The Blind Spot #2 – “Evil Dead” (1981)

It has just occurred to me that in my nearly 30-year-long life I have not seen the original “Evil Dead”. I’ve seen the other two, but the first one… stood there exactly in my blind spot. See what I did there?

Anyway, the reason I’m now sitting and writing is because I am planning to go and see the remake some time during the weekend (it opens in the UK this Friday) and I like going to class prepared. I have to come out and say that I have been a bit hesitant as I hear It’s supposed to be super gory and brutal. But we’ll see about that – challenge accepted. However, whilst plowing through tonnes of articles praising and/or bashing Fede Alvarez’s remake of the cult classic, it just hit me…

Holy crap! I’ve seen “Army of Darkness”, I’ve seen “Evil Dead 2” (exactly in that order – weird right?), but not the first one. Quickly! To the Batmobile! I mean Netflix… It’s not there… Quickly! Lovefilm! Boom! Jackpot! In less than five minutes since I have realized that, I was already watching Ash and the gang roll up to the cabin in the woods. Note to self: Investigate whether the motif of the rundown cabin in the middle of nowhere can be traced back further than Raimi’s “Evil Dead”…

the-evil-dead-original-1981-poster

I realize it might hurt, but as of now, in 2013, and being my age, I clearly don’t understand the hype and consequently – I’m not going to join the cult. I’m sorry, but the original “Evil Dead” is just OK.  It’s bloody and all, but there isn’t enough for me to love it, which makes me think about how all the fantastic reviews out there are written by deadite fundamentalists who adore this movie with religious zeal. On top of that, it is annoying at times to be forced to sit through this ear-piercing shrieking and other infuriating vocal skills of the deadites, as if it was done on purpose. But anyhow…

I was really pleasantly surprised by Raimi’s camerawork, which was very inventive and unusual. He has clearly earned his place in the annals of horror with this one, but it may have been too late for me to be able to fall in love with it. I was taken aback by the amount of gore and violence (plasticky and old-school, but still very persuasive and serious) and now that I’m trying to put it in context of the remake that I’m about to see, I think Alvarez might have tried (and maybe even succeeded?) to pay due homage to Raimi. Because the way I see it (and apparently Bruce Campbell sees it this way too), had Raimi been born 30 or 40 years later and had he been planning to debut with “Evil Dead” just now instead, I think the result would be just as gory and scary as the media make the remake out to be. Raimi’s “Evil Dead” is no parody that his own sequel/remake and the third one all turned out to be. It’s seriously bloody and horrific – for its time. But nothing more than that, I was sorry to find.

 

At least I can cross it off my list of ‘things to see before I die’. It was nice enough 80 minutes (with the occasional ‘OMG, why can’t she stop screaming?!’), however, I failed to see the supposed Campbell’s charisma that apparently propelled the movie to its cult status. I understand that “Evil Dead” has managed to embed itself into the pop culture with its imagery and the horror creators to this day – knowingly or otherwise – wink towards Raimi’s debut one way or another. Maybe that’s where the cult is, though…

So, if like me, you haven’t seen the original “Evil Dead” yet, go and see it. Stream it, rent it or just buy it. Maybe it’s not a timeless classic by my standards, but it is – even now – a very good horror. It clearly broke new ground in terms of what you can show on the screen and still get away with it (the forest scene says hello) and every serious horror aficionado should know it. Also, the photography – really characteristic and unforgettable. And now, finally, after years of ignorance I can join the club. I didn’t love it religiously, but liked it enough to watch it again in some time.

Now if you excuse me, I’ll go and re-watch the remaining two “Evil Dead” movies before I venture to the cinema to see the remake.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s