So, The Evil Dead movies . I am so ignorant in terms of horror that I hadn’t even heard of these until I met Thea and she started her campaign for me to watch them. When time came for Halloween Week, it was item number one on her infamous list of essentials and I decided to man-up and bought all of them.
I am a firm believer in the benefits of ripping the band-aid at once so I made a call for a Marathon. But being the wimp that I am there was no way I would watch these by myself, so I
begged convinced Dear Partner to watch them with me. Now, Dear Partner is not a big fan of gore and it took me a lot of bargaining and promises to make him say yes (take your mind out of the gutter, will you?) which include the prospect of seeing my dreaded ironing board again – an item that hasn’t been spotted inside the house for oh, 3 years? Some back massages may or may not have been included in the deal. Needless to say, I start the movie already in the red. But Dear Partner is a happy camper, oh yes he is. The bastard .
So I bring out the beer, the popcorn (also part of the deal), coffee and chicken + thyme flavoured potato crisps. Let the marathon begin!
Five (supposedly) students are going to spend a weekend at an isolated cabin (I am already rolling my eyes right here – cliché scenario number 1 – why must it be an isolated cabin in the middle of the woods of doom?) – whilst they are driving there something is following them and the eerie music is already giving me goosebumps. Something is clearly out to get them , it is only a question of when and how. At the house (seriously, who rented this place? I would so ask my money back) they find a book-( the Necronomicon , the Book of the Dead) and they discover in the basement an old tape recorder which they play. In the tape the former owner of the house, an university professor tells how the book is a book that summons demons and of course HE READS THE TRANSLATION OF THE SUMMONING SPELL. Come on. Hell breaks lose, scary things start to happen (I close eyes, peek through my fingers, grab Dear Partner’s hand over and over again) and one by one the students get possessed. First one up is Cheryl who somehow, thinks that IT IS SAFE TO GO OUTSIDE TO INVESTIGATE A NOISE. In the dark. Alone. In the middle of the wood. AFTER strange, scary things happen. Let’s pause here. Isn’t that stupid??
This scene just cements the fact that I don’t get horror and it is clearly not for me. The weirdest thing is: I like stupid. Some of my favourite TV Shows and movies are in reality, stupidity fiestas. Proof:
The thing is these are funny-stupid , and not please-kill-me-now stupid.
The woman is raped by the woods and I finally learn what tree sex mean.
I wish I hadn’t though. Her brother Ash , who seems to be hero of this trilogy but I have no faith in him so far, does the first intelligent thing and decides to drive her home. Of course, the way is blocked they have to go back and more strange-scary/stupid things happen, one by one the demons possess them (close my eyes! Close my eye! Aaaaaaaaa) and then they all kill each other and it’s very violent and very graphic and dear lord how much fake blood was used in the movie?
In the end: Ash is the sole survivor. Do I care? No. Was it scary? Hell, yes!
I have rolled my eyes more times than I care to count; I ate far too much fattening finger food and it’s only movie # 1; and the acting, omg the acting! It’s ridiculous. Although this is rather scary and atmospheric which I am guessing it’s good when it comes to horror, I am firmly standing on the “what a load of crap” camp. So far, I do not see the appeal.
I am not too excited about watching the others right now. But a promise is a promise (damn you , Thea!!!). I look at Dear Partner and ask if he is ready to proceed, he just shrugs and gives me The Look. Bugger. I Press play.
Evil Dead 2
It starts and I can already see that the special effects are much superior. There is a rundown about the Necronomicon and there is Ash and his girlfriend inside a car driving through the woods of doom, again. Towards the isolated cabin. Again.
And I am like WTF? Why is he going back to a cabin in the middle of the wood???? Hasn’t he learnt anything??????? Five seconds later he finds the book again, listens to the tape and five seconds after that, the girlfriend is possessed , killed, buried , resurrected as a skeleton ballerina in what has got to be the quickest death-recovery in the history of cinema. I am confused.
Dear Partner wants to quit watching. I decide it’s time to bring out the Secret Weapon. I say: if you go , I will have to eat that whoooole pot of Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough ice cream aaaaaall by myself. He says he doesn’t believe I would be able to deny him his favorite ice cream *snorts * it’s hard to be with someone that knows me so well. I decide to use Secret Weapon #2 and make my cute widdle Ana face and that does it. While I go to the kitchen to get the ice cream , I ask him to google Evil dead 2 and it turns out that Sam Raimi did not have the rights to the first movie so instead of showing shots of the first movie, he does it again only different. So, basically the first few minutes are a re-rash of the first movie, but not quite. As soon as Ash is alone, it is a whole different thing. Evil dead 2 is really Evil Dead 1 AND a sequel at the same time. Genius. I am calling it Evil dead 2.0.
We resume the movie.
Now, Ash is trapped in the cabin of inevitable ruin and little by little, he starts to be driven mad. A lot of cliché tricks that get me.every.time like the piano playing all by itself, the empty chair that rocks. I am scared all over again. But this time…it’s good. This time, I actually like Ash. And I like him even more as he gets possessed, then de-possessed, then the head of his girlfriend attacks him like a freaking piranha fish and won’t let go his hand. Then the HAND gets possessed and he is beating himself up all over the kitchen floor – holy guacamole he may not be the greatest actor ever, but there is great physical comedy here. This is supposed to be funny right? Because I am really enjoying it now.
Then he chops his own hand! Blood spurts all over ewwwwwwwwww. Ash is clearly going insane!
Then he is joined by a bunch of idiots, a trailer trash chick and her boyfriend, the professor’s daughter and her man. They learn that the professor’s wife is buried in the cellar – where they just locked Ash thinking he is bad. The woman in there is much creepier than the ones in the first movie and yet, still camp. One of the women decides that it’s safer alone outside in the dark and runs. Tree sex again!!!
Best Ash quote from this movie:
Lets get down to that cellar and carve ourselves a witch
There is the return of the Chainsaw which is put to good use this time. This is a vaste improvement over the first one. No doubt about that – it is less scary though. And less atmospheric. There are still loads of blood but this one is way cooler. And I begin to really like Ash.
In the end, Ash is sucked by a time warp and taken back to the 14th century. I have eaten more shit and am feeling sick to my stomach. I can’t eat anything anymore but I guess I can still find some room for more beer. The cliff-hanger takes us directly into the next movie. This time, we don’t even have to think. Bring it on.
Army of Darkness
It opens and Ash is a prisoner of a lord and is being taken to his castle. He starts to remember his life before going to the cabin – how he had a job and a girlfriend Linda OMG I have a moment of befuddlement – the girlfriend is Bridget Fonda? But she was not Bridget Fonda before! Was she? NO, she was NOT. Anyways, he has been captured as a member of the army of Henry the Red who presents himself
Duke Henry: You’re not one of my vassals… who are you?
Ash: Who wants to know?
Duke Henry: I am Henry the Red. Duke of Shale, Lord of the Northlands and leader of its peoples.
Ash: Well hello Mister Fancypants. Well, I’ve got news for you pal, you ain’t leadin’ but two things: Jack and shit… and Jack just left town.
I laugh hysterically at that.
I am really enjoying this one so far.
He is thrown into the pit of Destruction and fire of hell and puts quite a fight and wins the possessed witch inside! When he comes up again, he shots his gun and gives quite the speech:
Alright, you primitive screw-heads, listen up! See this? This… is my boomstick! – [continuing nonchalantly] – It’s a twelve-gauge, double-barreled Remington. S-Mart’s top of the line. You can find this in the sporting goods department. That’s right, this sweet baby was made in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Retails for about $109.95. It’s got a walnut stock, cobalt-blue steel, and a hair trigger. That’s right… shop smart. Shop S-Mart… You got that?!!
I email Thea as we watch the movie to tell her that somewhere between movies 1 and 3 Ash had built quite a body and has become a badass! She tells me it’s because he is pissed off. Well. Thank god.
(Side note: I am no gun expert but how many rounds will he have?)
So an old wise man , tells him he must go and find the Necronomicon bring it back so that they can vanquish the Army of Darkness and Ash can go back to his time. He goes and stops by a mill where several mini-Ash (yeah really) and then Evil Ash shows up and things are very farcical and ludicrous.
Ash: What are you? Are you me?
Evil Ash: What are do? Are you me? HAHAHAHAHAH! You sound like a jerk!
Ash: Why ya doin’ this, huh?
Evil Ash: Oh, you wanna know? ‘Cause the answer’s easy! I’m BAD Ash… and you’re GOOD Ash! You’re a goody little two-shoes! Little goody two-shoes! Little goody two-shoes!
[begins to sucker-punch Ash]
Evil Ash: Little goody TWO-SHOES! Little goody TWO-SHOES! HEHEHEHEHE!
[honk honk honk]
Evil Ash: LITTLE GOODY TWO-SHOES! HEHEHE
Ash: [cocks shotgun and points it under Evil Ash’s nose]
Ash: [fires shotgun] I’m not THAT good.
But. Oh, I get it. They totally embraced the comedy and all of a sudden this has turned into MY kind of stupid! Yay! I am a happy person right now. Dear Partner? Snoring.
Then things get REALLY good when The Army of Darkness raise to get their book back and then the movies turns truly wonderful as I reminisce the old Ray Harryhausen’s movies and the stop motion special effects.
Ok, so the skeleton army totally rocks, completely stupid things ensue (who has Chemistry 101 books in their cars?) , wonderful quotes from Ash keep coming and yes, I love Army of Darkness. It is the best out of the three.
Ash defeats the baddies, goes back in time and there are two endings – I prefer the original one at the supermaket.
Sure, I could have stayed in the past. I could have even been king. But in my own way, I am king. [grabs girl close] Hail to the king, baby. [Ash kisses the girl]
After Army of Darkness I understand the allure of Bruce Campbell and Ash. Do I think “OMG! These are the best movies EVER?” No. But if there are more of Ash and the Army of Darkness out there – I hear they face Marvel Zombies – I wouldn’t mind meeting them again.
I stop the movie (no extras. humpft) and wake up Dear Partner. Did you have a good time? he asks…
I say: yes.