Friday, October 12, 2012

HMM '12 Day 12: Evil Dead 2

It's finally October! That means two very important things: Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts are here, and Halloween is near! My favorite thing to do in October to prepare myself for Halloween is to, of course, watch movies that I feel best exemplify the season. Now, this doesn't just mean extreme gore fests (of course, I do love me some gore), but I like to include movies that have that Halloween feel. Anyway, let's get to Day 12 of Halloween Movie Madness 2012!

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
(Rosebud Releasing, 1987)

Tonight is a special night, because I get to watch my favorite horror movie of all time.  Actually, now that I think about it, it might just be my favorite movie of all time (it is very close between this and Rain Man).  This means that I have to take extra care to make sure I don't ramble on and on and on about this movie.  It is very easy for me to do so, but I will be certain to keep this post at a reasonable length.

This movie starts out in a way that is confusing to most everyone, and it sure confused the hell out of me the first time I saw it.  The trailer doesn't really help either.  After a brief explanation about the Necronomicon, we see Ash, and his girlfriend, Linda, driving up to the fateful cabin.  If this was your first time watching this, two questions would probably come to mind.  First, what happened after the Evil chased him through the cabin at the end of the first one? I mean, how the hell did he get away?  And second, and most important, why in the hell is he going back?  Doesn't he remember what happened the last time?

The answer to both questions is simple: Sam & Co. couldn't use the footage from the first movie. Rather than re-filming all of the scenes to use for the flashback purposes of setting up this awesome sequel, they retconned the first movie.  It's like Igarashi did with, what, a third of the Castlevania games?  Instead of five Michigan State students going on a trip, it was just Ash and his girlfriend.  The book wasn't destroyed. They do still find the book, dagger, and tape player in the cabin.  Ash plays the tape, it awakens the Evil, turns Linda into a Deadite, and he takes her head off with a shovel.  That is pretty much the same as the first movie.

That's not to say that you should just not watch the first one though, it is still a great horror movie.  It is my opinion, however, that this movie far eclipses the first in nearly every way.

Okay, back to the movie now.  After Ash buries his woman, we are treated to seeing Ash get flung through the woods by the Evil after it chases him through the house in the scene from the end of the first movie.  This happens seven minutes into the film, just F.Y.I.  After a few things happen, like Ash trying to leave but discovering the bridge has been destroyed, he is forced to retreat back to the cabin, where he has to face the dancing corpse of his dead girlfriend.  Shortly after that comes one of the best scenes in any horror movie: He has to fight his possessed hand which is trying to kill him and is forced to cut his own hand off with a chainsaw.  Who's laughing now?

Oh yeah, the daughter of the man who owns the cabin, some blonde dude, and two hicks are on their way to the cabin.  That's kind of important to mention here.  That is also where I will stop my spoilers for the film, although if you haven't seen this movie in the 21 years that it has been out, you deserve to have it spoiled.

Ash: The REAL Hero of Time
In the general terms of the rest of the plot, the group get there, figure out that they need to translate the pages of the Necronomicon to stop the Evil, and start getting killed off.  One of the girls gets killed by the trees, but unlike the tree death scene in the first movie, this one isn't raped by the vegetation   Ash also retrofits the chainsaw to his stump on his right arm where his hand used to be.

What makes this movie so great is the brilliant blending of horror, gore, and slapstick.  While this movie doesn't have as many comedic elements as the third movie, Army of Darkness, it still delivers a few laughs.  Like some scenes where Ash fights his severed possessed hand and it flips him the bird.

I need to stop myself now, otherwise I will end up detailing every scene in the movie.  Like I said, this is an all-time favorite of mine.  If you haven't seen it, I refuse to take you seriously as a horror fan.  Well, okay, maybe not.  Still though.  Watch it!