An Evil Dead Confession

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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!


6 Responses to An Evil Dead Confession

  1. Doug says:

    Were the steak fries frozen when you ate them?

  2. @Doug Hahaha…no, we baked them!

  3. Atari Adventure Square says:

    They say confession is good for the soul, Daniel. Even the ones cursed by the comedic ridicule of Raimi’s re-imaged Evil-But-Goofy-Dead 2.

    Just sit down and start recording…
    No! Don’t press Play!
    Oh well…you’ve awakened my deep dark resentment of the series’ sequels.

    Might as well dig up these thoughts…
    I saw Evil Dead in its French version (L’opéra de le terreur) which translates to Opera Of Terror.
    I mention this because the title truly fit the maniacal grandeur of the film, with its comedic outrageousness balanced by the swift horror and very colorful effects.
    The whole thing felt claustrophobic in the small cinema and the sound was nicely sharp and scary and reverberated well into the night as I biked home, anxious to drag my cousin to a viewing of the experience the following evening.

    And then many rentals of the original English version on VHS, later.
    Not quite the same on the living room’s small TV, but safer, much farther from the woods.

    Then, as if conjured up by my inner yens, a VHS of Evil Dead 2 just appeared on the shelf at the video store.
    No pre-knowledge of its production (maybe a vague mention of a sequel in a gore mag years before, my memory doesn’t care to remember), nothing but the back cover to give reason for its existence.
    This was too much!

    But then…deception. Not a sequel, just a quick remake of the first movie with less cast, odd bits of humor before offering a new starting point from a possible actual sequel manifestation (Ash gets zoomed in, falls against tree, then…), and…again, just too much difference in tone.

    Y’know, in a way, I kinda envy you Daniel and seemingly every Deadite out there.

    The sequels had lots to offer and, were truly more professional and the Army Of Darkness movie (whichever version is more complete) is impressive.

    But I felt locked in a cellar, ineffectually raging against a temporal glitch where Evil Dead (1) never happened.

    I feel better now.
    The tape got chewed up in the player.
    Just as well.

    But I gotta add that I went to Evil Dead The Musical and, while narrowly missing out on getting splattered (darn my luck), it was a fun madcap chop ‘em up good time.

  4. @Atari Adventure Square This was awesome! Thank you for sharing your Evil Dead story!! Now, how do you feel about the remake that’s on the way?

  5. Atari Adventure Square says:

    I was skeptical about the remake at first, seeing as it’s being written by a comedy writer (Diablo Cody) and is overseen by Raimi, who’s less into dramtic horror nowadays (Drag Me To Hell is a spiritual comedy-horror successor to ED2).

    But having seen the trailer, it seems commited to full-on horror, though in the same grey-brown murky photography of the other remakes of the sort (Chainsaw Massacre, Nightmare On Elm Street, etc).

    As a lived-in fan of 80s horror, I miss the visually-stimulating approach of my old classics, yet must resign myself to this newer type of movie-making, to get my regular plate of chewy bloodmeals.

    All in all, the trailer for the remake has gusto, so here’s hoping for a good time in the haunted cabin.

  6. I was glad that it seems to be true to it’s splatter roots at least…hopefully it’ll be a good time. And you just know Bruce will show up in there somewhere…

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