The Evil Dead, a review by Jon
The Evil Dead
4 out of 5
A group of friends go for a break in a cabin in the woods, but little do they know it is surrounded by a demonic force waiting for an opportunity to lay siege.
This is independent film-making at its best, a true classic of the genre made for pennies. Could easily be dismissed as junk, but it has such heart, humour and real talent, it’s impossible to ignore. If you haven’t seen it, you should really look it up, even if you’ve seen the sequel/remake, Evil Dead II. That is the better film in many respects, but this is scarier and darker. Turn the lights off and the sound up, and strap up your jaw before it falls too far!
The Evil Dead is an important film for many reasons, not least because it was one of the first video hits. Released in cinemas and on video at the same time, it proved the home market was viable beyond porn. And here we are today.
It was also one of the original video nasties, but unfairly. Of course, none of those notorious titles deserve to be on such a list as we are adults and can decide for ourselves, but some are mean spirited so the average viewer is easily put off and left in ignorance. The Evil Dead hasn’t got many evil thoughts though. It’s a very graphic comic book. Ok, one of the girls gets raped by a tree, but who are we to judge?
The story is a horror staple; the lonely cabin in the woods. But as it was released in 1981 when I was 6, I can’t work out if it created the cliché or honoured it. Either way it is pretty much definitive. Like religion in The Omen, I’m a sucker for hidden worlds of demons. Where are the rules? Do demons have rules? Who knows! Much of the atmosphere is down to the very well prepared Book of the Dead prop and the tape recordings which are capable of sending a shiver down your neck. Though not as much as the cellar…
Raimi directs the hell out of this film, which is one of the things that sets it apart, even today. His enthusiasm that seems to throw everything at the screen is only matched and tempered by his talent. He really knows how to manipulate the audience. His editing and sound design is excellent, with inventive and ambitious shots. There are sound effects you wouldn’t expect, perhaps not even needed, but add to the atmosphere and the films unique identity. I particularly liked the point of view shots as the characters were being attacked. Then there’s the gore! Plenty of body parts flying around and blood everywhere and here it really shows its roots. Especially near the end with the vomit inducing time-lapsed decomposing.
The cast for the most part are pretty standard. You aren’t going to attract the best actors to something like this, but they’re good enough and good sports for all the make-up. But a key element to the whole success might just be Bruce Campbell. The man is a legend!
The Anchor Bay DVD has DTS sound put to excellent use and some worthy features, some hidden as eggs. The cover shot is from the Region 2 limited edition, made to look like the Book Of The Dead.
(From October Marathon: Horror! on October 29th, 2008)
Resident Evil, a review by addicted2dvd
Weekend Movie Marathon
From Video Games to Movies
This weekend I decided to watch some movies I have that was originally a popular video game... that they made a movie version of... so I ended up watching...
A team of paramilitary commandos must battle flesh-eating undead, killer mutant dogs and a supercomputer's deadly defenses before an unleashed virus consumes humanity in this adaptation of the hit video game series!
I really enjoyed the Resident Evil movie... After watching it I had the urge to play the video game some... so yes it did have the feel of the games to me. I thought Milla Jovovich did a great job as Alice. And I got a kick out of seeing how they did all the different creatures from the games. The Zombies was fine... the Zombie Dogs were very cool... and the Licker I thought came out awesome... but for some strange reason I didn't care much for how the licker mutated after making his first kill. I liked it's original look much better. If I am not mistaken.... this is the movie that made me realize how much I enjoy seeing horror and action mixed together. I think the 2 genres compliment each other very well.
(From Weekend Movie Marathon: From Video Games to Movies on January 4th, 2008)
Pete's Pilots, a review by addicted2dvd
David Boreanaz (Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) stars as F.B.I. Agent Seeley Booth, who teams up with forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel) to solve some of the most baffling and bizarre crimes ever. Booth depends on clues from the living, witnesses and suspects, while Brennan gathers evidence from the dead, relying on her uncanny ability to read clues left behind in the bones of the victims. Their different investigative styles cause the two to frequently clash, creating an undeniable chemistry and just the right touch of dark humor. Inspired by real-life forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs and state-of-the-art criminal invenstigation procedures, Bones is compelling, cutting-edge television.
Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan teams up with FBI agent Seeley Booth to investigate the murder of a Senate intern, the political implications of which may prove to be staggering.
This is an awesome series with a great cast. It was a bit weird seeing Brennan's old boss from the first season again. While I enjoyed it I do prefer her new boss now. This is another show where I was left wanting to watch more episodes. Definitely a series I highly recommend.
(From Pete's Pilots on November 9th, 2009)