Monday, October 05, 2015

Horror Classics: The Evil Dead

I watched one of these movies one time with a high school friend, but I think maybe it was not this one?* Anyway, it is time for the blogging of The Evil Dead (1981), which we have had on disc for like 4 months and I am finally getting around to because I am no longer working full time. Hooray!

Backseat buddies!
It is foggy and we are in a swamp. An amazing yellow '70s car full of white people. A singalong through the woods. A menacing red truck on this dirt road. Ash (Bruce Campbell) is navigating from the backseat after they just pulled across the Tennessee border. They almost hit the truck. Apparently it's Ash's car. Scott, the driver, claims the steering wheel fucked up. He's drinking something out of a mason jar. The cabin they're renting is super-cheap. The bridge they drive across is falling apart. There are three ladies and two dudes. The road on the other side of the bridge is pretty overgrown with grass and stuff. It looks to be early fall.

The porch swing bangs against the building in the wind. The cabin looks pretty rustic, but not too menacing yet. The keys are just kept on top of the door frame, apparently. The swing stops banging once Scott grabs them. Inside it looks smoky/dusty. There's a deer head on the wall. Not super-sketchy inside. Scott investigates another building(?) which is a sketchy barn place with chains and sharp tools and weird bones and shit hanging from the ceiling. OBVS. The clock strikes 5:50 and the wind blows into an open window. One of the ladies is drawing the clock but is now possessed and is drawing something violently with dark blue veins in her hand. She spends a lot of time with a curling iron. She's drawn a boxy face, I think? Oh, maybe it's this trap door in the floor with a chain on it? She doesn't tell anyone, I guess.

Now they're at dinner with blended drinks in paper cups. All the hair. Ash tries to give a toast. They're going to party! But now the trap door flies open in the other room. They all go look inside. The artist from before says it's probably just an animal. Artist is Cheryl. Scotty mans up and decides to go check it out. All the girls have so much hair. Michigan State sweatshirt girl is wearing the world's most orthopedic turtleneck. Scott goes down and disappears and then he doesn't respond to Ash's calls. He goes down with a lantern. What are those shoes? In the basement there's a water heater, some window frames, a door, stone walls. Also, dripping pipes.

A noise comes from behind the door. Ash goes to investigate. Scotty jumps out to scare him from the shadows. He's found a bunch of weird shit down there. A shotgun he PLAYFULLY points at Ash's head. A creepy book apparently covered in skin. Lots of gross skull drawings and some weird language inside. Scotty finds a dagger with a screaming skull hilt. "This kind of looks like your old girlfriend," he jokes. AHAHAHAHA YOU'RE SO FUNNY, SCOTTY. He wants to bring the weird shit upstairs. Lightning upstairs and a cloud in front of the moon. Ash plays a tape he find downstairs on a really old-timey player with giant reels. On the recording, some archaeologist talks about ancient Sumerian burial practices and The Book of the Dead--bound in human skin and written in human blood. It's about demons.

The couples snuggle. Cheryl--WHO IS ALONE--wants to turn it off. The recording chants in Sumerian, I guess. Cheryl wants to turn it off as something is awakened underground outside. Cheryl screams and the storm knocks a tree through the window. A little later, Ash is asleep on the couch with a little jewelry box in his hand. His girlfriend snatches it out of his hand. He's got a great unibrow. He's got here a little bejeweled magnifying glass on a chain. Her turtleneck is majestic. "I'll never take it off," she says of the necklace. They make out in front of the window. Something looks in at them and then goes to the next window to see Scotty and his lady get undressed. Cheryl brushes her hair ALONE in her room, looking at the weird drawing from earlier. A weird voice says something and she looks outside. EVERYBODY: SHUT YOUR CURTAINS.

Single girls are so desperate for the D, they'll fuck a tree!
Cheryl goes outside to investigate. Good idea, wander off into the woods, LOSER SINGLE LADY IN A ROBE. Nobody responds to her calls, but she hears noises in the trees. It's incredibly smoky. Trees fall down and she doesn't run back. Roots start to wrap around her limbs. She screams and ineffectually tries to move. Her robe tears off and she's pulled to the ground by the increasing number of roots, which tear open her clothes and we see her boobs for some reason. Her legs are pulled apart and a branch goes into her vag, I think. She screams but is maybe also enjoying this? After a few moments she manages to break her arms free. She gets up and begins to run away. She screams through the woods which appears to be full of random spotlights and dry ice. I don't know where she's going. Oh, here, she found the cabin, but we see plenty of her panties. The door is locked. She finds the keys, but they're stuck as Whatever It Is closes in on her. It's crazy what straight lines her clothes were shredded in. She struggles with the lock. Ash opens the door and pulls her inside just in time.

Cheryl claims the woods themselves fucked her up. She wants to go back into town. Ash(ley) says he'll drive her, since she insists she needs to go. Can't believe anybody at this sketchy cabin is sober enough to drive. Ash cannot start the car. OF COURSE BECAUSE THIS IS A HORROR MOVIE. She says, "It's not going to let us leave," but then it does start. They drive off as the others go back inside. They drive through the woods for a bit, but then Ash stops and gets out to look at something. Cheryl is Not Pleased about this development. She gets out to follow him. Bad idea. Girl, get back in the car or the woods will rape you again! She comes upon some torn up metal girders and a sign that says "Dangerous Bridge: Travel at Your Own Risk." She runs back screaming. Ash grabs her and she says, "It's not going to let us go!"

BACK AT THE CABIN. Wood-chopping. Ash listens to the tape and the guy says his wife became possessed by a Sumerian demon he resurrected with the book. The other girls are practicing ESP with cards. Cheryl is actually guessing them, though. She's all demon-y now, floating. "Why have you disturbed our sleep?" Head rolling, eyes and skin fucked up, etc. Scott is back with his axe and puffy coat. She collapse and they go check on her. She stabs Ash's girlfriend in the ankle with a pencil and throws both of them across the room. She shuffles toward Ash, under a broken bookcase. She shoves Scotty away, but he gets back up and manages to shove her down into the cellar and chains the trap door shut. I really hope it's only, like, 8 p.m. now.

Later, Ash comes and tucks in his girlfriend, who is already sleeping. Scott and his girlfriend sit by the fire. Cheryl is peeking through the crack of the trap door. Scotty's girlfriend is concerned about her eyes and also the noises. Something approaches through the woods. More Sumerian demons, presumably. I really feel like they should put furniture on top of that trap door. I don't trust the chains. Scotty tells his lady to go to bed, but something breaks through their bedroom window. Scotty follows the screams, but finds the room empty. So much smoke/fog. He finds nothing and doesn't seem that perturbed about the whole thing.


Feeling only vaguely motivated to finish this movie. Ugghghghg. Shot? Shot. Let's do a shot. ILL-ADVISED.* Ahhhh I did a shot of Limon from Wisconsin what who how what. Okay, let's dive back into this movie before I think too hard about my life choices!

Oh, Scotty's girl is named Shelly. Cool. Where did she go? How many rooms are in this cabin? It did not look that big from the outside. The bathroom has, like, Peeps yellow plastic walls. I think this sudden sequence is implying that somebody with long red nails is scraping his face and making him bleed, but the special effects are Less Than Special if you know what I mean. Shelly attacks Scotty into the living room, where Ash is sitting. A mounted fish is askew on the poorly stucco-ed walls. I have it paused right now, that's how I'm able to give you this amazing descriptive detail. Cheryl is still trying to break out of the trapdoor. A wax mold of Shelly (it's supposed to be actual Shelly, but the sfx are bad) melts on the fire Scotty threw her on. He feels bad and she says some shit in a demon voice. She attacks Scotty again and Ash tries to intervene. He gets thrown into yet another mostly-empty bookcase. Shelly tries to stab Scotty with the skull dagger. He's wearing a knife, obvs and manages to cut off her hand.

These terrible special effects and makeup are amazing. Shelly starts eating her own cut-off hand, I think? Her face is all messed up and the men stare. Her cut-off hand stabs her in the back. The skull on the knife spews blood out of its mouth and there's so much alien/demon screaming. I don't even know what just happened. Shit starts spewing out of her stump. Milk and blood out of her mouth too. Who knows? Sung *Blood spatter on your bell bottoms.* The remaining hand suddenly grabs Scotty. Shelly's back up, dripping blood. Ash clutches the axe as Scott yells at him to do something. He grabs the axe and starts hacking. Screaming. He chops her limbs HARD. Ash cowers up against the wall as Shelly's parts wiggle all dismembered-like. "Shelly's dead," Scotty says. They have to bury her.

The boys have gathered up her chunks in a bloody sheet. They take her outside, where it is still very smoky. They move some hay with a shovel and put her in the ground. They mark it with a stick cross, I think, for some reason. The men discuss possibly leaving. Ash says his lady Linda can't walk out with her hurt leg. When did it get hurt? I don't remember. Scotty decides to hike out alone because he is A Idiot. Ash goes back inside, where Demon Cheryl taunts him from the basement. Ash checks out Linda's leg, which spreads creepy spiderwebs across her skin and now suddenly also she is possessed? Ash steps outside and suddenly Scotty, all bloody, jumps on him. Linda is all demonic and giggling now. Scotty says it's not going to let them leave and they're all going to die. Ash wants to know if there's a way around the bridge. There's a trail. Demon Cheryl taunts from under the not-secure trapdoor. There's a trail they can take.

Scotty is dying. Scotty bleeds from the mouth. Ash smacks Linda. Scotty tells him to kill her. He takes the gun and asks for forgiveness from God. Her makeup is merely bad, not zombie skinned. Suddenly her real face comes back and she asks for help. His purple bruise is very purple. Cheryl asks for help from the basement, too. She claims to be "all right now." Scotty is moving slightly. Ash goes to investigate, but then Cheryl (who is his sister, I guess?) 's hand grabs at him from through the floor. And now Linda is possessed. "We're gonna get you," she sings and giggles. Ash drags Linda outside as she screams crazy things and growls. He goes back inside for some reason. Clouds in front of an orange moon. Ash gives a drink of water(?) to Scotty. He's not drinking it. It's just spilling. That bitch is dead. You're all alone know, Ash. He says the sun's coming up in about an hour.

Eerily reminiscent of my honeymoon on the Oregon Coast.
Suddenly Linda is stabbing him with the skull knife. She licks the blood off. They scuffle around the living room. Cheryl grabs at his leg from the trap door growling, "Join us." Ash shoves Linda and she falls on the knife, spewing blood and milk. I think she may be dead. Also, Scott, who is bleeding on some books on the floor. Ash drags Linda's body into the barn place, I think? He straps her down with the convenient chains and pulley system and proceeds to attempt to chop her up with a chainsaw. The sight of the necklace he gave her stops him. OMG dramatz music! That bitch ain't your bitch no more, Ash. Chop it up! He decides to bury her, intact. BAD IDEA. Suddenly she's wearing some kind of white robe with minor bloodstains. Back in the cabin, Cheryl is trying to break out of the basement. Linda's not really dead-dead. Ash digs a hole in the hay. Linda's eyes fly open periodically. He goes to check her body. He picks her up romantically and sets her down in the grave he just dug and begins to fill in. This is a really long night.

Because she was drawing earlier. See?
Ash goes to pick up the necklace and Linda sits up and begins to claw at his leg really hard. He finds a giant chunk of wood and starts to beat her as she screams and laughs. Very little dialogue in this movie. For the best, probs. He ends up decapitating her with a sword as her neck stump bleeds on his face. Maybe she is done now? He goes back to the cabin for some reason, all bloodies. The trapdoor has been shoved aside, so Cheryl's on the loose. The clock tells us it is about 5:50 a.m., I think. Ash picks up the gun and goes to investigate. There has got to be a better place to hunker down, right? Cheryl grabs at him from the broken window and he tries shooting her, but she's still all zombie-ish. Apparently shutting this stubborn door will keep her out. He smashes her hand.

Ash has an idea. He decides to go down into the basement. His leg is all bloody. He slides on the stairs kind of like I did on our outside wooden steps today when it was all rainy and I was wearing flipflops. In the basement, he sees a bloody garment wrapped around a pipe or something. Suddenly the pipe comes off and pours blood and guts in his face. Blood starts to drip from the electrical outlet and into light bulbs and a film projector starts playing and filling with blood. "We're gonna get you" taunts the demon. Ash finds some bullets for his gun. Voices echo in his head. The projector blows up. The pipe drips blood. Ash decides the basement is not the place to be, I guess. He hears a bell toll, but the clock upstairs still says 5:55. Sunrise is in 5 minutes, I'm guessing? It is too quiet right now.

Rifle in hand, Ash looks around. Shutters bang against windows. Ash reaches to touch a mirror and his hand goes through as into water. He shoots through the window. The wind blows outside. He sweats. He reloads and shakes. Maybe because I am kinda drunk now, but this is the best part of this movie. I will say that young Bruce Campbell is weird. Older Bruce Campbell is better/ more familiar. He takes the necklace out of his pocket. Things are Too Quiet. Hands bust through the door he's leaning against. He shoots at Cheryl through the door holes. He moves an old sewing desk in front of the door.

R.I.P. industrial-sized tin can of ketchup used in this scene.
Suddenly Scotty is up and zombying. Your hair gets gray when you're a zombie, I guess. The Book is near the fireplace. Ash fights off Scott by gouging his eyes. He pulls something out of his side, blood gushes, and he's dying. Ash sees the book on the ground. Cheryl breaks through, all gray. Ash decides to burn the book, but Cheryl grabs his leg. He can't quite reach the book. Cheryl and Scott grab at his legs, but he manages to grab the magnifying book. Cheryl smacks him with a fire poker, but he's using the necklace to move the book, which is now burning. He gets it and throws it into the fire.

Suddenly Cheryl freezes. Blue goo comes out of her mouth. Crunching noises. She begins to melt. So does Scotty. Claymation, all I ever wanted! Gross tongues from the people and the book. Ash is very bloody. Sudden silence. Applesauce leaks out of Scotty's sleeve. Hands burst out of Ash's friends' bodies. It is real gruesome and amazingly fake. Gore explosions on Ash's face. Disintegrating Scott skull. "Join us" echoes into silence. Ash now tries to get up. Tick-tock it's 6:15 or whatever! He's holding onto the necklace and the sun is rising.

Ash goes outside, where birds are chirping. It's a new day! Four of your friends got possessed by demons and tried to kill you! You probably can't file a police report about that! The outside of that cabin is so different from the large inside. Also, what are all these other buildings the demon's essence is traveling through toward Ash's face right at the end? SILLY SHENANIGANS MUSIC THE END.

*I think it was Army of Darkness. There were lots of tiny people.

**All shots are ill-advised. 

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