Another of my all-time Halloween favorites is, Evil Dead II. The second in Sam Raimi’s series of films, this one definitely beats the first (The Evil Dead) for me. I still remember the first time I watched this film, and it was one of those experiences where I just fell in love. This is undeniably one of those landmark films, and whenever I see a movie now with a cabin in the woods this is the film that I go back to. It’s where that specific sub-genre of horror was first created for me. I think that this film also was one of the first that successfully introduced the combination of comedy with horror, something that seems to a be a more focused area of development over the past few years, especially with films like Cabin Fever and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.
Here are the things that bring me back to this film over and over again:
- First and foremost, Bruce Campbell. The man is a genius of physical comedy and his performance as Ash is incredible. There is a ton of slapstick comedy in this film. And, it’s basically a beat the hell out of Bruce Campbell film. He gets physically harmed in almost every scene, and while that may not sound funny – trust me, it is hilarious.
- The sound the demons make as they are coming up on the cabin through the trees. It’s like a demented motorcycle.
- When Ash, after being infected by the demons the first time, pretty much just curls up and takes a nap halfway in a mud puddle for the rest of the day (as you would). And then, when he wakes up and freaks out, that great cut scene to him peeling out in the car.
- That image of the bridge, busted and all curled up like some huge hand, and then the wide shot of the chasm in the fading sunlight.
- That scene where Ash is standing by his car at the busted bridge and he realizes that the sun is going down – quickly. All that orange fading into gray darkness.
- The number of things that become possessed by the demons: inanimate objects (moose head, table lamp, mirror), trees, Ash’s hand, all in addition to any spare dead bodies that might be laying around.
- Linda’s headless corpse dance in which the corpse uses the head in the manner of a top hat prop. Also, the special effects here are so creepy. Today’s CGI would look much different and more polished, but the jerky movements of Linda’s quickly decaying corpse are much better.
- Flying eyeball into mouth.
- Chainsaw instead of hand gone bad. Also, the quick modification of the shotgun as Ash gets armed and ready to take on the demons.
- So. Much. Blood. Also, many colors of blood. There is red, black, and at one point some green.
- The creepy freaking cellar. Henrietta is bad, yes, but that cellar on its own would just be horrendous.
- The ending. It is just so in keeping with the trials and tribulations that have been visited on Ash.
If you have never checked this movie out, you should definitely add it to your list. It’s a horror classic!