Thursday, 25 April 2013

Evil Dead - The scoop and digest


Way before Sam Raimi’s spider senses were tingling, one the most loved horror franchises was born in 1981, The Evil Dead.

Released at the height of the video nasty crisis, the infamous tree rape and ankle gouging made its notoriety legendary.

It took until 2001 for the BBFC to bite the bullet and release it uncut.

Director Fede Alvarez chooses to ‘re-imagine’ a horror so important; he’d dare not to fuck it up as there’d be literally hell to pay.

Plot details and/or spoilers will be foretold from the Naturom Demonto.

Those hoping that their soul isn't sucked dry include:

Lou Taylor Pucci – Eric
Shiloh Fernandez – David
Jane Levy – Mia
Elizabeth Blackmore – Natalie
Jessica Lucas – Olivia

At some point in the past…

A young girl who is clearly a bit worse for wear is tackled and bagged by rednecks who take her to a remote location.

An old crone reading from an ancient book orders the girl’s father to cleanse her soul when she displays obvious signs of intermittent possession.

He pours a flammable liquid over her and things are warmed up.  To make certain of no further threat, a shotgun blast to the head more than fixes this.

At some point in the future…

Five people meet up at a cabin consisting of Mia (a recovering drug addict), her brother David, Eric the teacher, Natalie (David’s love interest) and completing the group is Olivia, a nurse.

The purpose of this little get together is to help Mia finally kick the habit into touch so she can go colder than a refrigerated turkey.

Once inside the dilapidated cabin, Mia complains of the lingering smell of death drifting up her smelling tackle but the others are unconcerned.

Grandpa the woof woof tugs at a rug and when pulled back, stale blood surrounds the basement door.

A brief search later suggests the aftermath of a ritual as the stink of animal flesh and a charred wooden post is there for all to smell and see.

Hmmm, what’s this?  A shotgun and a mysterious package wrapped in a bin liner and covered in barbed wire…

Eric’s curiosity inevitably gets the better of him and things are opened up.

After producing rubbings, he audibly speaks mysterious passages.

Upon every spoken word, this prompts the camera to race towards the cabin faster than a mole already late for a date with a hotter than hot curry.

Curiosity will indeed kill more than cat ...

Is the shit about to hit the fan?  You bet yer’.

Despite Mia pleading with the group to leave, they won’t listen and makes her escape in the jeep.

After something forces her to swerve off the road, she finds herself in a deep puddle.  The same ‘thing’ chases her and she becomes trapped in dense tree branches that immobilise her.  That nasty woman appears before her and ejects a black object that buries itself right up her holy of holies. 

Bro and co find her and they report back to base.

David attempts to confront her but the little minx has locked herself in the bathroom.  She is found to be having a ‘boiling’ hot shower and no beauty therapist or Boots voucher can fix her rather damaged complexion.

That convinces him it’s time to get the fuck out of Dodge and makes a break for A & E.  His mood isn't improved when the road is flooded and they have no choice but to turn back.

Although hit with more sedative to knock out a rampaging rhino, Mia appears dragging the shotgun and shoots her brother.  Before collapsing, she informs the group “You’re all going to die tonight.”

Olivia seizes the opportunity to grab the shotgun but instead finds herself rolling about with Mia.  Red is the colour for Olivia and she is disgusted by the evacuation from Mia’s mouth.

In this brief fracas, Mia is thrown into the basement and imprisoned.

Olivia tries to wash the icky substance off but her reflection becomes a horrifying reality as Eric finds that she has sliced her face off with a mirror shard.

After turning a wee bit too aggressive for comfort, he beats her to death with part of sink which was broken in the struggle.

Natalie is fooled by Mia’s sweetness and foolishly goes down.  Before escaping, her hand is mauled and is snogged in a way that no girly that way inclined would appreciate.

Cleaning her wound is ineffective and is rapidly spreading to her arm...

Taking leave of her senses, she deprives herself of the limb with an electric knife, much to the displeasure of Mia.

The terrible truth of hell literally been unleashed by Eric is revealed to David who fruitlessly tried to burn the evil literature.

He speaks of the Abomination which needs to feast on five souls in order for the sky to bleed again.

The way to free Mia from this persistent leech isn't exhaustive.

Uno – a live burial
Dos – dismemberment
Tres – purification by fire

David is naturally not particularly enamored with any option.

Natalie returns to wreak havoc and nails Eric with the proverbial gun.

A nail gun can also have similar uses in film and video game.

Murtaugh uses it to get out of a tight spot in Lethal Weapon 2 and Cash also takes care of hunters with the same DIY tool in Manhunt.

David ensures she’s the opposite of legless with a well placed blast and that’s the end of her little contribution.

At some point or thereabouts, David retreats the shed to retrieve a chainsaw, pills and enough equipment to cobble together a makeshift defibrillator.

Having dragged the still alive Eric outside, David goes back to douse the place with gasoline but cannot go through with it.

His darling sister is calling him and once again, we descend.

Things don’t go according to plan and she overpowers him.  Eric appears and saves his bacon by knocking her out but is fatally stabbed in the process of doing so.

Mia is pumped full of drugs and gather round, because the live burial is on.  He ignores the demon’s taunts and completes what’s required.

He then quickly digs her body back up and although ‘dead’, she looks cured.  After several failed attempts of reviving her with the defibrillator, all seems lost but Mia is back with us.

David goes back inside for the car keys but Eric successfully stabs him in the jugular.

Mia is locked out and the shotgun is reached.  Before he causes the place to explode, Eric eerily informs “He’s coming.”

With timber burning, Mia picks up the locket (in the shape of a skull) that David gave her before the nightmare began.

While she’s holding this, a drop of blood falls from the sky which is caught in the palm of her hand.

Fear’s rising – temperature’s getting high.
According to all sources, the forest’s the place to go
Cause today for the first time
Just about quarter-past ten
For the first time in history
It’s gonna start raining blood.

It’s Raining Blood! Hallelujah! – It’s Raining Blood! Amen!
She’s gonna stand there and let herself get
Absolutely soaking wet!

So with the prophecy complete, the end boss rises from the ground and the game of cat and mouse follows.

Mia revs the chainsaw and Abomination is deprived of walking tackle.

In retaliation, the cat draws on having Weetabix and flips the jeep, trapping Mia’s hand.  With the imminent threat looming large, evasive action is taken and manages to struggle free, albeit leaving her hand behind.

As it approaches, Mia is ready for the bitch.

“I will feast on your soul!”
Mia responds, “Feast on this motherfucker!”

A right bloody mess is made and its remains return to hell.  The rain ceases and morning has broken, like the first morning, blackbird hasn't spoken, unlike the first bird.

We see book close, as does the film.

Those who immediately rush from their seats are missing out...

The voice of Professor Knowby recalls his discovery and Bruce Campbell turning to the audience and voicing his iconic line completes a great 90 minutes or so.

First things first, rearrange the first letter of each char name to spell DEMON.

But wait, Death Tunnel thought of this first as without too much working out, chars Ashley, Heather, Tori, Elizabeth and Devon become DEATH.

Believe me, that film is AWFUL.

Okay, my inevitable reference alarm has just gone off...

The least obvious is drop of blood from the sky.  It’s near identical to how Frank is infected in Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later.  The only difference is hand instead of eye.

Horror junkies should vomit pea soup at how Mia spews appalling obscenities.  I can only guess that William Friedkin would laugh as most are just blatant variations from The Exorcist.

If Alvarez wants to deny it, I’ll be waiting outside...

It’s also disappointing that Abomination isn't more horrific and antics aren't particularly worthy of being the ultimate enemy.

During the film’s climax, the use of the demon’s machete reminds me of how Jason handled the same weapon in Marcus Nispel’s 2009 re-imagining of Friday the 13th, only horizontal instead of vertical.

Finally, don't believe 'he most terrifying film you will ever experience' tripe as it isn't in the slightest bit scary, no matter what grotesque death or voice distortion is witnessed.

Enough of my pissing and moaning, let’s suck the succulent marrow from these bones.

Mia and Eric are performance highlights and David is acceptable.  The others however, only qualify as excess baggage.

Sensibly, this is not a comedy and is substituted with subtle dark humour.

The heavy use of stomach churning practical effects must be applauded and harks back to the good old days of The Thing and The Fly.

If this was another CGI laden splatterthon, I’d rip the canvas from the very place it hung.

It’s also great that nobody tried to step into Bruce Campbell’s boomstick.

The basement, tree rape, infected hand, chainsaw and hurried camera angles are purposely recognisable with Alvarez's necessary innovations happily embracing The Cabin in the Woods.

Nobody can forget the iconic poster art from 1981 original and a page from the book is based on this very piece.

Although the famous “We’re gonna get you” scene didn't make the final slice, this is a multiple goregasm and I can arrest all fears that seminal franchise hasn't been massacred.

"Groovy!"

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