Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The MARCH of Death, Day 3: 'The Evil Dead'

REMINDER: These reviews will be brief, as there are 31 in total to write this month. The purpose is to give a few brief thoughts about each film and consequently open the door to discussion.

Long before Sam Raimi got the chance to flex his geek muscles with the Spiderman franchise, long before Bruce Campbell became known as simply “the chin,” and long before horror films started being made without any heart; there was The Evil Dead. Part of a trilogy that remains the foundation upon which my love of horror was built; this is the film that shot Raimi's Delta 88 to stardom. Although many fans regard Evil Dead 2 as a far superior film, there's something really special about the original. You get to see the impetuous of Raimi's creatively spastic camera work. You get to see Ash before he was the boomstick wielding, arrogant everyman. The viewer is even subjected to a tree rape scene! Yes, that is the kind of film that a bunch of Michigan kids with no money and a twisted dream brought to the masses. Campbell certainly is nowhere near a polished performer in this film. His lines are delivered and/or forced in a noticeably insecure manner. But again, what you have is a performance that oozes with heart and genuine commitment. The onslaught of visceral action and amateur gore is simply awe inspiring! The Necronomicon unleashing the Deadites upon an unsuspecting group of simpletons, just relentless. And the flair with which Raimi presents this chaotic circus of carnage is brilliant. Maybe in the second film they did perfect what they started in the first. However, for me, The Evil Dead is a movie that truly exemplifies what independent, micro-budget film making was always meant to be. Soon all of you will be like me... Then who will lock you up in the cellar?

The Evil Dead
Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell

7/10 Farmhouses ~ Chris Conduit

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