Review: The Evil Dead (1981)

evildead4

Is there any such thing as the good dead?

Written By: Sam Raimi
Directed By: Sam Raimi

One word comes to mind when thinking about The Evil Dead, fun. The Evil Dead is fun from start to finish, it is fun because of the scenarios, the prosthetics, the characters, the actors, the gore, the violence, the innuendo and most of all because of Bruce Campbell. The chin rules all and he rules The Evil Dead. He is so exciting to watch as he seamlessly navigates from laid back n’er’ do well to stone cold monster killer. I don’t believe Bruce Campbell has ever gotten his just due for how good of an actor he actually is, and The Evil Dead is no exception. He isn’t pulling off a drama tour de force, but melding the worlds of comedy and fear together is never easy, yet he makes it seem easy as pie. I always look forward to anything Campbell is in because he can make even the worst of pictures somewhat watchable, luckily The Evil Dead was a good enough picture without the chin.

The Evil Dead isn’t complex, nor is it as laugh out loud funny as later horror comedies, like Shaun Of The Dead for instance. But, The Evil Dead is incredibly innovative with every horror standard you can think of. As much as I love horror, there is only so much, “recite incantation, evil monster appears, people run for their lives, create tension, hero saves the day” in a straight forward manner that one can take. The Evil Dead throws the straight forward approach right out the window, instead opting for tentacle rape, wise cracking demons, and bloody wounds galore. But, it’s important to note that the gore in The Evil Dead isn’t gore just for the sake of gore. No, The Evil Dead isn’t the most suspenseful movie, it does have its share however, but the gore in The Evil Dead feels natural and looks terrific. The demons are crafted excellently as well, they look nothing like the shoe string budget concoctions they actually are.

The Evil Dead isn’t a great film, nor is it a deep film or a movie that will stay with you. There are other horror comedies out there that will get better laughs, but there are very few that are as innovative with horror cliches or with violence. The Evil Dead is simply put, a fun movie that is a blast to watch. Anyone who wants to be a real horror fan must see The Evil Dead, and if you haven’t then shame on you.

Rating:

***

Cheers,
Bill

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