Evil Dead

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I had seen Evil Dead before. In fact, I had seen the entire trilogy, but I wanted to take a few moments and reexamine this film after having watched the musical over the weekend. In case you’re wondering, the musical is hilarious, watch it if you can find it.
When it comes to movies as they are now, we take a lot of things for granted. Often times, we don’t look to the past, to the history of cinema to see the origins of things.
If you’re seeing Evil Dead for the first time in 2011, you’re going to think you’re watching a campy horror movie with terrible make-up, awful dialogue, and feel a very been there, done that before approach.
If you’re seeing Evil Dead for the first time when it was released in 1981, you’ll have an entirely different experience. It is with that thought that I will be reviewing this film.
Evil Dead was released in 1981, written and directed by Sam Raimi. The movie follows five college students who choose a remote cabin to get away from it all. The mood of the film is ominous from the get go as townsfolk stare at them on the
I had seen Evil Dead before.  In fact, I had seen the entire trilogy, but I wanted to take a few moments and reexamine this film after having watched the musical over the weekend.  In case you're wondering, the musical is hilarious, watch it if you can find it.

When it comes to movies as they are now, we take a lot of things for granted.  Often times, we don't look to the past, to the history of cinema to see the origins of things.

If you're seeing Evil Dead for the first time in 2011, you're going to think you're watching a campy horror movie with terrible make-up, awful dialogue, and feel a very been there, done that before approach.

If you're seeing Evil Dead for the first time when it was released in 1981, you'll have an entirely different experience.  It is with that thought that I will be reviewing this film.

Evil Dead was released in 1981, written and directed by Sam Raimi.  The movie follows five college students who choose a remote cabin to get away from it all.  The mood of the film is ominous from the get go as townsfolk stare at them on their way to the cabin.  As they cross over a bridge, they note the sign telling them it's a dangerous bridge and to cross at your own risk.

The students arrive at the cabin and begin to settle into their surroundings.  The cabin is dark and foreboding, incredibly creepy overall.  Our main character here is named Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell).  He is accompanied by his sister, Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), his best friend Scott (Richard Demanicor), and Scott's girlfriend Shelly (Theresa Thilly).

They should have listed the house as a character in the film as well, it has a personality all its own.  The house reveals its basement to the students, daring them to come down, and whispering for them to "join us."  Scott and Ash go down to the basement, they return with the Book of the Dead and a tape recorder.  Upon listening to the tape, they discover the book to be bound in human flesh and inked in human blood. 

It's a very chilly opening that sets up the downfall of each character quite well.  The incantations played on the tape wake the dead from their slumber and they rise to possess each one of the students.  Can they survive?

I had to do a lot of research for this review as 1981 was a long, long time ago.  We take a lot of things for granted now, not thinking of the movies that came before that set up the consequential genre.

For its time, Evil Dead was shockingly violent.  It was immensely controversial due to the violent nature of the movie and how Raimi chose to depict his vision of the violence.  This movie is still banned in some countries, all these years later.

The visuals this film managed to conjure with a budget of only $375,000 is rather fascinating.  I had a great time looking up articles and interviews with Raimi and Campbell about how they were able to pull this movie off with that low of a budget.  That they managed to make this movie at all shows how creative they are and how much of a labor of love it was for them.

If you're watching this movie for the first time in 2011, you'll laugh and think the movie silly.  Do me a favor, forget what you've seen before and take the movie for what it is.  Think back to a simpler time and then watch this movie.  I guarantee you'll be impressed.

I give Evil Dead 4 Chocolate Chip Cooke Dough Bites out of 5.