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Evil Dead  

USA 1982 Directed by Sam Raimi. Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York.

"The most ferociously original horror movie I have ever seen" said Stephen King, when he saw the opening night of "Evil Dead". It was a sensation when it came 82┤, and is considered today as definitely one of the best horror films that been made. Sam Raimi was only twenty years old, when he with a borrowed camera equipment and his friends as actors made "Evil Dead". The producing in Tennessees uncanny woods was made in 16 mm, and was then blew up to 35 mm in order to be seen at the cinema. It is in other words a real low budget film.

The plot is very simple. Some young people rent a little ramshackle house over a few days. But something evil broods over the wood. When they find a tape-recorder and an old book, "Book of the Dead", and plays back an incantation, is an extremely old demon woken up to life. The demon take possession of the people one after the other, and turns them into bloodthirsty zombies. Finally is only the groups clown Ash left (Bruce Campbell), and his only chance to survive is to cut his friends into pieces.
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This is the film which I in my young days most of all wanted to see. I had heard so terrifically many good things about "Evil Dead", but got no opportunity to see it at that moment (Sweden was very censorship kindly at that time). But I thought much about how good it must be. When I for some years ago at last bought "Evil Dead" on video tape, was I very enthusiastic. In addition was it absolutely uncut (in the earlier version which been in Sweden were twelve minutes missing). Therefore was I dissapointed when my enormously great expectations, that I had built up under so many years, not fulfilled. And it were above all the famous special effects that I didn┤t like. Certainly I know that the effects were made with a minimal budget, but I still believed that they should be better.

But when I recovered my senses and saw "Evil Dead" again some weeks later, was it immediately better. And every time I see it now, is it only to become better and better. Because I┤m never get tired of this. You can easily observe that Sam Raimi is a genius. As I earlier mentioned is the plot simple, and Raimi is using ordinary classic intimidating methods. But it┤s the way he does it on, that is so impressive. We have the camera which uncanny flit along in the wood, for in the next moment become wild tracking when the demon attacks. Then, we have the strange camera angles and all the weird sound effects. And through the entire film is he manage to retain that special threatening atmospere. There are so much madness and sick humour that I only have to surrender. I have even begun to like the special effects a little bit. But I┤m probably never come over the effects in the final. I definitely think that they used modelling clay in that scene. Maybe I┤m somewhat nasty when I only gives "Evil Dead" four stars. But it┤s four very strong stars.

Kent Palgren

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