Director: Sam Raimi
Written by: Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie DePaiva
Year / Country: 1987, USA
Running Time: 85 mins.
Evil Dead II marks a welcome return for director Raimi and star Campbell. It starts with a recap of the first film, with the distinction that five friends became just Ash (Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda. After Linda is possessed by evil, Ash hacks her up and buries her. However the evil returns and possesses Ash himself. This is the point where the first film ended. It then turns out that when dawn arrives, evil vanishes and Ash is back to his old self again. He now has till evening to get the hell out of dodge. Of course he can’t (bridge broken, what do you know?) and Ash’s everlasting struggle continues.
Humor makes an entry in this second Evil Dead flick. Big time. But luckily the terror hasn’t been forgotten. The combination of the two make this an even more enjoyable film than the first one. Raimi also takes his visual style to the next level and does an outstanding job in creating one breathtaking shot after the other. The camerawork and editing are just seamless.
Then there’s the great performance by Campbell who deserves much credit for carrying this flick. During a lot of screen time, it is just him alone in the cabin (without other humans that is). With his brilliant physical acting and his great comical timing he totally absorbs the audience’s attention. The slapstick fight with his own hand is an outrageous and comical masterpiece.
But there is more twisted humor to be found. Often this is accomplished with inventive gruesomeness, like the hilarious flying eyeball or the work-shed flight. Another fantastic achievement is the nerve shattering sequence around the witch in the fruit cellar. With this film Raimi, may well have delivered his finest one to date, making this an absolute must-see horror flick.
Biography: Sam Raimi (1959, Royal Oak, Michigan) started making 8mm films when he was around ten years old. In his teenage years he first collaborated with his good friend Bruce Campbell, who would later appear in almost all of his films. The style of Raimi is influenced by the Three Stooges, of whom he is a huge fan. By making the short movie Within the Woods he managed to raise the required funds to make his first feature; the outrageous horror flick The Evil Dead. After that he made similar films with varying commercial success. In his films Raimi displays a great talent for creating inventive visuals. Most of his movies also feature slapstick and comic book elements. In 2002 Raimi made Spiderman, his biggest film to date. It was an enormous box-office success and Raimi would go on to make two sequels. Throughout his career Raimi has also produced many films and TV-series, mostly in the horror/fantasy genre. He remains a director with a huge fan base and many exciting future prospects.
Filmography (a selection) | (updated): It’s Murder! (1977, short) / Within the Woods (1978, short) / Clockwork (1978, short) / The Evil Dead (1981) / Crimewave (1985) / Evil Dead II (1987) / Darkman (1990) / Army of Darkness (1992) / The Quick and the Dead (1995) / A Simple Plan (1998) / For Love of the Game (1999) / The Gift (2000) / Spider-Man (2002) / Spider-Man 2 (2004) / Spider-Man 3 (2007) / Drag Me to Hell (2009) / Ash vs Evil Dead (TV episode) / Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
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