EVIL DEAD II
Dir. Sam Raimi | USA | 1987 | 85 mins | 35th Anniversary screening
After a landslide victory in the Celluloid Screams Tournament of Terror online vote this summer, Sam Raimi’s gore-drenched classic returns to the big screen for its 35th Anniversary. The film itself needs little introduction… Having battled the malevolent forces of evil six years earlier, Bruce Campbell returns as Ash Williams who whisks his girlfriend Linda away for a romantic weekend in an isolated woodland cabin, but soon enough their trip takes a turn for the worst. After listening to a mysterious tape recording of the cabin’s previous occupant reciting passages from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, the couple are soon in the grip of a horrifying ordeal as the incantation summons a Kandarian demon, intent on wreaking havoc and destruction. Pretty soon Ash is forced to face off against the evil forces in a bloody extravaganza of demonic possession and bodily dismemberment as he battles to save his soul from eternal torment.
This second entry in the Evil Dead saga is an altogether more humorous affair, taking in a range of influences, most notably The Three Stooges and slapstick comedy. Evil Dead II was initially intended to feature a time travel plot set in medieval times (which director Sam Raimi eventually brought to the screen in Army of Darkness) but at the behest of financiers, a story more in keeping with its predecessor was written. Thirty-five years on, this film is arguably still the gold standard for horror comedy against which others are judged, so sit back, relax and enjoy the carnage.