I had a terrible experience when I watched the first Evil Dead movie. I was in college and had just moved into an old apartment building with my boyfriend. We turned it on out of curiosity and to contribute to our cool, nerdy personas. Needless to say it scared the poop out of me. This movie became one of the reasons that I still avoid hardcore horror movies to this day. It was just too much for me. I couldn’t do laundry for a month because I was too freaked out to head to our leaky cobwebby apartment building basement to do it. However my boyfriend loved everything about Evil Dead. He would watch it over and over, seemingly as a way to get rid of me whenever he was tired of me. He went on to watch the sequels and has been ever since trying to convince me to give this trilogy another shot. After all of this goading and taunting, he finally wore me down enough to try the second movie. I am glad he was so persistent.
Evil Dead 2 is essentially a remake of the first movie but with a twist. Instead of intense and grotesque horror, it is more of a comedy. Bruce Campbell plays Ash, a man who gets stuck in a cabin that comes alive and tries to kill him and the random people he is trapped there with. Each scene seems to just be a test as to what Ash can handle. His girlfriend gets possessed and becomes a demon, his hand becomes infected with the demon curse and must be cut off, people rise from the dead and inhabit scary basements, things keep popping up that Ash must chainsaw back down and blood just flies every where. The whole time Bruce mugs at the camera and plays every beat for laughs. My description of this movie may make it seem like it is a terrible movie and in some ways it is. But it knows that it is a terrible movie and comments on that terribleness with such humor that you can’t help but love it.
A great cult movie is so much rooted in its own time period that it becomes timeless. Evil Dead 2 feels like it came out of the campy horror movie genre of the eighties and yet it was able to transcend that genre and become a pop culture touchstone for generations. Evil Dead 2 rises above the rest because it is hilarious, campy and just plain great. I highly recommend watching this movie, especially if you had a similar experience like I did with the first movie. The second installment is so different from its original without deviating from it completely.