12. The Evil Dead (1981)

When The Evil Dead came out in 1981 it seemed like a breath of fresh air with its unapologetic love of ridiculous, unbelievable gore. Watching it again in recent years I haven’t loved it quite as much – the narrative seems thinner, and the sense of shameless fun has faded – but I still love the movie for its simplicity and audacity. The plot’s so basic it’s almost a genre spoof: a group of young people take a cabin in the woods and make the fundamental error of playing a sinister incantation on a tape recorder. The fools! Cue instant mayhem: rape by a tree, stabbing with pencils, chopping up with axes. EvilDead1DemonAs the demon gets a grip the wholesome kids undergo some fantastic metamorphoses – I particularly like the boiled-egg eyes – and there’s a lot of nasty greenish-black gunk flowing from orifices. My two favourite scenes involve Cheryl bouncing around in the cellar, occasionally peeking through the door and manically gibbering, and the bit when the cute hero, Ash, turns to the possessed Linda, who is speaking in tongues, and says ‘Shut up, Linda!’. A great bit of bathos that I still quote at every opportunity. All the sequels to The Evil Dead were bloody awful (and don’t start me on the 2013 ‘reboot’) but the original is still fabulous.

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2 Comments

Filed under Horror

2 responses to “12. The Evil Dead (1981)

  1. I LOVE this film – but can’t agree with you on the follow ups, they’re all as brilliantly ridiculous as the others. I had no inclination to see the reboot though…

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