Evil Dead II

Evil Dead II is currently available on Amazon Prime.

Evil Dead 2 (1987) – Rated R

“Ash (Bruce Campbell), the sole survivor of THE EVIL DEAD, returns to the same cabin in the woods and again unleashes the forces of the dead. With his girlfriend possessed by the demons and his body parts running amok, Ash is forced to single- handedly battle the legions of the damned as the most lethal – and groovy – hero in horror movie history!”

“The first passage will allow the demon to manifest itself in the flesh.” – “Why the hell would we want to do that?”

If you cannot beat your weakness then find a way to turn it into a strength. That is exactly what Sam Raimi did with Evil Dead II. He did not have access to Evil Dead for flashbacks so he rewrote Evil Dead, compressed the events, and retold it in the first twenty minutes of Evil Dead II.

He wanted to film what would later become Army of Darkness but Dino De Laurentiis would only give him $3.5 million in funding so he essentially filmed the bridge between Evil Dead and Army of Darkness.

Raimi has a fun time with all the delirious camera shots. He loves pans and zooms but is especially enamored of long, fast dolly shots. He essentially pins Ash to the camera in an early scene that goes charging into the woods.

Of course the Evil Dead series would not have been nearly as good without the cheese-tastic performance of Bruce Campbell as Ash. While not as famous as the villains, Ash is one of the most iconic heroes in horror movies. They have even put his character in comics with Freddy and Jason.

The rest of the cast is adequate. Sarah Berry, who plays female lead Annie Knowby, would be an extra on one other film but then retire. Kassie Wesley DePaiva, Bobby Joe in the movie, is now a country western singer. Dan Hicks debuts here as Jake. The ever-amusing Ted Raimi pops up (literally) as Possessed Henrietta.

The violence and gore in Evil Dead II are incredibly over-the-top. People are thrown about like rag dolls, abducted by trees, possessed, stabbed, shot, chainsawed, dismembered and decapitated. Raimi makes the demon blood in various colors to enable the film to get an ‘R’ rating. Apparently it is okay to bleed black or green but only occasionally in red.

People Watch: Director Sam Raimi has a cameo as a medieval knight (the first one to raise his sword).

Sequel-itis: Evil Dead II would be followed in 1992 by Army of Darkness.

Remake-itis: Evil Dead is coming out in 2013. Obviously Sam Raimi is too big to direct such things so they have tapped a brand new director, Fede Alvarez.