Monday, the day which many dread. Waking up early, fighting traffic and reporting to a job that only offers stress can be a quick summary of the day; and a premise for a truly terrifying film. It might not be your favorite day of the week, but descriptions like vile, disgusting and vomit inducing all scream horror. During Wilhelm Screamfest, Massacre Mondays will be here to celebrate the films with blood, guts and all around gore. There’s one film could not be left out of the picture. It may not be the goriest of the bunch, but “Evil Dead II” is quintessential to not just gore, but the horror industry.
Without giving spoilers, the film pivots between the fine line of remake and sequel to 1981’s “The Evil Dead.” Like the original, “Evil Dead II” revolves around Ash (Bruce Campbell) as he battles an onslaught of malicious events in an isolated cabin. For those unfamiliar, Ash is prone to letting his ego and equally large stupidity get the best of him, thus finding a way to make any situation go awry. Yet again, his actions unleash demented souls who have one driving force, chaotic evil.
Much of “Evil Dead II” relies on an overwhelming amount of blood and gore. Director Sam Raimi tests the stomachs of audiences with decapitations, severed limbs and gallons of blood sprayed across the camera. The use of CGI, stop motion prosthetics and other practical effects really make the film stand out. Though it may seem dated today, the visual look of creatures were a truly horrendous sight when released; as the effects make the humanoid beings work well through interactions with Campbell. “Evil Dead II” pushes the boundaries of realism, as what started of as a scene of terror becomes almost a satire of itself.
Though the film is labeled as horror, there are enough laughs within it to juggle the bi-genre title of horror comedy; much of this thanks to the impeccable performance by Bruce Campbell. As the chaos ensues, so does the insanity of Ash; creating a rollercoaster of comedic gold. One could say that an added laugh track could be a cue of laughter for those who may not understand the brilliant filmmaking. Campbell’s charm and physical humor causes you to forget the fact it was his own stupidity which got him in the mess. Even with his flaws, Ash still manages to be an unconventional hero who utilizes one liners and acts of wonder to save the day.
Rather than putting the film on the bigger is better path, Sam Raimi took the opportunity to dive deeper within the mythos of the Necronomicon Ex Mortis; resulting in a truly unforgettable journey with just the right mixture of scares and humor. “Evil Dead II” is more than just a sequel, but an en example of the greatness that can be achieved given the freedom with little to no boundaries. If you have yet to see the film, cancel all plans and enjoy the campy delicacy that is “Evil Dead II.”