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It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad Movie

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Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn

Posted by: Darien
Date Submitted: Friday, March 19, 1999 at 11:47:24
Date Posted: Friday, March 19, 1999 at 15:44:54

Oh, why not. It's about time. Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead 2" is a movie designed to be bad, but done in such a way that one can never be certain whether certain things were really bad on purpose, or if they were truly bad. The production techniques fit into this quite nicely, especially the scene in which Ash rifles through a stack of paper -- with his *right* hand (I'll explain why that's such a gaffe in a minute).

The basic premise of the movie is...well, it's the same as the basic premise of "The Evil Dead." Which is to say, not much. A couple of teenagers drive out to a cabin in the woods (the same cabin in as in the first "Evil Dead," miraculously fixed-up), the bridge goes out, and they're trapped there with the ultimate evil. Here's the rub, though: one of the teenagers (Ash) is one of the people who was there the first time! Why on *Earth* did he come back? Who fixed the bridge? Who knows? The ultimate evil is summoned the same way it was last time (by playing the Necronomitape), and Ash has to kick the heck out of it again. And fails, again.

At one point, Ash's hand goes all evil on him and gets possessed by demons, so he cuts it off (of course) and replaces it with a chainsaw. This is why it makes so little sense for Ash to rifle through papers with his right hand: he doesn't *have* a right hand!

The special effects are as dead as anything else in this movie; they consist largely of the "Evil Dead effect" and gallons upon gallons of blood. All the time. Especially when Ash shoots at the hand. The only other special effects in the movie are the talking heads and a few superimposed evil monsters.

Ash's girlfriend in this movie exists for one reason and one reason alone: to play the Necronomitape. Then she dies. His girlfriend from the first movie, however, comes back from the dead and dances a little jig for him (to the tune of "Dance Macabre"). Then he kills her. Some other girl shows up at one point (for no apparent reason) and then dies after stabbing one of the other guys (I've affectionately dubbed him "the fat farmer") in the gut with the knife from HELL. In fact, none of the characters in this movie seem to have an excuse for being in the movie. They're just there. And then they die. Horribly. With lots of gore.

"Evil Dead 2" may not be the best movie ever made (by any stretch), but it can't get five turkeys because it's intentionally bad. However, it is certainly enjoyable enough for four.

Scene to watch for: Ash shooting at the hand in the wall.

Best line: "Groovy."

Things that make you go "Huh?": The entire beginning and ending sequences.

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