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5 October 2011

Evil Dead 2 (1987)

Ash: We'll all go in together
Jake: Hell no! You're the curious one.
I promised you some more Evil Dead action and tonight I deliver with a review of the sequel: Evil Dead 2 - Dead by Dawn.

The Ukulele Blog wants you!
Evil Dead 2, Renaissance Pictures 1987


There are so many similarities between Evil Dead 1 and 2 that it's hard not to view the first as a dry run for the second. I'll try not to repeat myself... They are different.

Let's start with the fact that the first is scarier.

If I was pushed to catagorise, I would class Evil Dead 1 as a horror and Evil Dead 2 as a gory fairytale.

I think the main difference between the two, and the real success of the second, lies in its use of humour. This time it's on purpose, and it works really well!

Don't go down in the cellar!
Evil Dead 2, Renaissance Pictures 1987

The plot isn't really that important, but for the record:

Ash (played by Bruce Campbell) is back with another cool car and a new girlfriend in the shape of Annie Knowby (played by Sarah Berry). They visit a remote log cabin up in the woods and it isn't long before things are going wrong and they are joined by Jake, Bobby Joe, Ed and Linda (played by Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva, Richard Domeier and Denise Bixler).

Don't play that tape!
Evil Dead 2, Renaissance Pictures 1987

Having released evil Kandarian spirits by playing a recording of an ancient Sumerian incantation their challenge is to avoid ending up dead by dawn.

Once again, Sam Raimi directs and once again his film-making is the out-and-out star of this film. He has honed his craft since Evil Dead 1 and things are slicker by the bucketful. The special effects remain outrageous and huge, but credit to him, he pulls it off!

Dance of the Deadite
Evil Dead 2, Renaissance Pictures 1987

I particularly enjoyed the bit where Ash's Deadite girlfriend returns from the grave to perform some Deadite ballet. The stop-start animation is obvious, but it works. If pole-dancing had been around at the time, I'm sure that Raimi would have woven that in too!

"Who's laughing now?"
Evil Dead 2, Renaissance Pictures 1987

I mentioned the humour earlier; There are some great moments of slap-stick in here. The bit where Ash's hand gets possessed is a gem. And I just loved some of the one-liners. They manage to thrill without being too corny.

The very first time that I watched this film, I remember being blown away by the ending. I was watching it with friends some time in the late 80s and we were all of the opinion that it was the perfect set-up for a third film. This time round I have to say that I enjoyed the first half more. The build-up is a treat. There are so many iconic moments and shots throughout that I defy anyone not to enjoy the journey.

...and now I'm wanting to get my hands on that third installment!

Now where's that chainsaw?
Evil Dead 2, Renaissance Pictures 1987

So I loved this film! You know I did!

On the Triple-B I'm going smash 8 plates on my head and then chop my hand off with a chainsaw. Who's laughing now! Aaaaaaaaaaaagh!



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