X, 84 min.
Director: Sam Raimi
Writers: Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Theodore Raimi, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier, John Peakes, Lou Hancock
The first time I ever saw Sam Raimi’s cult horror comedy classic “Evil Dead II” it was one of those rush jobs that really only seem to happen in college. “You haven’t seen ‘Evil Dead II’? We must watch it, right now!” one of my friends insisted.
It wasn’t optimal movie watching conditions. As a true cineaste, I really have a problem with conditions that are less than optimal. It was in a college dorm room—a single—in the middle of the day. The sun was shining through the window behind the small television set on which we would watch the film. Seating was minimal and fairly uncomfortable, although I was awarded the prime seating right in front of the set with it blocking the sun behind it and the most comfortable seat, as I was the “Evil Dead “ virgin.
Although I had finally shifted gears heading toward the healthy obsession with movies that I now hold today, I hadn’t seen many low budget films. I was taken aback at first at the lesser production values. Having about ten times more to spend on this sequel, I wonder what I would’ve though of Raimi’s original at that time. I was concerned that I hadn’t seen the original. I didn’t like watching a film series out of order. I was assured that I didn’t need to see the first one, because the second was like a remake of the first and a sequel at the same time. Glancing at the 84 minute running time, I wondered how they could fit all that into one film.
It didn’t take long before I was hooked by the off hand nature of the narrator’s introduction. He spoke with severe seriousness, yet the visuals suggested there was a joke to be in on and it was about to invite me in. Soon the room was laughing at Bruce Campbell’s cavalier attitude and the absurdity of watching a stop motion animated ballet sequence with a headless dancer. This movie was all over the map, and what a map it was.