Evil Dead II is the sequel to The Evil Dead. I’m not sure why they dropped the definite article. Part 3 in the series, Army of Darkness, dropped the name Evil Dead entirely for copyright reasons. The movies were all made by different studios and creator, Sam Raimi didn’t own the copyright. But let’s be clear here. Evil Dead II is definitely the sequel to The Evil Dead. This is an important point to make and one I will touch on in the Evil Dead II review.
*Please see the Evil Dead review for my opinion on whether this is a zombie movie or not.
Evil Dead II Review
Evil Dead II is not a bad film. No. Sorry. It is a bad film. But it’s definitely in the It’s so bad it’s good category. Despite what’s written on the poster above, Evil Dead II is not that scary and it’s definitely not as scary as the original. While the Evil Dead had some funny moments, Evil Dead II is basically a horror-comedy. It has a similar story to the first movie but is more extravagant in its use of special effects. There are some creepy moments but if you want to be scared, this probably isn’t the movie for you. If you enjoy the kitsch and want a few laughs this movie might be for you. That is, as long as you are not put off by (very unrealistic) decapitations, dismemberments, blood, guts, demon possessions and things like that.
You don’t need to watch the Evil Dead to enjoy Evil Dead II but if you do watch the Evil Dead first you may be a little confused by Evil Dead II. At the beginning of Evil Dead II, we see Ash Williams (the protagonist of the Evil Dead played by Bruce Campbell) going to a cabin in the woods for a short getaway. Even if it weren’t the same cabin, I thought, didn’t Ash Williams learn his lesson already? Well, that wasn’t the case. The first 15 minutes is a quick recap of the previous movie in the series. They weren’t allowed to use clips from the previous movies for copyright and (probably) financial reasons so this was the method they chose to tell the story. I found it weird and a bit of a distraction because I couldn’t really understand what was going on until I checked the internet. I was thinking that it was some kind of remake or reboot. They changed the story a bit so Evil Dead II could work as a standalone movie.
To say the special effects are over-the-top would be an understatement. They are cheap-looking by today’s standards but quite funny. There is a lot of blood and guts but nothing really looks genuine so there was no really gross-out moment for me. Some of the more violent scenes were clearly done for laughs and they did inspire a few chuckles.
As I said at the beginning, it’s not a good movie but I think it is a great movie to watch with a bunch of friends and a few beers on Halloween. And it’s cool to see Bruce Campbell start his transformation from wimpy loser to macho badass. Should you watch it? Yeah.
The living and the dead (maybe) are possessed by a demon (or demons) summoned through the reading of Naturom Demonto, a Sumerian version of the Book of the Dead.
How to kill the zombies
Just like in the Evil Dead, I’m not really sure. Decapitation definitely doesn’t work. We see a head talking to Ash while a body carrying a chainsaw attacks him. There is also a hand flying around without a body.
At the end of the movie we hear the term deadite for the first time.