The Evil Dead (1981) ***

October 20th, 2018
Author: Meredith Taylor

Writer/Dir: Sam Raimi | Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker | Richard DeManincor | | US | Horror | 85′

The woods come alive with the sound of..laughter, or that’s how the cinema audience reacted to a screening of this cult classic that’s back in cinemas for a Halloween treat. Sam Raimi’s first feature is more disgusting than scary, and so blood-soaked it’s even downright hilarious. But back in the day, Tom Sullivan’s terrific make-up effects and gory details must have truly horrified its target viewers: teenagers and college grads. Long on bad taste and booming sound affects, but woefully short on narrative and characterisation, we care nothing for the group of five preppy kids on a budget who fetch up with the intention of partying all night in a ramshackle cabin in the wooded heartland of Tennessee. Well, they certainly have a riot all night, and most of them die painfully – then come alive again, and again! A heady brew of witchcraft, demonic possession and exorcism THE EVIL DEAD is sure to spook-out the faint of heart, others may just feel like throwing up. And an early scene involving female bondage and savage rape by tree branches adds a touch of misogyny to the heady mix. You have been warned. MT


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