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Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)

May 28, 2009

10/10 Prosthetic Chainsaws

My favorite horror movie of all time. I might get some shit from my friends for that statement, but whatever. I love this movie.

Picking up as a kind of sequel/remake to Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 kicks off with Ash, the hero of our story, getting his ass kicked by demons for two hours while trying to save the lives of a new group of travelers who have turned up to spend the weekend at the same cabin. Personally, I don’t see the attraction to the spending the weekend at haunted cabins, but looks like I’m in the minority here, so I’ll just shut up.

Here’s the thing with the Evil Dead trilogy, they’re all “horror” movies to a certain degree, but they’re all totally, totally different in tone. The Evil Dead is a straight-up horror movie, Army of Darkness is a comedy, and Evil Dead 2 is a perfect mixture of both. They’re all great on their own terms, but if you’re reading this review and thinking, “Wow! This is exactly the pants-shitting horror experience I’ve been looking for my whole life!”, then you’ll probably be disappointed.

Not a whole lot of “jump-out-of-your-seat” moments in this one and it’s actually not all that scary either. It’s still extremely low-budget and won’t be amazing anyone with its special effects, but just like with The Evil Dead, if you take this movie with a grain of salt it’s arguably the most fun you’ll have with a horror movie. And don’t get me wrong, it is a horror movie. It’s gross as hell and there’s more fake blood in it than you can shake a stick at.

This is also Sam Raimi at the top of his game from a film making standpoint. This is how you make a great movie with no money and no resources. So for all you fellow movie nerds out there who dig that kind of stuff like I do, then you’ll definitely find something extra to appreciate with this bad boy.

Evil Dead 2 retains the horror elements that made The Evil Dead so great and throws in a good healthy dose of Three Stooges humor and classic one-liners for good measure. And while Bruce Campbell was the man back in The Evil Dead, this is really where he really brings it all home. In true horror-movie-sequel fashion, Ash finally gets fed up with running away from these evil bastards and pulls a Sarah Connor/Ripley in a big way as he goes to freakin’ town on everyone and everything in his path. He’s a big reason people like this movie so much and he’s also the reason this movie is rated in Prosthetic Chainsaws.

I repeat: Prosthetic. Chainsaws.

I’ll say it now and I’ll say it in all these Evil Dead reviews. These movies aren’t for everyone. I’m not promising that you’re going to watch this and be totally converted to the horror genre like I was. If you’re already squeemish and cringe when “bloody” and “stump” are used in the same sentence, might want to steer clear of this one. But if you’re tired of all the garbage horror movies that get put out nowadays that don’t have a lick of originality to them, then for the love of God, watch this movie. It’s fun, it’s hilarious, and it’ll satisfy that bloody urge you get when you’re sitting on that tree stump in the yard.

God, that was lame.

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