After clearly not learning his lesson the first time, Ash heads back into the woods to yet another dusty old cabin where he and his friends wake the dead a second time, this time losing his girl and a hand in the process. Seriously bro, try Vegas next time.
When I was a kid just coming into my own with movies I was a big fan of horror. I used to scan the many rows of VHS horror titles looking for the scariest or coolest pictures to aid in my selection. I hadn't seen EVIL DEAD at this time, but the box for EVIL DEAD 2 looked (and still does look) pretty creepy. Obviously I didn't know much about the storyline or the characters but I got the gist of it; these fools shack themselves up in a cabin out in the boons where they summon up some demons, accidentally or otherwise. There's a part where Ash goes into the cellar and an old crone grabs his feet after saying, "someone's in my fruit cellar, someone with a fresh soul." Our basement stairs back then looked just like that, and every time mom wanted me to go get something out of the deepfreeze I could hear that voice in my head (my view on mounted deer heads was also forever changed). Oh yes, this movie scarred me as a child.
Suffice to say, the old days were the days to enjoy campy horror like this as today I barely batted an eyelash. Sam Raimi still gets mad props for going at the gruesome details with real prosthetics and loads of slimy substances. This has become a trademark of his these days that still lives on (DRAG ME TO HELL), but this was Raimi's gore days at his finest. He's known more now for his SPIDERMAN flicks, but horror is where he cut his teeth. Particularly interesting here is where Raimi goes with the story at the end of the film, the time travel situation wasn't done all that much back then and it proved to be a clever story arc for a dullish sort of film. Now bear in mind I say dullish because this film was a rough recreation of the first: a group of peeps end up in a secluded cabin in the woods where they open a big can of evil whoopass. This is where the film fails for me now that I'm older and truly understand what's going on.
Raimi carries Ash over from the first film, which is fine, but I have to ask, if you and your crew went to a cabin in the woods in the first film only to have all hell break loose literally, why would you gather a new crew and do the same thing again? This isn't like DIE HARD, where Bruce Willis ends up fighting a group of bad guys twice at Christmas, Ash CHOOSES to go back into the woods, to a decrepit cabin where they again, summon the undead. This breaches the realm of believability for me and ends up pitching a tent on asinine stupidity.
EVIL DEAD 2 is gory, campy horror at its finest, no question there, but to properly appreciate it where this journey takes you, you really had to enjoy it in its hay day. The other thing I always wondered about this series was how they went one eighty on the tone with ARMY OF DARKNESS. Don't get me wrong, that's my favourite of the series simply because Ash becomes such a cool, over the top character, but again, this is completely opposite of the first two films. I'm not saying it's a bad thing per say, but it is very confusing when trying to view these films as a series. Be that as it may, all three films are classics that shouldn't be tampered with and I for one am not looking forward to Diablo Cody smearing her mark of the beast all over them here soon.