Tall, Dark, and Dead – 31 – The Evil Dead

Title: The Evil Dead
Year: 1981
Director: Sam Raimi
Leads: Bruce Campbell, Betsy Baker

Favorite quote: “We can’t bury Shelly – s-she’s a friend of ours.”

Thoughts: Okay, here’s where I lose all my cred.

I’m not fond of the zombies in the Evil Dead series.

Truthfully, it isn’t Evil Dead’s fault. I love Sam Raimi and all his fancy little camera tricks (and Darkman is one of my favorite movies of all time). I love Bruce Campbell – how can you not love Bruce Campbell? I love the makeup and the effects. They’re spectacular. And of course, the chainsaw scene. Brilliant. Brilliant. I gotta give props there.

I just have a personal issue with demonic possession as an explanation for zombie genesis. Where others argue against the infected living being classified as zombies, I argue against demonic possession. I mean, a demonically possessed zombie is just a dead body subject to the manipulation of an evil spiritual force – same as a living body would be. How is this a zombie? Genre-wise, stories like this should be lumped in with The Exorcist, not Night of the Living Dead.

However, the deadites from the Evil Dead universe have become a time-tested part of the zombie canon, at least in some quarters, and thus I’m obligated to count them towards my total. So, anyway. This is a story about how a fetal Bruce Campbell and his friends could have benefited from GPS and the Internet. Also, we learn that zombies will occasionally attack with pencils, and that you ought to be equipped with an eraser at all times, in addition to the usual shotgun.

The only serious things I culled from this viewing of ED were the repetition of the idea of the zombie as an earth elemental (from the infamous tree rape scene), and the concept of blood as the source of life – as we learn in ED2, it’s life that the deadites are attracted to and crave, not necessarily blood or flesh. I think you could link this idea loosely to the fact that Russo and O’Bannon’s brain-noshers are electrical impulse junkies.

Links: The Evil Dead at IMDB
The Evil Dead on Wikipedia

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