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Evil Dead
Tanz der Teufel

USA 1982
produced by
Robert G. Tapert for Renaissance Pictures
directed by Sam Raimi
starring Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York (= Theresa Tilly)
written by Sam Raimi

Evil Dead, Ash

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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When Ash (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), Scotty (Hal Delrich), Shelly (Sarah York) & Sheryl (Ellan Sandweiss) rent a cabin deep in the woods to party , they do immediately have a feeling of unease about the place ... but on the surface the cabin looks peaceful enougnh - until the youngsters find the Sumeran Book of Death a former tenant has left there in the cellar, and a tape recorder containing a translation of some of the incantations in the book ... & unfortunately one of the incantations awakes some demons.

At first that doesn't seem to terribly affect our kids, until Sheryl takes a stroll through the woods ... & is raped by a tree (!). Of course she panics, & of course noone believes her, but nevertheless she persuades Ash to drive her to the next town ... but on  thwe way back to civilisation the 2 have to realize the only bridge linking the cabin to the next road has come down.

& when the kids then try to make the best of it in the cabin, Sheryl transforms into an ugly demon & injures Lin da's leg before she can be thrown into the cellar & locked in there.

However, Shelly is soon to follow suit & transform as well, forcing Scotty, her boyfriend, to kill & dismember her (the only way to stop the possessed). After they have buried her, Scotty decides to try to make an esscape, while Ash stays behind with Linda ... who of course soon turns into a demon, too (she's not all that dangerous though because of her severed leg).

But when Scotty comes back heavily injured (claiming he was attacked by the woods), Ash has to reealize just how hopeless the situation is, & first he has to get rid of demon Linda - which proves to be rather difficult since he has reservations about dismembering his own girlfriend, & when he buries her in one piece, she has no intentions of staying down.

& not only that, demon Sheryl manages to break out of the cellar as well & comes after Ash, who however manages to barricade himself inside the cabin with Scotty - who since has died though ... & of course he comes back as a demon as well, with demon Sheryl also gaining entrance to the cabin, & in the end it's only thanks to Ash burning the Book of Dead that he can end the demons'  existence, as they cdisintegrate before his very eyes

But is the horror really over ?

 

With every justification Evil Dead is now considered as a genuine classic - despite the fact that its story is rather poor (no more or less original than any other number of teen-horror flicks from back then), & the comedy that would predominate in parts 2 (Evil Dead 2) & 3 (Army of Darkness) of the series would take back seat here (being largely reduced to a few ironic touches).

However, Sam Raimi would - already in the first 10 minutes - create a creepier atmosphere & tenser suspense than most slasher-movies of the time (or even from today) would during all of their running time.

His inventive use of a steady cam pan to create suspense would soon become horror staple, & is in wide use to this very day ... but only rarely it works equally well as in this movie.

Curiously enough, Sam Raimi's career - built mainly on this fil, would go into about every direction imaginable, as he would direct the flawed celluloid comic strip Crimewave, the somewhat charming superhero-movie Darkman that was completely destroyed by Danny Elfman's atrocious music, an abysmal Western starring Sharon Stone (The Quick & the Dead), but also rather restrained genre pictures (A Simple Plan, The Gift), before finally climbing the Hollywood Olymp with the immensely successful Spider-Man-movies. 

As a producer, he would - among others - be responsible for the cheesy, even campy but sometimes funny series Hercules: Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess  & Cleopatra 2525.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD