Saturday, October 15, 2016
35 YEARS OF THE EVIL DEAD
Back in the late 70s, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and their merry crew of misfits journeyed into the woods to make a movie that wasn't a porno. The end result was the original Evil Dead, which would have its original premiere in 1981; a ferocious and unrelenting horror film that came out of nowhere and took the world by storm. Unlike most films of its ilk, the original Evil Dead wasn't just a commercial success, but a critical one as well. As we all know, the surprise success of the film led to a whole franchise being born, with Evil Dead 2 in 1987, Army of the Darkness in 1992, a remake in 2013, the Ash VS Evil Dead TV show that debuted last year, and tons of merchandise, comics, video games, and more besides.
Looking back on it, that's 35 years of Evil Dead, and honestly who would have thought that the film would have resonated the way it did, let alone become a massive cult phenomenon. It's funny watching the original Evil Dead nowadays, mostly because the film itself is so damn brutal compared to everything that would come in the future. The Evil Dead franchise is known for being nasty, but pretty damn funny too (mostly thanks to the slapstick silliness of Army of Darkness). What a lot of people seem to forget is that the original Evil Dead is an unforgivably nasty little horror film that grabs you by the balls and doesn't let go. We got a slight reminder of this when the 2013 remake came out, which also pulled no punches and packed on even more gore than the original. The original film though was made on a bare-bones budget in horrid conditions, and the pure unforgiving ferocity that it displays would never be matched by any sequel or remake.
Evil Dead the film, and the franchise as a whole, has managed to say relevant 35 years later because of the unforgettable impact it had upon the horror world when it was first released. Even from 1992 on when the franchise was dormant, it still retained a more than solid following. In the late 90s/early 2000s with the advent of DVD, Anchor Bay re-released the film for new generations to discover, and that's exactly what happened.
Let's all be thankful to Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and everyone else involved in bringing Evil Dead to life. The world is a better place with Ash and the Deadites in it.