Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cabin Pressure!

Foto Frenzy Presents: The Evil Dead  (Renaissance Pictures, 1981)

With a remake of the classic in the offing - let's take a look at the original, which remains another one of my favorites of all time!

I saw this movie after reading Stephen King's review
when it appeared in Twilight Zone magazine. He called
it "the most ferociously original horror movie of the
year." It took a while to get to us - I had my license
when my movie pal Richard and I finally checked this
one out at the Starlite Drive-In - Eldorado, Illinois.
Afterwards we drove out to a very dark and creepy
cemetery that you could only get to by walking across
a foot bridge. We sat there, car running, headlights on...
looking at the gravestones on the other side of the
bridge...and the very dark shadows underneath
that bridge...and we put the car in reverse and
promptly drove back to town! I used to proclaim
The Evil Dead as my very favorite horror film.
And you know what?
It very well might still be.

And there's a digression, sorta!

Five Michigan college students drive down to Tennessee for
a little private partying at a rented cabin.

The party starts with a toast from Ash (Bruce Campbell).

Strange noises from the basement interrupt the festivities.
Left to right - Ash (Campbell), Linda (Betsy Baker),
Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), Scotty (Hal Delrich - really Rich
Delmanicor under a hiding-from-SAG pseudonym), and
Shelley (Sarah York - really Theresa Tilly, also trying to
hide from SAG)

Down in the basement they find a shotgun, a reel-to-reel tape
player...and a book bound in human flesh...see the face?

I don't know what possessed them to play that tape...but I know just what possessed them
after they played the tape...The Evil Dead!

"You will die! Like the others before you, one by one,
we will take you."

"I fear the only way to stop those possessed by the
spirits of the book is through the act of...
...bodily dismemberment..."

Daylight finally comes...but the story isn't over...

If you've never seen this movie - I truly recommend that you check it out. You must remember, however, that we're now thirty years later, and this movie was made for a few thousand dollars by kids in their early 20's who cobbled it together across several years. It's not a big budget Hollywood Blockbuster. It's the "ultimate exercise in grueling terror," or so a credit at the end indicates. And that credit is more right than wrong...

Until next time...you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. Now this is one CREEPY movie! Love the "face" book.
    Kudos to the college kids for acheiving their vision with this film. LOL

  2. Luana - yeah, I somehow failed to namecheck the co-creator of The Evil Dead you may have heard of - you know, Sam Raimi? Director of 3 Spider-Man movies and producer of Hercules and Xena? I think he went on to some kind of movie career after this...LOL

    RBR - Boy, doesn't it just? Let's see how well you remember that night - do you remember the second feature we didn't stay for?

  3. I LOVE this movie. It is the awesomesauce and made me love Bruce Campbell forever. The first time I saw this, I think I was fifteen and a little tipsy at a friend's b-day. We'd been sneaking beers after the grown-ups got drunk and sat in her basement with the old top-load VHS player.

  4. MB - Me too! Wow - top loading VHS, eh? Well, it turns out that in addition to that drive-in experience, I have consequently owned The Evil Dead in more formats that any other movie - Beta, VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray! I've been mulling on the idea of picking up a Laserdisc or a DIVX disc, or something, just to continue owning it on as many formats as possible! Thanks for coming by!

  5. Bruce Campbell has rocked in every movie or film I've seen him in. Loved the character he played in Xena, the Sam scenes make Burn Notice a must-see for us, and we own the Brisco County series on DVD.

    Now I need to try his books...