Evil Dead II

Evil Dead II ★★★★★

Quite simply, the most entertaining movie I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Monopolising on the chance to address its subject matter as parody, Evil Dead II conquers countless problems inherent in its predecessor. The continuity lapses, dated dialogue, questionable rear-screen projection, and (albeit inventive) wobbly stop-motion play favourably for its intentional bad taste; a comedy of excess serving as a satirical smirk at an era of foggy forests and body-horror. It’s easy to understand people being frustrated with films like this (especially younger viewers), but if you approach it with the same expectations of absurdity you’d have with a Monty Python film, you’ll have a much better time with it. 

Bruce Campbell brings Buster Keaton-level physical commitment to Ash, a perfectly blended amalgamation of good bad-acting and athletic slapstick. In a scene where a decapitated head gnaws relentlessly into his hand, his struggle to dispose of the demon results in one of the greatest pieces of physical performance ever put to screen. To add to this, every festering fibre of the original is dialled up to eleven, just when you thought ten was loud enough. With anatomical explosions quadrupling in scale, the Harryhausen-esque stop-motion grabs the audience by the throat with a skeletal hand, never failing to keep its gnarly grip. It’s in the running for the fastest film ever made considering it’s as if it finishes before it even starts, George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road being the only film to match its speed-of-sound momentum since.

Truly a list-topper for sequels that transcended their origins, the blood-red river of creativity gushing from Evil Dead II is genuinely overwhelming. Its paranoid indulgences tick like a Hitchcock horror-house on a feverish acid trip, cementing its roots firmly with its own unique influence on the genre. It surpasses countless classic horrors because of the comedic light it acknowledges its conventions in, working devilishly as the greatest b-movie bird-flip of the silver screen. Where Taxi Driver’s Travis Bickle brandishes a gun for an arm, Ash wields a chainsaw. Raimi took a bloody hand in evolving independent cinema here, from gritty and gutsy to all-out grotesque and groovy. All patience out the window. A clenched fist, bursting into frame.

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