Evil Dead II (1987)

A parodixical fever dream exemplifying the indie genre-blend zombie cult fare ED would become known for, EDII is horror/comedy on acid – a Guignol-carnival of a cinematic joyride through damnation, occasionally too-goofy in animatronics. 8/10.

Plot Synopsis: The second of three films in the Evil Dead series is part horror, part comedy, with Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) once again battling horrifying demons at a secluded cabin in the woods. After discovering an audiotape left by a college professor that contains voices reading from the Book of the Dead, Ash’s girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) becomes possessed by evil spirits that are awakened by the voices on the tape. Ash soon discovers there is no escaping the woods.

*Possible spoilers ahead*

Positives: Intriguing title credits and introduction revealing more about the book’s origins, the fact that ED got a bigger sequel a good sign for cinema as a worthy investment in independent filmmaking and the low-budget but big ideas triumph of the first one by Raimi, further delves into the book’s backstory a great plot decision, picks up right where the original left off as the best sequels do (after a short and bizarre but forgivable retell) with faster pacing and bigger-feeling scale, thoroughly disturbing and undeniably unsettling as a madness portrayal – respectable as a cinema piece but not my or many viewers’ cup of tea, gets better once it start s to converge on a recognizable plot once the new recruits join the story, even darker horror and animosity by the dead and a script refreshingly balancing human evil/madness with its supernatural variety, plenty of top-notch jump scares, good character development and choices having Ash be both Evil Dead and normal alternate between the two realms by his loss of Linda, iconic weapons and look by Ash that would become defining and just oozing badassness and 80’s masculinity, more focused-feeling than the first with more revelations of the backgrounds and how to stop the book and more human feel especially once it gets to just-right duo Ash and girl, wild ending about as epic as you expected in the coming alive of the woods and final sending of the Dead back into its realm with a time-jump and final plot twist leaving tons of possibilities for the future and shocking cliffhanger, balancing of humor and slapstick with the unsettling evil makes for a unique combination even furthered in this second take

Negatives: unnecessary secondary retell sequence of the first’s events – it’s a sequel, camerawork occasionally fast & shaky, some goofy animatronics like the corpse danceoff and Ash fighting his own hand, hard to discern what’s happening in the plot in a nonsensical opening with many plot holes – why does the day after randomly time-shift into night – what are the opening visions a result of – what are the rules if even after severing of things like Ash’s hand they can still attack – and most of all, are the events of this one real or madness-induced visions,

Official CLC Score: 8/10