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Overall Rating
4.59

Awesome80.85%
Worth A Look: 9.93%
Just Average: 2.13%
Pretty Crappy: 1.42%
Sucks: 5.67%

5 reviews, 111 user ratings



Evil Dead 2
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by Mel Valentin

"Puts the "splat" and the "stick" in "splatstick."
4 stars

In the mid-eighties, writer/director Sam Raimi (the "Spider-Man" trilogy, "The Gift," "A Simple Plan," "Darkman") was as far from the A-list as you can imagine. His feature-length debut, "Evil Dead," made for a paltry $375,000 over four years with a cast and crew made up of friends and acquaintances, including, of course, Bruce Campbell, turned a healthy profit for his investors in countries where it hadn’t been banned outright (e.g., Germany, England). After collaborating with the Coen Brothers on "Crimewave," a noir comedy that he directed and they wrote that failed to impress critics or moviegoers, Raimi returned to the "Evil Dead" universe. The result, "Evil Dead II" (a.k.a. "Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn" or "The Sequel to the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror"), is a brilliantly inventive horror-comedy, one of the best of its kind.

Rather than a straight sequel or even a direct remake, Raimi decided to do both, due, in the first instance, to rights issues over the first Evil Dead film and, of course, the producers’ demands to give moviegoers more of what Evil Dead offered, an outrageous gorefest leavened by black humor. Tipping further into comedy than horror this time out, Raimi focuses the recap of the Evil Dead on the lone survivor, Ashley 'Ash' J. Williams (Bruce Campbell). Gone are Ash’s friends who didn’t survive with the exception of Ash’s girlfriend, Linda (Denise Bixler). Over the course of a single night, Ash and Linda stumble on an apparently abandoned, run-down cabin, and decide to settle in for the evening. Ash discovers an ancient book, the Necronomicon (“Book of the Dead”) finds a tape machine left by the cabin’s former occupant, Professor Raymond Knowby (John Peakes), gives it a listen, and literally unleashes unholy hell, demons who want to possess the bodies of the living or the newly dead to wreak bloody havoc on the still living.

Ash, of course, survives. Linda dies gruesomely. When morning arrives, Ash thinks he’s in the clear, but when he tries to drive away, he discovers that the bridge to town has been destroyed. Returning to the cabin, Ash begins to lose his mind. Ash's hand becomes possessed after a recently resurrected Linda bites him. Ash resorts to the most extreme of measures: a chainsaw. That doesn’t stop the hand from attacking Ash, but as Ash loses his grip on reality, new arrivals threaten to release the demon or demons all over again. Annie (Sarah Berry), Professor Knowby’s daughter, arrives at the cabin with Ed Getley (Richard Domeier), a friend and classmate, and Jake (Dan Hicks) and Bobbie Joe (Kassie DePaiva), two townspeople trying to make a buck as guides for Annie and Ed. Seconds after meeting the blood-splattered Ash, they decide to throw him into the cellar, where not coincidentally, Professor Knowby buried his demonically possessed wife, Henrietta (Lou Hancock/Ted Raimi).

To call Raimi “inventive” is to undersell Evil Dead II. Working with a significantly larger budget (approximately $3.6 million), but still smaller than the average Hollywood film at the time, Raimi made a sequel as good or even better than the original. Everything about Evil Dead II is over-the-top, from Bruce Campbell’s manic, eye-rolling, energetic performance to Raimi’s wildly gyrating, gliding camerawork and oddball camera angles, infinitely quotable dialogue, to, of course, the buckets of (fake) blood and goblets of green goo (for the demonic dead) that Raimi’s effects guru, Gregory Nicotero, splatters over everything. Evil Dead II puts the “splatter” into “splatterfest.” Even better, the gore is played (mostly) for laughs with Raimi channeling Ted Avary and Chuck Jones, both masters of the cartoon art form, and, by his own admission, the Three Stooges and their demented brand of slapstick. Then again, the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired story might be simple, but with Raimi at the controls, it moves along at a rapid clip from the first frame to the last.

In fact, if you're wondering where the word “splatstick,” a combination of slapstick and splatter, came from, you need look no further than the "Evil Dead" trilogy. Of course, Raimi wasn’t alone in helping to bring splatter comedy to the horror genre. Stuart Gordon’s "Re-Animator," Dan O’Bannon’s "Return of the Living Dead," and Peter Jackson’s "Dead/Alive" are all noteworthy, but Raimi may just have been the most influential. After all, Raimi did get there first with "Evil Dead" (released in 1981 after fours in production) and showed filmmakers working in the horror genre that a low budget wasn’t so much a limitation as an opportunity for unbridled imagination. In that, Raimi succeeded, probably far and above his own expectations.

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originally posted: 11/24/07 17:28:14
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User Comments

7/24/17 Chaz Walter The ultimate sequel. 5 stars
10/29/16 morris campbell the best horror sequel ever 5 stars
2/08/12 David Hollingsworth One of the best horror sequels of the 80s 5 stars
7/17/11 Flipsider The 2nd best horror comedy ever made! (ROTLD is the best.) 5 stars
8/18/08 Shaun Wallner Bloody Awesome!!! 5 stars
7/12/08 Alex Spivey my favorite movie of all time 5 stars
7/12/08 Evil Dead Ed The best horror/comedy ever made! 5 stars
7/07/08 mr.mike It was......dreadful. 2 stars
3/31/08 Justin Best movie ever made. No, seriously. 5 stars
1/06/08 Aaron Commareri Raimi need I say more 5 stars
11/26/07 Dan Rugg Excellent Movie 5 stars
7/09/07 peter price Ash kicks ass 5 stars
12/03/06 DasuberDing Cartoon horror at it's best! GO Bruce, GO! 5 stars
10/05/06 Pritchett The crown jewel of the trilogy, to me...brilliant. People who don't like it should be shot 5 stars
4/23/06 Annie Sequels usually suck, but not this one! Very funny! 4 stars
2/27/06 Indrid Cold Not nearly as funny or gory as people make it out to be. 3 stars
11/24/05 chris exellent film 5 stars
6/07/05 Agent Sands Some of the funniest scenes I've ever seen in a horror spoof. Good, light fun. 4 stars
4/16/05 Cary Gordon Took the original to new extremes and added a welcome dose of humor to the mix. 5 stars
4/07/05 Jason Kreitzer A great sequel, more brilliance from Campbell, Raimi and friends. GROOVY! 5 stars
2/05/05 Tom Benton A flawless, very cool and very funny horror film; Bruce Campbell rocks. 5 stars
11/02/04 C.S. greatest horror/comedy ever 5 stars
9/14/04 Nik Mladenovic If you dont love it, then, well, DIE 5 stars
9/06/04 psycho dwarf strange trilogy, great example right here 5 stars
8/06/04 Anthony G Eli is a gay name 5 stars
8/05/04 ELI I wasn't slightly entertained 1 stars
7/29/04 American Slasher Goddess Balances horror and comedy so well, one of the best horror sequels out there. 5 stars
7/07/04 Lord Durvok 2 "I'll swallow your soul! MMMRUUAAAAGH!" 5 stars
7/04/04 Samuel definitely a great film. 5 stars
5/04/04 dead next door i liked this one the first time i saw it,but now i hate it with a passion. 1 stars
4/17/04 vlad this film is AMAZING! i liked the 'vine part' (lol) 5 stars
4/12/04 Jaron Evil Dead 2 rules!!!! 5 stars
3/20/04 DaveBwarrior Absolutely Briliant movie 5 stars
3/17/04 PAYNE_KillerZ Highly Entertaining and Better than the 1st film... !~! 5 stars
1/26/04 Eric 1and2 are great.I liked this one more though.funny and scary great stuff 5 stars
1/25/04 American Slasher Goddess Perfect blend of horror and comedy. Brilliant. 5 stars
1/22/04 burikak best comedic horror ive seen!! Ash is COOL!!!!! 5 stars
12/12/03 Samuel I didn't like it as good as the first, but it's still a great horror flick 4 stars
12/12/03 Sid I actually like the first better 3 stars
12/12/03 Karie The possesed on these films look alot scarier than any of the Exorcist films.. 5 stars
12/11/03 Heather One of my favorites... 5 stars
12/11/03 Captain Spaulding The first one is brilliant, but this one..Genius!!! 5 stars
12/11/03 Charlie and the Chocalte FActory Scary and quite funny as well!!! 5 stars
12/09/03 Tommy a great horror movie! 5 stars
12/08/03 john Campbell is better than Buster Keaton in this one - highly original! 4 stars
12/07/03 Sammy This movie got me into watching low-budget, none hollywood movies! It has everything in it! 5 stars
12/04/03 Andrew Callaway Groovy. Best movie of the Evil Dead Trilogy. 5 stars
11/28/03 Samuel Justus Blood_Horror, HE FOUGHT HIS HAND! THEN HE BOLTED A CHAINSAW ON!! 1 stars
11/19/03 jimmy d lol! this movie is funny youll shit your ass while watching it! shit! ya ass! 5 stars
11/19/03 Josh Standlee I would have to back up horror_blood on this one! 5 stars
11/16/03 AshFan See my name? See my boomstick? SWALLOW THIS!!! Ha ha!... Sorry. 5 stars
9/17/03 Samuel Justus Blew! just a serious horror movie turned into lame unfunny type comedy! 1 stars
9/02/03 Aaron a great movie 5 stars
8/13/03 Tree of Sephiroth Funny as hell. 5 stars
8/13/03 Cybotron As good as the first,but great humor 5 stars
7/04/03 Dave Hopman Just as great as part 1, but with a bigger budget and some dark humor, 5 stars
4/22/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik This is one GROOOOVY movie. 5 stars
3/26/03 snowconehead immaculate cinema 5 stars
2/02/03 Turtle Twisted, demented, freaky, scary, hilarious, and messed-up. Awesome! 5 stars
1/12/03 Stevo raucously funny 5 stars
12/30/02 Bob Hardcore Beats the crap out of any "scream" movie 5 stars
12/21/02 Monster W. Kung Raimi got it right this time. Much better than the first. 4 stars
11/22/02 The best of the four (Including "Into the Woods," a short prequel ED1) Maso- 5 stars
9/24/02 Laurian Diaconescu One of the coolest movie ever made. I take a bow before Campbell and Raimi ! 5 stars
8/31/02 AshFan This beats the original because it adds great humor to the gore. Ash rocks!!!! 4 stars
7/29/02 Captain Midol Horror done right. Super creepy, truly funny. And, of course, Bruce is god... 5 stars
7/26/02 IowaBoy The Best 5 stars
7/22/02 snowconehead Incredible 5 stars
7/21/02 The Bomb 69 Groovy!!! 5 stars
7/09/02 .Choadushouse. Easily the best movie ever made. Creativity rules. 5 stars
7/03/02 Kyle Kicks ass! 5 stars
6/19/02 Film Dude Better then the first. Way better. 5 stars
5/29/02 Punk_Ass Cheesy, funny and gory.. What more do you want! 5 stars
5/20/02 David Easily the best on the BMovie circut 5 stars
5/18/02 Dark Barøn Simply the best cult movie ever. 5 stars
4/14/02 Rockitman007 Funny as hell.........(literally) 5 stars
4/09/02 Nick Karner Brilliant! 5 stars
3/31/02 Joe Schulz Fuckng Cheesy 5 stars
3/25/02 Mack Man The world's greatest film masterpiece! Moulin Rouge sucks all kinds of penis 5 stars
3/10/02 Ash Any body that does not like my film is going down!!!! 5 stars
2/27/02 Alan Smithee My 2nd favorite of the Evil Dead trilogy (w/ Army of Darkness being my favorite.) 4 stars
1/15/02 Peter Herman funniest movie ever 5 stars
10/31/01 Shane Robert Myers!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now this is more funny as & more grotty... Its a instant Classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
9/29/01 Mohammad J. A classic. 5 stars
9/28/01 larry fuck all you 5 stars
9/21/01 Groo Kewlest of the Kewl!!! 5 stars
8/12/01 Catherine A sequel better then the original! 5 stars
8/09/01 King Jackass Groovy. 5 stars
8/05/01 E-Funk In my eyes...flawless. Sam Raimi's best film to date...Bruce Campbell's the man. 5 stars
5/18/01 Tommy best of the series, best film of all time 5 stars
5/02/01 Gracy Lionheart This one is my favorite out of the Evil Dead series!!! GO ASH!!! 5 stars
3/27/01 Jesse L Like the orginal, only massively gay people don't like it for some reason 5 stars
2/12/01 CJ O' Callaghan Dear God! i see that 66% think this is awsome. Never seen a worse film, in my fucking life! 1 stars
2/08/01 Dark Sol As they raped completly the original story, Raimi did it surprisinly well 5 stars
1/31/01 Randy Tribbett Awesome, pure genious, Cambell & Raimi strike again 5 stars
1/17/01 fifu another cool movie Ash still rules (groovy) 3 stars
10/09/00 Junacy B-movie classic!!! Blended comedy and horror well!! Hail to Bruce Campbell, baby!! 5 stars
6/12/00 Elly Cleary the rating says it all 5 stars
3/17/00 Steve Layne Highly overrated unfunny horror/comedy. Not as good as the first which wasn't great 2 stars
7/26/99 Eric Nowhere as good as Army of Darkness. 1 stars
7/11/99 Starry Knight One of a kind Horror-Comedy 5 stars
6/14/99 Dylan Not as good as the original. A little overrated but still worth the effort. 4 stars
4/27/99 the DUDE Fucking funny-love the part when Bruce(ash) goes crazy and starts laughing. 5 stars
3/26/99 haden A masterpiece from the man who taught the Coens 5 stars
3/04/99 Don Wilson IT'S THE BEST THING SINCE COTTAGE CHEESE! 5 stars
10/26/98 cyanide rush anyone i've seen it to knows it fuckin rocks 5 stars
10/26/98 Silent Rob The cheapness ADDS to the atmosphere. Great high octane film fun! 5 stars
10/24/98 Vincent One of the most ENTERTAINING films you'll ever see AND brilliant filmmmaking to boot 5 stars
10/14/98 philip sucks---no plot just fighting 1 stars
10/04/98 Negative Creep Ash's fight to the death with his right hand is priceless! 5 stars
10/04/98 Yup It suck's. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Feb-1987 (R)
  DVD: 27-Sep-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Jun-1988 (R)


Directed by
  Sam Raimi

Written by
  Sam Raimi
  Scott Spiegel

Cast
  Bruce Campbell
  Sarah Berry
  Dan Hicks
  Kassie DePaiva
  Denise Bixler
  Ted Raimi



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