Written By: Sophie
Director: Sam Raimi Certificate: 18
What’s the best thing about Evil Dead II? Is it the plot, the script, or Bruce Campbell’s chin? Whatever it is, it’s the perfect mix between comedy and horror.
Sam Raimi’s sequel to ‘The Evil Dead’ had a budget of $3.6 million – which is miniscule in comparison to other films made in 1987; Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Robocop’ came out later that year with a slightly higher budget of $13 million, and Oliver Stone’s ‘Wall street’ on an even higher $15 million. It goes to show that money isn’t everything when it comes to making a cult classic.
Ash (Campbell) has gone to a cabin in the woods with his girlfriend which happens to be in the ownership of an archaeologist in possession of the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis – or the Book of the Dead to the non-Latin speakers. Evil spirits are awoken when the Latin incantation is spoken and consequently, the film becomes a frenzy of gore, dodgy stop-motion animation and hyperbolic special effects.
This isn’t to say that I don’t recommend this film – I definitely do. The exaggerated acting and liberal use of whip pans are just some of the things that make it unique and Raimi gives you the chance to feel how organic movie making should be. Most horror films nowadays lack spirit (ha ha) and imagination, whereas with Evil Dead II, you get the sense that the people who worked on it put their heart and soul into it (ha ha – again) and it definitely shows through the material created. I feel that the horror genre has lost its identity and the making of them has become a mechanical process like they are just being thrown on to the big screen; direction is a major part of any film for me and Sam Raimi uses every trick in the cinematic book to show this.
Another thing that makes it stand out from every other horror film is the fact that Raimi actually uses more props than special effects. He went to extremes to get this film to be shown on the big screen by doing things like turning blood black in parts – and that is what makes it a classic. Campbell also went to extreme lengths to prove his dedication as an actor; in one scene he has been spun around at a high speed in order to achieve the perfect take. Just this one scene highlights the effort and devotion to one film and Raimi’s exceptional directing skills make this a work of art.
If you enjoy films with a simple yet brilliantly-executed plot, this is the perfect film for you. Raimi set a high standard for filmmakers in the 80s and it truly is a must-see when it comes to horror.