Jenny’s 31 Days of Halloween! – The Evil Dead Trilogy

Welcome to my 31 Days of Halloween! Each day in October I will be watching a Halloween(ish) movie which includes anything that helps get me into the spooktacular mood of the season. While watching each movie, I’ll record my inner ramblings for everyone to view. This is a true baring of my soul people! Just kidding, it’s not – but it will be a true honest-to-god reaction to everything I’m seeing. So if “inner monologue” articles are not your thing – maybe you pass this up. For those of you sticking with me, the genre I’ll be watching will revolve around Halloween themes, including (but not limited to): Thrillers, Horror, Suspense, and of course Disney Classics! So buckle up campers, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

THE EVIL DEAD TRILOGY:

 

So I did something special this round, and lumped 3 days of Halloween movies into one review. And lord give me strength to get through this…because watching this trilogy was enough and having to relive this feels like torture. What I do for #31DaysOfHalloween. 

#NeverAgain.

#WhoSuggestedTheseMovies?

#BruceCampbellIsAGem.

#WTFWithEverythingElse.

OMG – where do I start? How about with the fact that the Evil Dead trilogy was a suggestion from many people – actual friends of mine, friends of friends, and people I will never call a friend (just kidding on that last one). And let’s also start with the fact that I have never seen the Evil Dead trilogy and somehow missed these movies year after year. And let’s also state for the record, that I have heard of Bruce Campbell, and seen how people flock to him at conventions – which made me VERY excited to watch these movies. And now that I’ve officially given up hours of my life to partake in a cult phenomenon? Honestly? I don’t know what to say. I’m shell-shocked. Okay, I can acknowledge that there are cult classic movies that exist, and that the Evil Dead is considered part of that cult classic horror mix. But WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK PEOPLE? HOW DID THIS BECOME A THING? I hated it. All of it. Every last bit. 

Let’s start with Evil Dead – because, obviously. 

My husband told me (and I also looked it up) that the budget for this movie was something like $10. Ha – kidding, it wasn’t $10, but he did say that it was extremely low, which forced Sam Raimi and his team to be overly creative with their special effects. And hats off to them – because, for the time period (80’s), and for the story they were trying to tell (horror), it was actually quite effective. I should state for the record that I hate horror movies because they scare me. I don’t like to be scared. It feels…out of control. And speaking of control, I especially hate horror with demon possession (as noted in this article I wrote about childhood nightmares) – soooooo, you can imagine how this settled with me once I realized what was going on. I honestly was watching this movie yelling at the screen to not go outside, to not go into the dark basement, and to just BE FUCKING SMART ABOUT YOUR DECISIONS…to no avail. And thus – this movie actually did it’s job. It scared me. Which I hate. So yes, I hated this movie, but I hated it for all the right reasons. Evil Dead = 7.5 Be-heading Shovels out of 10. 

NEXT!

On to Evil Dead II – because, groovy. 

Holy christ on a cracker people. WHAT WAS THIS MOVIE?

Seriously.

What. Was. This. Movie? 

I do not have the strength to make it through this review. Evil Dead II was a horrible, drastic, and awful deviation from the first Evil Dead. The only redeeming thing about Evil Dead II was Bruce Campbell. I mean that. Bruce Campbell is a gem. And you can say “I don’t get it,” or maybe I don’t appreciate the “comedy element” that they were trying to achieve. But when it boils right down to it – this movie is lazy. What was fun about the first Evil Dead is that the concept of the Necronomicon was new, and the horror was campy but still done in a way that made you think it “could” be real. But when you bring Evil Dead II into the mix, which is essentially the retelling of the first movie, but with way more sass and camp, it just falls flat. I didn’t find it scary. I didn’t find it funny. I simply found it to be bad. Horribly and un-apologetically bad. 

And that’s all you’ll get from me on this one. What a horrible waste of time. Evil Dead II = 3 Demonic Deer Puppets out of 10. (it would be 0, but Bruce Campbell is a delight).

Finally, on to the last movie: Army of Darkness (thank god). 

SO … truth be told. The Gabbing Geek crew told me to ONLY watch Army of Darkness and not bother with the first two films. And you know what? I tip my hat to those fine gentlemen. Because I get it – I understand why they would say that. BUT…

ARMY OF DARKNESS IS STILL A HORRIBLE MOVIE.

I have to assume that anyone and everyone who loves Army of Darkness saw the movie when they were young, because nostalgia is the only thing going for this film. Nostalgia has a lot of weight in what we love as we get older. And we here at Gabbing Geek have had many discussions around the concept of nostalgia clouding our memories and our ratings. So, I went into this movie with a clear heart/mind. No nostalgia clouding my sensibilities here! How bad could it be? Surely it couldn’t be worse than Evil Dead II, so many people have said THEY LOVE ARMY OF DARKNESS! 

Oy. 

How wrong could I be? 

Now. I didn’t hate everything. Those that know me well, know that I LOVE CASTLES and anything Medieval. So, as bat-shit-crazy as this movie was, at least it had the Medieval Times thing going for it. 

Additionally – Bruce Campbell is great. You know – it’s not until this movie that I realized just how cool of a guy Bruce must be. Honestly, I think in Evil Dead he was trying his best to be the scared yet effective hero. And I’m pretty sure in Evil Dead II he wanted to be the best hero money could buy, but knew things were going down hill quickly when he had to do a scene where he laughed with a table lamp. But, it’s not until Army of Darkness where you see Bruce embrace the insanity and just give it all he has. Every last ridiculous bit of acting by Bruce was beautifully (yet horrifically) captured. And it saved this film for me. 

The story is ridiculous. The stop motion, horrendous. But every overacted scene with Bruce Campbell made me laugh. I can see how people could love this movie. It’s obviously not a serious horror film, it’s quite the opposite. There are so many things wrong with this movie, like the story, and the acting, and the effects (seeing how this was 22.3 times more expensive than the first film) – but all in all – it knows it’s a bad movie. And that basically saves it for not being a total waste of time. 

My buddies Jimmy & Tom wrote a great article about their views on Army of Darkness for the site. So if you’d like to read a different viewpoint, I suggest you check out their article (here). Just to give you a taste to how different their opinions are from mine, here’s an excerpt:

“tomk:  So who had the better death face: Golden Destro Doom after he got spiked in Flash Gordon, or the skeleton that was Bad Ash just before he exploded?

jimmy:  Good question…I’ll go with Fake Destro, but God I love this movie.

tomk:  What’s not to love?”

So all in all – I didn’t hate Army of Darkness, I just didn’t LOVE it. I give it 7 Evil Ash’s out of 10. I can admit, it was silly and fun and that’s all I could ask for after watching three of these in a row. But mark my words people – I’ll never watch them again. 

Now give me some sugar baby. 

3 thoughts on “Jenny’s 31 Days of Halloween! – The Evil Dead Trilogy

  1. There’s something to be said for a well-crafted bad-on-purpose movie. That’s basically what Army of Darkness is. Yes, the special effects are bad. They were bad when the movie was new. Sam Raimi always had to invent ways to do what he wanted when he had no money. Many of these became trademarks for his work going forward. For example, he couldn’t afford a steadicam, a standard device used to prevent cameras from shaking due to natural human rhythms like breathing. Instead, he went out and invented something he called the shakicam that did the exact opposite (it was a wheeled camera he rolled over a bouncy 2X4). Army of Darkness actually was the biggest budgeted of the series, and it still didn’t have a lot of money. They essentially had something like 17 model skeletons they kept blowing up over and over again for the final battle scene. Ted Raimi, Sam’s brother, plays something like five different characters in the last movie.The entire Evil Dead trilogy was about creativity trumping a low budget, and the one thing I love about Army of Darkness is, first and foremost, I dig the sense of humor and the camp. I think it’s very funny. It’s a live action cartoon that shouldn’t be taken seriously for a minute. Bruce Campbell is the perfect square-jawed dimbulb protagonist. That’s all there is to it. I just think it’s fun.

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