RANKING THE EVIL DEAD
Well, this is the shortest rankings I’ve done so far. If I did French Connection or John Carter, there could be shorter ones. I really love the Evil Dead franchise. I think it’s a perfect trilogy as is right now. All three films are great on their own level. I’m not against additional films in the series or the remake that’s being done. The remake has a heavy hand from Sam Raimi AND Bruce Campbell, so I trust it. And the fact that they both WANTED to do the remake is encouraging. My only worry is that it’s a good film, but I’m hoping its not overhyped. There’s a lot of crazy praise happening for it. I feel I’m someone pretty well versed in horror/desensitized, so it takes a lot to genuinely scare me. And you got to make your over the top gore count for narrative and character to give it that impact you want from me. I’m excited for it though, I really am.
- ARMY OF DARKNESS
This one gets third-place due to pace. While the runtime is right in line with the others, it does feel a bit longer when watching it. There feels like just a bit of extended set up for the big battle. There’s also the feeling that the film is just kinda hanging out. Granted a lot of it is going through the tropes of the series, but some of them may be too similar to warrant going through them again. All that said, this is the most quotable of the series and just a damn fun movie. When watching them close together or in a marathon, this one falls third, but on its own on a random night, its king.
- EVIL DEAD II: DEAD BY DAWN
Yes, this is a retread, but it’s done with such a different tone and under different circumstances. Its funny, its scary, its campy, it’s a great party movie (http://www.thecodeiszeek.com/2010/10/evil-dead-drinking-game.html). The film has a tour de force of splatstic horror by Bruce Campbell. Everything up until Bruce meets up with the rest of the cast is absolute GOLD. This is why we love Bruce Campbell.
- THE EVIL DEAD (1981)
Yes, I prefer the first one. I’m big on the straight up horror with the insanity played for the uneasy disturbing factor. The scene at the end where everything goes crazy on Ash is the best of its kind since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). Its just wild, uneasy and has you uncomfortable and on edge. If you couldn’t tell by my passionate piece on it, I kinda am attached to this one. I love low budget films in the horror genre like this. They always seem to turn out far better than the ones a lot of money is thrown at. And most of our “legends” in the genre are of this ilk. But yet, its 2013 and studios still don’t see to know this. Using the super low budget helps to create innovative and creative decision making on set rather than piling on a few more dollars. Its what separates the gifted from the stooge.
Okay…Evil Dead is in the Necronomicons. Always great to revisit this series. I guested on Out Now With Aaron & Abe for a couple commentaries on Evil Dead 1 & 2 if you’re interested in hearing me discuss the series further. (Find them here http://www.hhwlod.com/out-now/blog)
“Join Us” Next Time as I infuse my next retrospective with a buster load of NOS
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