As a new writer for PopHorror, I was asked what my favorite horror movie is. Obvious choice is obvious, but dammit, it’s a classic for a reason. Evil Dead II is where the series really hit its mark and found its place in the world. Director Sam Raimi had a vision for Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell: Ash vs Evil Dead, Bubba Ho-Tep), and after a few minor tweaks to the character and formula, a cinema classic was born.
It was always Evil Dead II that had truly resonated with me. Everything from the set design to the over-the-top special effects in place for the Deadites just absolutely oozes charm. I can’t think of many movies that will had me cracking up laughing at a headless corpse chasing after someone, chainsaw in hand. That’s just the magic of the flick at work. When it wants to be scary, it does a damn fine job, and when it wants to be comedic, well… it absolutely knocks it out of the park.
Bruce Campbell was the perfect choice to play Ashley (Ash) Williams, able to contort his face into whatever cartoon-like reactions were needed for the absolute insanity happening on screen. Ninety percent of the reason I decide to re-watch Evil Dead II is just to witness Ash’s reactions and commentary on the hell that he somehow finds himself trapped in. The other 10%, of course, is to see that laughing scene and revel in the obscene amounts of blood being thrown onto the screen. After all, it isn’t an Evil Dead movie without someone being drenched in blood or any other bodily fluids that may be handy at the time.
Let’s take a moment to touch upon that infamous laughing scene. Nothing brings me greater pleasure than putting Evil Dead II on at parties and watching the reactions of anyone who hasn’t seen it yet. With the mounted trophy on the wall being the cherry on top, I don’t think anyone was ever ready for that kind of insanity.
I find myself popping my DVD copy in a few times a year, mostly when I’m in the mood for some good, old-fashioned insanity. Quite possibly, my favorite thing about the series is that there really isn’t anything else out there like it. The idea of demonic possession is far from original or revolutionary, but you’ll be hard pressed to find another movie that can blend the scares and the over-the-top gore effects, all with a bit of comedy sprinkled in, especially to the level that Sam Raimi took it. Evil Dead II will always have a special place in my heart. It’s got scares, fantastic comedic moments and the B-Movie King himself, Bruce Campbell. What more could you ever want from a movie?