Let me just get right into it. Thank god the Evil Dead franchise is turning scary again! I might get stoned for saying this, but I never liked the hokey/comedic turn that the original trilogy turned into. Let’s make no mistake about it – the 1981 original Evil Dead was scary. It was definitely low-budget and some of the effects left a lot to be desired…but it was scary, and always intended to be so. The tree raping, the pencil in the ankle, and the numerous body dismemberments all made me wince the first time I saw them when I rented the VHS from the local Mom & Pop store in town. Bottom line: it scared the shit out of me. If I watch it now, maybe not so much. But, The Evil Dead is still one of my favorite horror movies of all time, and I respect to this day what Sam Raimi and his crew tried to accomplish and did accomplish.
Fast forward 6 years later and Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn is released. I’ll admit, it confused the hell out of me the first time I saw it. Mind you, back then, I didn’t realize what was going on with the concept. It wouldn’t be until later in my horror filled life that I would understand what Raimi and company were trying to do here. Evil Dead 2 wasn’t really a sequel, but more of a “retelling” of the original Evil Dead, with Raimi putting together the movie he always wanted to make, this time with better effects (courtesy of KNB) and a bigger budget. The end result was super entertaining, inventive, goofy, but just not that scary. I dealt with it though and enjoyed the hell out of it, and still do today. But the absence of any real terror or dread fucked with me and I have to admit, it really bothered me too.
1992 is the year I would get slapped in the face. And this is also the part of the post where I may get pelted with heavy objects because I have a confession: I don’t like Army Of Darkness. The third entry of the Evil Dead trilogy would find Ash transported back to medieval times and turning into even more of the wise-cracking/ass-kicking hero that was introduced to us in Evil Dead 2. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve tried to like this movie. I feel like I need to like it. I feel like I want to like it. But once we get to the midway point with Ash doing his Three Stooges schtick along with a bunch of little Ash’s, that’s where it loses me. Now to be fair, I don’t hate Army Of Darkness. I just don’t like it. I get why a lot of people love this move though, and I’m not going to hate on anyone who does love it. But it’s just my opinion that at this point in the franchise, it turned too comedic, and I just desperately wanted some creepy deadite action and another pencil in the ankle.
Well, after a long 21 year wait….my prayers have appeared to be answered. The upcoming Evil Dead (April 5th) re-imaging goes back to it’s 1981 roots and looks like it brings the scary. Gone are the yuck yucks and goofy Jim Carrey faces and returning in it’s place are tons of gore and tongue slicings. Looks like there will be a tree raping thrown in there too for good measure! Now I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I can’t vouch for the overall finished product, but I can pretty much guarantee that it will be scarier than Evil Dead 2 and Army Of Darkness combined. Even Bruce Campbell himself has somewhat mocked the hokeyness of Army Of Darkness in recent interviews and confirms that the new Evil Dead will fuck your shit up (his words). So join me in a toast, to the return of the scary Evil Dead! It’s been too long baby…..been too long.