Okay first review back after a break and an angry post. Lets get rockin...
Lets start off this review by saying: I fucking love Sam Raimi! I think the man is a genius when it comes to horror and a pretty damn good director all around. Sam Raimi firmly planted his feet into Hollywood with the extremely successful Spiderman Trilogy (Fuck you nay-sayers, I thought the first two were great), not to mention For the Love of the Game, Drag Me to Hell, and his adaption to The Quick and the Dead. Though, what really rocketed him to his now attributed fame was a little movie called "The Evil Dead".
To many horror fans, this film is arguably one of the best horror films ever made. Though a bit campy, this film is still an intimidating piece of film, for many reasons. First off, the genius of Sam Raimi quickly shines through as his impressive camera-work, breakneck-paced storytelling, and visceral content. What looks like another B-movie on the outside, is really a beast of a movie on the inside.
Story: Its your typical "haunted woods/cabin" story with a couple teens going up to an isolated spot for vacation and an all around good time. While introducing the characters Sam Raimi already shows that there is something brewing in the woods. After reaching the cabin, they spend time partying and socializing as the day turns to night. Our main character (a future god) Ash J Williams and one of his friends (Douchebag McDouchingstein) stumble upon a tape.
Upon playing said tape, they find that the person who occupied the cabin had accidentally unleashed demons by speaking the words from the Book of the Dead. One of the girls becomes very upset and they decide to hit the hay. This is where the fun starts, so no need for me to go on from here.
Acting/Dialogue: The over-all dialogue is pretty meh and there are really two stand out performances in the film (Bruce "Better-than-Chuck-Norris" Campbell and Ellen Sandweiss), but its not bad enough to take away from the movie (definitely a step up from ANYTHING Ulli Lommelz ever directed...ever). Its the typical banter back and forth; "we need to get out of here", "there is no way out", "we're all gonna die" and shit like that, but nothing cringe worthy, thank god.
Cinematography/editing: This is where half the fun comes in. Sam Raimi is notorious for his style of camera-work and editing. The camera helps tell most of the story and the editing almost disorients you as complex movements and shots come together to great a very surreal feeling.
For example, for most of the movie the camera-work is pretty typical (aside from the "Demon vision"), but soon as Ash is alone, all hell breaks look. The camera-work gets all over the place with quick cuts, strange angles, and complex movements. The whole thing is to give the impression that the Deadites have completely taken over.
One of my favorite shots in this movie is when Ash his standing over the camera. He sweeps his feet over the lens and as he does, it transitions to a completely different shot and it adds to the entire atmosphere.
Execution: Damn near perfect, the film cuts off the fat, but still manages to do more than kill off a bunch of teens we don't know. The demons are torturous, the blood is plentiful, and the movie is magnificent. Sam Raimi behind the camera, Bruce Campbell on the screen, just a completely unbeatable pair.
Score: 5 out of 5
Summary: It is fucking awesome, go see it.
Now that we've covered the start of this magnificent Trilogy, lets talk about the crown jewel, Evil Dead II. Funnier, bloodier, and more outrageous than the first.
Story: The movie quickly goes through a Cliff note version of the first movie (with info tweeked a bit) and then sends us coasting back to where we left off, Ash still stuck in the forest and without a clue. He was knocked unconscious after hitting a tree (you'll have to see the movie to understand why) and when he comes to he has transformed into a deadite, but his memories quickly snap him out of it. Unable to cross the bridge, he is forced to seek refuge back in the haunted cabin that put him through hell. For the next half-hour Bruce "Made-of-pure-awesome" Campbell will fight everything from the furniture to his own hand...and it equals pure-fucking-gold! It has to be seen to be believed.
After a couple of shotgun rounds, a lost hand, and far after Ash has lost his mind, our new cast of characters make their way into the cabin. The leading female character is there to get in touch with her grandfather, whom we know has been long since dead, but instead she finds a blood-covered Ash with a chain saw...chaos ensues.
Acting/dialogue: Significantly better than the first. Like I said, Bruce Campbell makes this movie an instant classic as he makes fighting himself an epic duel to the death. The other cast members are better than the first, but really nothing Oscar worthy.
Cinematography/Editing: Same as before, if not better. This film reaches the bar and surpasses it. The film has a more stylized quality as it starts to set in just what kind of film it really is. You still get the eerie feeling that the camera is still alive and the editing continues its disorienting reign of terror.
Execution: Better than the first. This film takes all the awkwardness of the first one and uses it to its advantage to creating a boiling pot of pure genius. Only Sam Raimi could make such a film. Since I can't grade higher than perfect...
Score: 5 out of 5
Summary: more pure fucking awesome!