Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

21 May 2008

The Evil Dead, dir. Sam Raimi (1981)

NIKKI says:
It's about time. I don't think I've seen this movie since I lived with Steve back in America. And watching bits and pieces of the musical over the last few weeks, I've really been wanting to revisit it. It was pretty much exactly as I remembered it -- just crazy and weird. But, watching this time, I noticed sam Raimi's style developing big-time. The camera moves and the tension-building, the stuff that comes to great use in his more mainstream, leter films like A Simple Plan and The Gift.

I still hate the effects, though. Which is to say, the zombie make-up. I know they only had a small budget, and the latex stuff is the best they could afford, but it's not really that. It's more the sheer gruesomeness of the goo dripping from mouths (the oozing white stuff, remember that?), and the blood and the gore. Eew. I don't know, perhaps I like my zombies streamlined? In a George Romero way?

Still, the thing is just nuts. And so funny, and Bruce Campbell is just great. The tree scene, though, remains far too graphic! Nobody needs to see that!


STEVE says:
I had an opportunity to see The Evil Dead in the theatre back in New Jersey in 2001. I was working on Midnight Mass at the time and went with the director, Tony Mandile, and the script supervisor, a Russian girl named Gloria, to an all night horror movie marathon: Return of the Living Dead, Re-animator, a "surprise" third film (which turned out to be Romero's Day of the Dead), and The Evil Dead.

Sadly, we didn't get to see The Evil Dead. We had to leave at 4am, right after Day of the Dead, in order to get back to Point Pleasant to catch two, maybe three hours of sleep before getting up for our 8am call time. Watching it now, on our little-big screen here at home, I'm kind of glad it turned out the way it did.

My friend Vince and I watched The Evil Dead for the first time, probably around 1985, and I remember thinking it was one of the worst horror movies I'd ever seen. It took forever to get started, and once it did, it had only lame-ass make-up and special effects that would ultimately degenerate into some silly Claymation puppetry by the climax. This was, after all, the age of Savini, and shit like this just wasn't going to cut it.

Never have these limitations been more obvious than on our big screen. I can't imagine what it would have looked like in a theatre.

Having said this, I've come to see beyond the effects since watching it with Vince (hey, we were 14 - effects were all we cared about in our horror movies back then; effects and boobies), and can appreciate the movie now for the story and for Raimi's directorial style, so maybe it wouldn't have been so bad had we stayed to see it in Jersey. It's one of my favorite horror films, and I still argue, after watching the 2nd and 3rd movies devolving into comedy and using the horror as a punchline, that it's the best of the lot.