Sunday, April 23, 2017

Movie review: Evil Dead 2 (Dead by Dawn)

After breaking into a deserted cabin in the woods, the home of an occult professor, Ash and his girlfriend accidentally release an evil spirit and demons from the Book of the Dead. When the professor's daughter arrives to see her father, she and Ash must fight the demons until dawn to survive.

Bruce Campbell (Ash), Sarah Berry (Annie), Dan Hicks (Jake), Kassie DePaiva (Bobby Joe), Ted Raimi (Possessed Henrietta), Denise Bixler (Linda), Richard Domeier (Ed), John Peakes (Prof. Knowby), Lou Hancock (Henrietta).

The Evil Dead franchise is some silly, campy fun and Evil Dead 2 (Dead by Dawn) is no exception. Ash is enough bumbling fool to get himself in trouble, and just enough of a survivor to live through the insanity. Evil Dead 2 does a lot to move the franchise storyline forward, setting things up well for the next film. In the meantime, we are treated to silly one-liners and ridiculous action scenes with plenty of fake blood.

Acting was immature, but fit the film well. Campbell was appropriately campy and corny, fitting the film perfectly. Berry was weak but had a few sparks of energy. Hicks and DePaiva added to the comedy element, and Raimi was amusing.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were rough, less than authentic looking, and fit the film perfectly. Stop-motion animation, and possible claymation, were ridiculous enough to add to the comedy element of the film. Dialogue was pure B-movie and infrequently funny. Sound and soundtrack were a nightmare of poor volume control.

If you have seen any of the Evil Dead films and enjoyed them, watch this one! Definitely watch this before you see Army of Darkness to give you some background and setup. Those who don't enjoy B-movies or campy cult horror probably won't enjoy this one much.

Including mild horror nudity, blood, gore, more blood, foul language, a ridiculous amount of blood almost like a blood flood, and disturbing images would suggest this one is just fine for teens and above.

Released: 1987
Reviewed: 4.5.17
Star rating: 4 out of 6
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Cult Comedy, Supernatural Horror, Zombies

copyright ©2017 Dave Riedel

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