Monday, March 19, 2012

25 years of Evil Dead 2? Groovy.

Wow, has it really been 25 years since Evil Dead 2 came out? Guess it's time to break out the VCR (yes, I still own one. And lots of VCR tapes. Get offa my lawn) and do a rewatch.

If you're a fan of the film I recommend reading the linked article above. Evil Dead 2 is much better than the original, and I think it's better than Army of Darkness. The latter is a great film, too, and perhaps a bigger cult favorite with its higher memorable quote quotient, but this bit from the article sums up why I prefer Dead by Dawn over AoD (by a hair):

Army of Darkness has more than its share of fanatics, given that it provided many with their access point to the Evil Dead universe, but for me it’s never quite measured up to its predecessors. By taking the action out of the cabin and into a much larger-scale, higher-production value setting, it lacks that DIY charm, and the oddball humour sits awkwardly with the concessions made to a fairly standard studio blockbuster format; it doesn’t help that the horror elements are significantly pared back. Worse still is how Ash’s characterisation changes between the films. Far from the witless but well-meaning would-be tough guy of Evil Dead 2, in Army of Darkness he’s a mean-spirited, arrogant bastard with whom it’s very hard to empathise. Sure, Army of Darkness provides Ash with many of his most celebrated one-liners – the immortal “Gimme some sugar, baby,” and “This is my boom-stick!” amongst others – but none of them quite measure up to that single, immortal word that is evoked for the first time in Evil Dead 2… “Groovy.” 
For further reading, my own take on how I discovered the greatness of Evil Dead 2. Just like the writer of the article above I was hooked after the possessed hand sequence. My favorite part: When Ash slams a bucket over his sawed off appendage, then weights it down with a copy of Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms. Just indescribably awesome.


Falze said...

Army has that nice, sugary-sweet cereal feel, you know that Ash, the man from the future, is going to kick rear in the end with much silly prancing about, but ED2 still has a lick of the late night horror movie peek through your fingers feast. There's just no comparing the 'what the hell is happening to me/the world's gone mad' battle to the death enveloping Ash in ED2 to a slapstick 3 Stooges meet Gulliver's travels routine.

I love them both, but ED2 sits at the head of the table.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nothing beats Evil Dead II. Some of the best lines in a movie ever. Twenty-five years now? Crap, I'm getting old!

Brian Murphy said...

I love them both, but ED2 sits at the head of the table.

I agree the ED2 is better, but this one line alone gives me pause: Don't touch that please, your primitive intellect wouldn't understand alloys and compositions and things with... molecular structures.

Ben Bussey said...

Happy to be of service, Brian! Glad you dug my article. Thanks.

Brian Murphy said...

You did a nice job Ben, I enjoyed it immensely!