Friday, October 4, 2019

31 Days of Halloween: "Evil Dead" 1981

Bruce Campbell is one of those actors who is greatly admired by a small though dedicated fan base. Sadly, he doesn't work nearly as often as he should nor is he as famous as he should be. That's too bad, for someone who was the lead in "Evil Dead," you'd think Campbell would have received his fair share in the spotlight by now. But boy to fans of his career, do they sure love him. I got the chance to meet and speak with Bruce Campbell at 2014 Chicago Comic-Con. I have a signed copy of "Army of Darkness" on blu-ray as a result. That quick encounter meant the world to me.

Any time you are watching a cabin in the woods type movie, just know that it wouldn't exist without "Evil Dead." This movie is the ultimate cabin in the woods movie. A group of friends purchase a cabin. They go there to have a party. They find some weird artifacts inside the cabin. They experiment with said artifacts. Then bad things proceed to happen. This is something that is not new in horror movies these days, but "Evil Dead" pioneered the idea. In this movie in particular, a woman gets raped by a tree and it contains some of gnarly demon action in a movie.

This was the first film in a group of Ash movies, and lots of the things that became commonplace in the lore weren't necessarily introduced yet. The signature white eyes and exaggerated make-up started in this movie, and there are some parts where the make-up is so well done its really creepy. The group of friends listen to a recording, which unleashes demons, and the demons begin to slowly possess the group of friends. One of the signatures of this movie is the camera moving in hyper-speed. As if the director duct taped the camera to the front of a Ferrari and put the car's pedal to the floor. It's amazing to see, and again, creepy. 

Basically the movie is the friends dealing with the possessions. Fighting back against the monsters. The film is short, sweet, and to-the-point. Of course Bruce Campbell was the sole survivor and there is a juicy set-up for a sequel. Its a movie that is equal parts funny, excess for excess sake when it comes to blood and guts. There is a crazy scene near the end when the dead bodies begin to decompose at an accelerated motion. You can tell the bodies are clay, and there is a substance that comes out of one body that I am sure was Mac'n'Cheese. You can tell this was made on a low budget, but there is still much charm to be had here. 

We talk the sequel tomorrow!

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