The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN (1987) ****

Yesterday I was kinda complaining that Evil Dead 1 was hard to review.  Well, Evil Dead 2 is twice as difficult.  I mean I have seen this thing (literally) about 100 times.  You’d think I’d be able to properly analyze it by now, but no.  This is one of those movies that doesn’t need to analyzed.  It just needs to be seen.  Yesterday I described the first film as a rollercoaster.  If that’s so, then Evil Dead 2 is a G-Force simulator.


Let me clue you into how great this movie is.  This month when I’ve reviewed these horror franchise films, I’ve done so with my laptop on my lap, typing notes here and there before finally polishing up a full review.  I did absolutely nothing while watching Evil Dead 2 except just sat there and enjoyed it.  Even though I’ve seen the film a hundred times, director Sam Raimi still kicked my ass.


There are so many great scenes in this movie.  How about when Ash’s zombie girlfriend’s head falls off during a ballet number?  Then the head comes back and attacks him.  While trying to deal with that unfortunate situation (in the “work shed”), her headless corpse comes after him wielding a chainsaw.


Then there’s the classic scene where Ash’s hand gets possessed and starts hitting him with plates so he cuts it off.  Then it gets loose scampering around giving him the finger and causing him more grief.  Or how about when Ash gets trapped inside the fruit cellar with a grotesque demon named Henrietta?  (“I’ll swallow your soul!”)  Or when he slams the door on her head and sends her eyeball flying?  Or when he hacks up a possessed guy that spews green gunk everywhere?  Not to mention the scene where everything in the cabin starts laughing at him.  Or the part where the woods comes to life and attacks a chick (although not on par with the spectacular forest raping from the original). 


Then of course there's the scene where Ash attaches his trusty chainsaw to his arm stump and utters the immortal line, “Groovy!” before doing battle the witch Henrietta.  And the scene where he chops off her head before blowing her away.  (“Swallow this!”)  And that’s not even counting the awesome set-up for the sequel either.


Again, Bruce Campbell plays Ash but this time out he’s given some macho dialogue that perfectly compliments his ever-growing acts of heroism.  (“You’re going down!”)  As with the previous film, he gets every sort of blood, bile, vomit, and gunk shot into his face about every fifteen minutes and he does so like a goddamn pro.  That’s what makes Campbell so great.  I mean you don’t see Olivier doing shit like that, do you?


Then there’s Sam Raimi, The Michigan Madman who films the movie like a jackrabbit hopped up on No-Doz.  There is every kind of crazed camera shot in the book in this movie, along with a couple Raimi had to personally invent to fit his extreme vision.  The man is a fucking genius pure and simple.


Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn is an assault on the senses.  It’s not scary exactly, but it’s disgusting, hilarious, and strangely enough; quite beautiful.  Not only is it one of the greatest horror movies ever made, it also happens to be one of the greatest FILMS of all time.


Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn is Numero Uno on The Video Vacuum Top Ten Films of 1987.


<Tomorrow’s Horror Franchise Movie:  Army of Darkness>

Tags: bruce campbell, e, evil dead series, horror, sequel, zombie
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