of the list was marked as “Fake Shemps.” So I looked up the term. What it means is that those actors filled in for others who were unable to make it to the set because of sickness, injury, death, etc. It turns out “The Evil Dead” filmmakers popularized the term because without the use of these fake shemps, they wouldn’t have been able to finish filming.

So there we have it, a review of the original version just in time for the remake to come out. I will admit I’m a little nervous. The original movie is so great because it so easily accepts its faults and makes fun of itself while keeping its intense creepy edge. My nerves make me wonder if the remake will lose that comedy at the expense of cheapening the film. Tonight I will find out.

Overall Opinion – 4.5/5

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