Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)

What can I say about Evil Dead II? It is a technical and creative marvel, a film that seems to burst at the seams with energy and enthousiasm. Evil Dead II jumps right in the action as two crazy kids stop by at a cabin for some crazy times, and are met with some ancient evil that turns one of them into an unkilleable zombie thing. Hands get infected, furniture has a sense of humour, and shit flies into many people’s mouths. I wish I had the skills to explain why this is so incredible, the sophistication of Raimi’s artistry and comedy, and how beautifully each scene never takes the easy route, and is filled with narrative and visual splendour. It is a film I cannot recommend enough.

3 responses to “Evil Dead II (Sam Raimi, 1987)

  1. This *is* a very pleasurable film, a real sort of kinetic cinematic romp, and since you enjoyed his latest excursion, I’m not surprised you’ve been swept away by Evil Dead 2!

    Those roving demon POV shots are probably, for many fanboys, the very height of cinematic excellence, and I used to watch them with a junkie’s euphoria, feeling like I’d struck a motherlode of ‘pure cinema’ in their devilish, maniacal roaming. There’s a kind of affectionate humour, too, in such gambits as the whole laughing-their-asses-off synchronization (almost camaraderie) between the stuffed animals and objects of the cabin and Campbell . . . great fun to watch.

    That said: I’m warming up to saying that, if I had to watch this more than twice in a weekend, I’d probably grow tired of it . . . I might not even be bothered to watch it the 2nd time? It’s a film that, for me, is good fun if I chance upon it on tv at 2 in the morning, but it’s not one of the films that I really feel I *have* to live with. Compared to “The Shining”, for instance, it reduces to a mere bauble compared to the luminous entrancement of that masterpiece. I can understand your thrill of discovery, and perhaps that won’t wear off for you, but I’ll be curious to see if it maintains your passion over time (it might). The opening perhaps suggests a vastness of evil, but mostly I think Raimi is joking; and for me his Evil Dead movies, though very clever and kinetic, don’t match the feverish all-involvingness of Argento’s Mothers saga.

  2. I’ll take credit for guiding you towards this treasure of a film via my long-lost recommendations list to you, thank you very much 😉

    This is seriously one of the most interesting and manic movies, like, ever. Once the furniture starts laughing and Ash is criticized by his own reflection in the mirror and a possessed hand is bashing its master’s head with dinner plates and flipping off the camera, that little cabin becomes the ultimate carnival fun-house. Combine that with the fetishistic zoom-ins and close-ups of the guns, holsters, and chainsaw hand as Ash is prepping for the final battle, and you can tell that Sam Raimi is just letting his inner 10-year-old fanboy ooze out of every orifice in his body. I didn’t think that a movie could be more inherently charming than the uber-cheap Evil Dead, which infamously featured Raimi and Bruce Campbell running through the woods with a camera attached to a log to achieve that iconic POV shot, but I’ll be damned, the sequel out-charmed the first film. So fucking great…

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