Time for a confession creeps and ghouls. I’ve lived with a dark secret for lo these many years, and it’s taken a heavy toll on the black heart of your ol’ pal Daniel Th1rte3n. Steel your nerves and gird your loins as I reveal all unto your awaiting eyes. Ready?
I saw Sam Raimi’s classic film Evil Dead 2 a good 2 or 3 years before I viewed the first Evil Dead. I know, I know…your heart races at this truth that hangs dark in the air as a moonless midnight. Now that you’ve surely recovered a bit, I should relate the tale of how this came to be…
Much like Professor Knowby had the ancient city of Kandar to bestow upon him the knowledge of ancient arcane rites within the Evil Dead universe, so too did I have my own repository of forbidden lore, the local video store…and as I have mentioned in the past, no desire was too depraved to be denied by the ever apathetic clerks of said outlets. In other words, 14 year old me was able to stroll right on out of that store with a fresh copy of the Unrated splatter masterpiece Evil Dead 2 without anyone even so much as blinking an eye.
Long story short, I ended up falling in love with the film’s delirious mix of gore and laughs, not to mention the amazingly physical acting of “The Chin” himself Bruce Campbell…and although I revisited the film every few weeks or so, the way the tale began was to allude me for a time to come as the video stores I frequented seemed to either not carry Evil Dead, or were perpetually rented out of the title. But soon my lot would change.
I wish I could regal you all with a tale for the ages of a quest fulfilled, but alas I simply visited a friend one day, and he had managed to procure a copy of the film from somewhere. I do remember that we ate an entire bag of frozen steak fries during the movie, so that’s something I guess…
Anyway, Evil Dead. While Evil Dead 2 mixes elements of humor and horror, the first Evil Dead is a more traditional horror film (albeit a completely over the top splatter fest). The story is simple: a group of friends vacationing in a remote cabin in the woods unleash an ancient evil that kills them one by one. While the story is straightforward, the insanity of what is displayed on screen is anything but. Possessions occur, multi-hued gore sprays everywhere, and trees violate innocent girls. And then there’s the Claymation. Needless to say, I love it every bit as much as the second film (and the third film, Army of Darkness is awesome as well)!
So, why not spend this Halloween with the Bruce and the gang and have an Evil Dead marathon? Here’s a good place to start (The Evil Dead [Blu-ray]).
I’d also like to say a special thanks to Sean Hartter for his awesome collaboration with your’s cruelly on the art that accompanies this article!
Until next time, Stay Spooky!
Please follow The Retroist on Twitter.