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Tony (Tony)
Username: Tony

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.139.216.19
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 09:57 am:   

I watched this last night with my kids and they said it was terrifying. I watched it almost laughing all the way through. This film was once banned. Watching it again it felt like the tamest thing I've seen in ages. Has its value gone down, or have we just absorbed it? For me it didn't feel a deep film, or even frightening. It doesn't ring on in the mind at all, has all the horror of the Road Runner clip I posted elsewhere.
Anyone remember their reactions when it came out, have feelings about it now they'd like to discuss?
I have other ideas for things to talk about but will pop them up later.
Hope this doesn't feel so hopelessly old a hat it's irrelevant.
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Kate (Kathleen)
Username: Kathleen

Registered: 09-2009
Posted From: 86.131.0.116
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 10:11 am:   

The first one did and still does scare me, although I understand it was actually intended to be more Road Runner-esque and that the filmmakers were surprised by how genuinely frightening it turned out to be. It has its silly moments but overall it's one I don't like to watch by myself!

The sequels, however, are way too slapsticky for me. I can't cope with the Three Stooges at all and I just find that kind of "humour" tiresome.
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Ramsey Campbell (Ramsey)
Username: Ramsey

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 195.93.21.68
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 11:28 am:   

Raimi saw the first one in terms of the Stooges too - spot the betraying detail in the final credits! I thought it very frightening at the time, and I still think it's quite a ride - I much prefer it to Drag Me to Hell. I find it inventive and relentless.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 11:51 am:   

I find it inventive and relentless.

Yes, that's exactly it. The film was never meant to be "deep" or resonant: just a creepy rollercoaster ride. I think it still works well on that level, and if I'm honest it still has a couple of scenes I find weidly scary (the bit with the playing cards, and the girl sitting in the doorway singing that hideous nursery rhyme).

There's a kinetic energy to the film, a sense of relentless forward motion, that I find utterly compelling. It's daft, it's silly, it's cheap-as-chips...but for some reason it works.
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James Armstrong (James_armstrong)
Username: James_armstrong

Registered: 10-2010
Posted From: 81.151.187.189
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 01:14 pm:   

I was quite terrified when first watching Evil Dead though it didnít linger in my mind afterwards. The second I found extremely funny; I think Bruce Campbell shows heís got a real talent for physical comedy in it as well. The P.O.V. shots rushing through the forest toward the cabin are brilliant - I love both for their passion for experimenting with cinema, I find it really inspiring.

There may be another on the way:

http://www.movieweb.com/news/NEKyFRMOKTojPK

Iím skeptical though in light of Raimiís recent output.
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Mick Curtis (Mick)
Username: Mick

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.176.178.44
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 01:20 pm:   

Raimi saw the first one in terms of the Stooges too - spot the betraying detail in the final credits!

I guess that'd be the 'Fake Shemp' credit. I wondered what that was when I first saw EVIL DEAD in the 'eighties, but a friend put me straight!
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John Llewellyn Probert (John_l_probert)
Username: John_l_probert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 86.131.0.116
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 02:14 pm:   

Yes, I had to have 'shemp' explained to me back in the 1980s as well!

We rewatched Evil Dead recently and while it doesn't scare me as much as it did when I was 15, an awful lot of it still works really well, not least because, like in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, we know the actors really are in a freezing tumbledown log cabin in the middle of nowhere. It's been well publicised that the film was meant to be much lighter than what came out, and I still find a few bits properly terrifying, especially the entire sequence with the possessed Betsy Baker singing the nursery rhyme, licking the dagger and giggling the entire time she's being bashed about. As Ramsey has already intimated, there are more scares in five minutes of Evil Dead that in the entirety of Drag Me To Hell. And it really does stand up to being watched again and again. One of my all-time favourites.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 02:17 pm:   

With regards to Raimi's later output, I'm a massive fan of The Gift. Haven't seen Drag Me To Hell, though I've heard it's excellent.
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Frank (Frank)
Username: Frank

Registered: 09-2008
Posted From: 85.222.86.21
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 02:23 pm:   

The Evil Dead scared the hell out of me as a kid, mainly for the reasons already cited, but especially when the transformed girl in the cellar starts calling out 'Ace of Spades.' I also loved the sequel, though I remember a reviewer saying how depressing to see such a wildly inventive horror film doing less box-office than a piece of shit like Witchboard or whatever the hell it was called, which was number one the day both films were released.

The Evil Dead, apart from its notoriety, was in many ways an indicator of things to come, just as Night of the Living Dead was. Regardless of its silliness, it does occupy a certain point in the horror genre development.

I've mentioned this before, but why not try watching Ban The Sadists Videos, an excellent two part, 2 hr documentary about the 'video nasty era.' It was informative, nostalgic and deeply engaging. (Lots if clips of The Evil Dead).
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James Armstrong (James_armstrong)
Username: James_armstrong

Registered: 10-2010
Posted From: 81.151.187.189
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 02:34 pm:   

I'd still say Drag Me To Hell is worth a watch, it just felt somewhat as though Raimi was holding back. That's what turns me off a new Evil Dead; I'm not expecting any of the excitingly reckless risk-taking that made the first two so enjoyable.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 03:32 pm:   

I must be the opnly one here who loved Drag Me To Hell - I sat through the entire film (twice) with a big grin on my face.
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Hubert (Hubert)
Username: Hubert

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.22.237.21
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 03:32 pm:   

I saw it in a cinema when it first came out and was disappointed. The first ten minutes or so are exciting, as is the last moment. But the rest - the forbidden book looks as though it had been drawn up by an uninspired toddler with bad crayons, there was way too much slapstick-ey gore (red, green, blue, yellow and purple bile, come on!) and the acting was only so so. Ok for a film that doesn't take itself seriously, but this was advertised bigtime: apparently it was going to outdo Kubrick's The Shining, etc. etc. I haven't seen any of the sequels, nor do I intend to. Give me Night of the Living Dead anytime.
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 217.39.91.208
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 03:49 pm:   

I love 'The Evil Dead'. One of my all time favourites since seeing it in '83 or '84 as a teenager. All the scenes mentioned above did it for me too. An enduring classic imo.

'JOIN US'...
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 04:17 pm:   

I had a lot of fun with DRAG ME TO HELL. It was especially bold for Raimi to go for such an unlikeable heroine (by the time she'd killed the kitten pretty much the entire audience I saw it with were against her), and the bit with the goat just about ended me - laughing, that is.

I always wondered if Raimi saw THE EVIL DEAD as a failure. He was clearly out to make a comedy rollercoaster, but ended up making something that terrified or repulsed half the audience. Like most of you above, I was frozen to the couch the first time I watched it!

Kate - I agree about the sequels. That type of comedy just doesn't do it for me at all.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 04:25 pm:   

I'm a big fan of DRAG ME TO HELL, too, Zed. I wouldn't call it a scary film, but I doubt it was meant to be. It straddles the line between comedy and horror (horror sans scariness), and did its job well. THE EVIL DEAD I also saw not too long ago, and overall thought its scary-horror held up. It's funny how it hearkens back to "morals" of the 70's/80's horror flicks: two guys take their girls out for some illicit fun in the deep dark woods, and are punished for it throughout. Women come off awfully unwell, in THE EVIL DEAD....
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 78.152.240.114
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 06:30 pm:   

THE EVIL DEAD has made some permanent contributions to the vocabulary of film, I think.

And the insane laughter of the white-eyed thing in the cellar as it sinks into the blackness still gives me the willies.
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Zed (Gary_mc)
Username: Gary_mc

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 81.96.253.77
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 07:23 pm:   

Gosh, yes, Proto: me, too. And I agree with your comments about the film's contribution to cinema.
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Protodroid (Protodroid)
Username: Protodroid

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 109.79.26.125
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 07:59 pm:   

Oh, and that porch chair impatiently thumping against the side of the house. Brr.
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 217.39.91.208
Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 08:52 pm:   

And stopping the instant they find the front door key...
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Tom_alaerts (Tom_alaerts)
Username: Tom_alaerts

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 91.176.156.140
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 07:22 pm:   

I always preferred Evil Dead 2. More a remake than a sequel, I also think it's more entertaining.

Regarding Drag Me To Hell, I fondly remember the screeching sound of the garden door, and also the goat (the whole scene with the goat wasn't that great, but the goat itself sure was)
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John Forth (John)
Username: John

Registered: 05-2008
Posted From: 82.24.1.217
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 07:26 pm:   

I'd quite like to see a Waldorf and Statler-esque routine between the goat from DRAG ME TO HELL and the mounted deer's head from EVIL DEAD 2.
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Degsy (Degsy)
Username: Degsy

Registered: 08-2010
Posted From: 86.136.28.188
Posted on Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 09:44 pm:   

I thought 'Drag Me To Hell' was great fun and in terms of the 'Evil Dead' trilogy I've always had a soft spot for 'Army Of Darkness' as well.
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Stevie Walsh (Stephenw)
Username: Stephenw

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 194.32.31.1
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 04:15 pm:   

'The Evil Dead' - all-time classic that still scares the crap out of me and belongs in everyone's Top 30 or so horror movies. It mixes spine-chilling supernatural dread with shocking ordeal horror better than any other movie I've seen and stands up as one of the crowning achievements of the video nasty era.

'Evil Dead II' - another classic but of a completely different nature this is a ridiculously entertaining extreme horror comedy that belongs in the same company as Frank Henenlotter or Peter Jackson's early masterpieces.

'Evil Dead III : Army Of Darkness' - Raimi had lost his knack for visceral horror by this stage and this is only fitfully entertaining, more comic fantasy than horror but still worth a watch.

'Drag Me To Hell' - not the "return to his roots" it was heralded as, or anything like it, but still not bad and fairly entertaining comic horror by numbers.
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Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 12.165.240.116
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 04:38 pm:   

I never found EVIL DEAD the slightest bit scary. I've always been sort of surprised at its reputation as a scarefest. Still, it's good fun and worth a laugh or two.
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Craig (Craig)
Username: Craig

Registered: 03-2008
Posted From: 99.126.164.88
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 04:46 pm:   

... well, Chris, there is the fact that, when you boil it down, all the real scariness of THE EVIL DEAD comes (imho) from but one source: THE EXORCIST. "Let's put a whole bunch of possessed Linda Blairs together in one place and film it," seems to be the sum of it all... and yet, still....
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Seanmcd (Seanmcd)
Username: Seanmcd

Registered: 03-2009
Posted From: 217.39.91.208
Posted on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 11:38 pm:   

The use of sound in 'The Evil Dead' is absolutely superb. Those godawful sounding squeals and howls of the 'possessed' as they are dismembered by Ash and the wandering,escalating, chanting roar of the 'Evil Spirit' in the woods freaks me out every time.
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Chris_morris (Chris_morris)
Username: Chris_morris

Registered: 04-2008
Posted From: 98.220.97.79
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 03:32 am:   

Interesting. EVIL DEAD, Craig, always struck me as more Looney Tunes than EXORCIST, but obviously I'm in the minority here. (This is, after all, a movie in which someone gets raped by a tree. A tree. I can't be the only one who finds that funny. Or can I?)

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