The Evil Dead (1981)
Fresh and Exciting
Good films always raise compelling questions, whether the format is fiction or documentary fact.
It's an amazing and heartbreaking story.
The film creates a perfect balance between action and depth of basic needs, in the midst of an infertile atmosphere.
What better place to start with my first review than this classic 80's cult horror. I remember in my very early teens, all the hype surrounding this movie and scrambling around a friend's house to watch a grainy VHS copy totally against my parents' wishes, especially after the uproar that it had cause with the notoriously pompous British Censors which only added to the movies' allure. I recently decided to go through my old DVD collection so that I could give a rating to movies I had not seen in a long time and therefore had not rated. My attention was drawn to this movie very early in my task - I was not disappointed. Don't get me wrong. It is a pretty poor movie by today's standards and a complete cliché, but in a way, that's what makes it good! It's like a journey through a carnival house of horrors as an adult. The effects are shocking, you know what's coming yet it still makes you jump! The acting is outdated and almost wooden at times. The effects of the puss squirting from the arm and eyes is almost laughable but still you can't stop watching it. It still manages to create an atmosphere that draws you in and engrosses you so that you do not want to switch it off no matter how bad you tell yourself it is. But it isn't bad at all, it really is quite good. Take yourself back to the 80's and this movie truly was a masterpiece filmed on a budget but drawing the attention some of the so-called blockbusters of the time could only envy. I have seen this movie several times now and each time I come back with the same opinion - that it is definitely worth watching. If you are viewing for the first time, do so with an open mind and put yourself back in the early eighties to give yourself a fair go... you won't be disappointed. I can only give this movie a 7/10 which in my rating system is a movie worth watching and that is exactly what it is what it is nothing more, nothing less, but still a masterpiece of its time which if judged back then would have surely scored a straight 10
'The Evil Dead (1981)' had a very low budget and it certainly shows. Yet, despite this, it looks and feels very convincing. Some dialogue is hokey, the acting can be hammy and wooden at times and a couple of scenes made me laugh due to their slightly campy nature, but the overall experience is charmingly entertaining. There's this mix of genuine horror and trash-induced bemusement, with some moments causing full-on unease and others provoking unintended chuckles, but this actually all adds to the off-kilter vibe of the picture. It's admirable that a group of people went into the woods and made a film, despite all the issues that befell them, and that adds to its ornate allure. You can almost feel the passion coming off the screen, and this (ironically) gives it a soul so much warmer than any studio ever could. It's well-made (especially for the shoe-string budget), gory, iconic and can be pretty tense and suspenseful, too. There's something to be said for the fact that, for the most part, it pulls you into its world and doesn't let you out until its credits roll. Even when it lapses slightly, the laughter it causes adds to the experience as opposed to detracting from it, and the occasional paint-peeling just proves that the film was made by a rag-tag team of friends. And if they can do it, so can you. 7/10
The Evil Dead (1981) is a classic horror film, one of the most famous ones in history. This film really earns it's title of being one of the best. It does not rely upon big special effects or a very large budget to make it effective. it is a very effective horror film without these things, which is what too many scary movies rely on heavily. Everything starts out with a group of young adults in a car heading out to a secluded cabin in the woods, as you can guess, things get pretty bad from there on. I loved the classic, creepy atmosphere all throughout the film, it contributed to the overall dark feel. The cast does a good job here, I really enjoyed their performances. Bruce Campbell in particular stands out, very enthusiastic performance. The makeup was oh so well done, i loved the scary evil look the people had to them when they became possessed by the demonic spirit. Not only was the look great, but oh my god I loved the demons voice, sounded perfect. Eerie and creepy as hell, very effective as far as the voice goes. Overall, this really is a fabulous horror film and I recommend it. 9/10.
When I first ever watched this, I was just left kind of bewildered and queasy-headed because the endless barrage of over the top screaming and chaotic action was a bit overwhelming, it was quite the "gruelling" experience indeed.. But on subsequent viewings years later I really grew to love this movie and appreciate its place in cinematic horror history as an important landmark of which the influence has been quite profound and it's among my favourites now. It just has a lot of what I personally tend to go for in a good fun horror movie; it's fast and doesn't stop once it really gets going, it's has loads or rich eerie little touches and is brimming with the most fantastic classically scary atmosphere, I mean being set in a secluded cabin in the desolate woods in the middle of nowhere on a dark and stormy night, it's got one of the best kinds of atmospheres that a horror fan could wish for, and that cabin and those woods were a perfect setting as well as a pitch-perfect setup for when the really crazy demonic s**t starts to go down. All of that stuff is incredibly well established and built up before it actually starts to happen. It has characters that you actually feel for a little, Eileen Sandweiss' rising hysterics as Shelly who somehow can sense that they've unleashed something terrible upon themselves by hearing the incantation is very effective until she's the first to get possessed, and Bruce Campbell was so young and wet around the ears, the Ash in this is a bit of a wimp until he starts trying to fight back after he gets put through he wringer, and boy does he ever! It also has a lot of over the top splatter gore especially at the end when everything's all crooked and he gets hosed down by the blood pipe and the projector turns red and explodes, all the gore is used really well. You can tell it's a low budget picture but it just works such wonders with the mood and camera-work that the grunginess and bare-bones aspect of it just adds to the overall feel, and like with a lot of the cult horror classics from back in the day, the quality and charm shines through the dingy cracks and it all works out so amazingly well despite itself. Again once it starts rolling and they're all completely f****d after hearing the tape recorder's forbidden words of certain doom, it becomes a real ride into madness and terror, but it also always has a good sense of fun about it too somehow, people die and get dismembered but it never comes off as too much of a sickening horror movie, with the possible exception of THAT scene! In the exuberance of its more lively moments there's a certain subtle knowing goofiness there. But it's still way more of a serious horror movie than the second and third movies, and I personally think it's better than them for that. The possessed are so cool, I love how automatically demented and vicious they are, far from being mere angry unquiet spirits, these vile entities really do seem like utterly insane toxic dead souls from some unimaginable nether-hell who's only care is spreading death and destruction! My favourite malicious corpse is Linda, her giggling and clown-like facial distortions are so creepy and in comparison to the other demon zombies which are mostly mindlessly violent she/it is more a jovial sort who is so happy to be among the corporeal once again after an eternity of ancient slumber, although when push comes to shove she's just as bloodthirsty! I love the explosive use of stop motion effects work used in the climax as the demons dissolve into green putrescence as the dreaded book burns. It does look crude and even kind of s**tty, but is still more importantly an awesome blast at the same time, not unlike the movie as a whole really! This movie is to this day such a glorious horror romp and it still has the same raw visceral and spooky macabre magic that deservedly made it into a beloved classic, one that is positively to die for! X