Posts Tagged ‘Evil Dead’

There’s always a well of playful joy that courses through my body anytime Evil Dead comes up. Whether it’s rewatching the original films or watching previews for the upcoming show (Ash vs Evil Dead!!), a part of me regresses to a fifteen year old, all giddy with excitement. Even the subpar video games were playable because of this.

And it was with this excitement that I sat in an old, uncomfortable seat in Renton, Washington for Evil Dead the Musical.
For a musical I’ve seen four times, I was still able to easily find enjoyment in the production. While it wasn’t the best production I’ve seen, it did manage to surprise me with some creative dialog, and even adding a character. 
The vocal performances were not great, however. Cues were hit and the dialog was funny but with the exception of one or two performers, the singing was average at best. The actors could hit all their notes but the harmonizing was off, perhaps because of the changing of ranges needed to accommodate the differing styles of the actors. The acting was decent and silly when it needed to be and serious for the few moments of poignancy. The performers and crowd seemed to be feeding off of each other, the latter of which loved it. This was perhaps due to the subject and knowledge of the source material rather than the performances. Or perhaps it was the copious amounts of fake blood that was unabashedly thrown and splattered onto the pre-warned crowd. Squirt bottles, small balloons, and even a hose were used within the “splatter zone” (roughly the front half of the theater). The end was especially messy. There was so little pretense that the actors, supposedly in the midst of a climatic battle, would bring out buckets full of red liquid and dump it over the heads of select audience members. Not the most verisimilitude for a show but the crowd couldn’t care less.
This musical has become almost a tradition for me. Whenever it’s playing at a theater in town, I try to see it. I’ve never regretted that decision. I had a great time, as did my wife who, never having seen the movies, found the experience a good one. I just need get her into the splatter zone next time 😉


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This is where it all started for me. Actually, I had seen Army of Darkness in the theater with my dad and just thought it was a great, stand alone movie. But, no! My friend Devon told me it was the THIRD movie in a series. I couldn’t believe it. So he showed them to me and I was instantly obsessed.

The first Evil Dead is a hard core horror movie that is still freaky and I still get a little squeamish when I think of the pencil scene. And the tree scene. There are others that are just as gross but these still get me.  The plot of this movie is simple: five friends go to an isolated cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash demonic spirits that take each of them, one by one. It’s dark and claustrophobic as the characters are isolated in a run down cabin with tight walls and not a lot of space to move around. It’s very low budget but Sam Raimi of Spiderman directing fame, creates a believable nightmare you don’t want to get stuck in.

Evil Dead 2 is one of my favorite movies of all time. Not just horror, but movie. The way it blends horror with comedy and action is something so many other movies have tried to do but most have failed. This is the movie where I really took notice of Bruce Campbell, transforming his character Ash from a wimp into a complete badass that has grown into a mythical hero. It’s not as dark as the first one, making it a bit more palatable for the mainstream crowd. So if you’re skeptical about the series, this would be a good one to begin with. The plot is similar to the first but there is more complexity and more explanation of what’s going on, better effects, and some really fun scenes.

Army of Darkness is similar in tone to the second one with the blend of horror and comedy but takes the action further into a medieval setting. While not as grandiose as Game of Thrones, there is some fun stuff here. When I saw the preview for this back in 1992 (!) I thought it would be the perfect movie. I always wanted to see a movie where someone from my time goes back to medieval times, bringing our technology with him. Of course there were other stories out there that dealt with that but the horror element is what really blew my mind. It had some very silly parts that I have since shaken my head at but I love the epic horror tale.

With so much love for this trilogy, I had my doubts about the remake that came out earlier this year. Almost every remake has been shit, paling in comparison to the original. Why would this one be any different? Because Sam and Bruce helped produce it. That was enough to make me curious about seeing it. And it was actually pretty good. They went for the bleakness of the original and actually succeeded in making a very creepy movie. The squeamishness I felt during the first movie was just as present during this one, maybe even more since effects have come a long way since the original. Either way, I liked it.

This last one isn’t a movie but I feel the need to mention it because it’s just so great. Evil Dead: The Musical. If you haven’t seen it, I really feel sorry for you. It combines the first two movies and injects it with a good dose of Rodgers and Hammerstein. The songs are catchy, the script is fun and witty. And if you’re in the first few rows, you’ll be getting bloody. That’s right. Just like the movies, blood sprays all over in this musical and it’s difficult to escape unbathed. They do pass out ponchos beforehand for those who don’t want to soil their clothes.

I can’t speak highly enough of this series and you should definitely give it a chance if you haven’t seen it by now. Which, you should be ashamed of yourself for.

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