The Evil Dead
Where to Watch:
Overdrive, Hoopla, Youtube (I would encourage you to watch using your library’s Overdrive or Hoopla services, but their streaming usually frustrates me. Youtube all the way.)
Five college students in this campy horror classic.
The Uncondensed Version:
I’ve been neglecting Evil Dead for a while, mostly because it’s not on Netflix (and I am, at my core, an incredibly lazy being).
I have temporarily overcome my laziness since I’ve been promising one of my favorite people I would review this movie for months, if not years. So let’s do this.
The movie begins with the ultimate horror movie cliché: 5 college students spending a weekend in a secluded cabin where they can party in peace. Though they narrowly escape being hit by a truck and falling into a ravine on the broken-down bridge of doom, they refuse to turn back before reaching the creepy, abandoned cabin.
Later that evening, the floor boards start banging, and a trap door leading to the basement opens. One of the two guys (not Ash) who is sort of an asshole goes into the basement BY HIMSELF to investigate. Ash follows, and the asshole guy in plaid just sort of fucks with him. I want him to DIE. They discover guns and mysterious occult objects in the basement, including an account of the owner’s excavation of these objects at a burial site (H.P. Lovecraft was probably the uncredited screenwriter). As the two play the recording of the Book of the Dead, all of these ominous occurrences start happening, like the ground smoking and turning red.
However, everyone just keeps calm and carries on as usual. Ash gives his girlfriend a (beautiful?) magnifying glass necklace. It’s the thought that counts, I guess?
Basically everyone starts making out except for the lonely headscarf girl who is the fifth wheel. She wanders outside by herself into the woods. Maybe you’re aware of the weird tree rape scene that happens at this point. If not, consider yourself warned. It’s creepy. It’s unnecessary. Even the director agrees. So no judgment if you fast-forward.
The headscarf girl runs back to the cabin, and Ash opens the door just in time. Ash begins to drive her into town, but the bridge has been destroyed. At this point, headscarf girl has a teeeeeeeeeeensy (major) breakdown. She returns to the cabin with Ash, but suddenly becomes demonically possessed and stabs Ash’s girlfriend, Linda, with a pencil. It’s actually kind of disgusting in an over-the-top way. The others manage to lock possessed headscarf girl in the basement, where she keeps taunting them from the trapdoor.
Meanwhile, the asshole guy’s girlfriend is standing RIGHT in front of the window when something breaks in and possesses her. She attacks her boyfriend, who throws her onto the fire and stabs her. She starts spewing white paint(?) and, as she is STILL not dead, they chop off her head with an ax and bury her.
The asshole guy then decides to leave even though Linda can’t walk. He dies not long after (thank GOD).
Linda, now possessed, attacks Ash, who stabs her and prepares to cut her body into pieces (the only way to prevent her from reanimating). But then he sees that god awful necklace and decides to just bury her. NOT A GOOD IDEA. Headscarf girl escapes from the trapdoor as Linda rises from the grave and attacks Ash. AGAIN. He decapitates her with a shovel and fights her headless corpse with a lot of reasonably disgusting blood/milk-vomiting special effects (again—could just be the Star Trek talking).
It’s now Ash’s turn to have a bit of a meltdown until his possessed friends attack him again. He manages to get the Book of the Dead and burn it, so all of the demons turn into sort of Play-Doh/cottage cheese piles, which then erupt into blood and insects.
The sun is rising as Ash leaves the cabin, but the sinister wind starts up and blows through the cabin and out the front door after him. Suddenly, Ash turns around and screams, setting up the scene for Evil Dead 2.
My friend B is always right, and I should accept this. Biggest criticism is that I’m still really creeped out by the tree scene, and not in an it’s-fun-to-be-scared kind of way. Overall, solidly entertaining and just disgusting enough to be satisfying.
4/5 Pink Panther Heads (I know, I know…4/5 is becoming my default. I will utterly destroy a film in my next review. I swear it.)