Posted at 12:03 PM on December 2, 2008
by Euan Kerr
So I watched "Evil Dead" and "Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn" pretty much back-to-back on Sunday, and it was as close as I have come to a hangover in some time. That was a lot of blood, guts and Bruce Campbell at one sitting. I now have "Army of Darkness" to go, and of course the new one "My Name is Bruce."
I got into an interesting conversation with my colleague Mary Burke about wether you need to see "Evil Dead" before "Evil Dead II" given that the second film is a comic recreation of the first, plus a whole lot more. The second film is a much better made flick, and Campbell says himself that he winces when he sees the original, particularly the first half, as he is clearly learning how to act during those early scenes.
Yet I found myself wondering if the the sequel would even make sense without seeing the first one. Which raises the question as to whether sense and Evil Dead can or should be used in the same sentence.
Hangover? Now there's a man who can't hold his stage blood. I recommend a viewing of _Dead Alive_ followed by _Frontiere(s)_ to increase your tolerance. Personally, ED2 always leaves me feeling exuberant.
I did actually see the second one first, and it made perfect sense as a standalone. At the time I didn't know much of anything about the first one and how they related to one another. But it became clear after seeing ED1 that it was the Joe Bob Briggs principle of sequel-making in action: Just make the same movie over again. ED2 had a considerably higher budget, but fortunately not high enough for it to be slick and perfunctory, like the recent remake of _The Texas Chain Saw Massacre_.
Of course there would be no ED 1 or 2 without its ultra low-budget forerunner, "Equinox" (1970), which was just given a lavish DVD release by Criterion.
I remember seeing that peculiar little film on "Mel's Matinee" back in the 70s. I always remembered it fondly, and apparently Sam Raimi did too.