Every now and then I go through a phase where I try to catch up on films that rate as must-watch films for any film fanatic. I hate having to admit to not having seen a film if I know everyone and their mother has already seen it. Most of the time when I do this, I pick a film that I will never watch again. Like what you ask? Deliverance for one. Apocalypse Now for another. I watched both of those because “as a film fan” I should have already seen them. Both were one and done for me. With some spare time this past weekend, I figured I’d knock another one off the list.
The latest film that I can cross of my classic-film-every-film-fan-should-see cinematic check list is The Evil Dead. Dude. I know. You don’t even have to say it. This was just one I never got around to. It wasn’t even really on my radar. If it’s any consolation, I did see Army of Darkness in the theater. And I hated it. BUT….I had no clue it was part of a trilogy at the time. I never saw the first two so how could I even grasp what the heck was going on.
Well luckily for my credibility as a fan of film and as someone who toils with writing about them, I can say that yes, I have seen The Evil Dead. Taking the film for what it was, an early 80′s horror film, it was great and I got a big kick out of watching it.
I will admit however, and I know I’ll be chastised for this, I always associated this film with zombies. I didn’t realize it was demons Ash was dealing with until I actually started watching it. I was set straight however with that handy little book that was covered in human flesh.
Bruce Campbell is just rad no matter which way you slice it. I love him. He makes me laugh and it was so funny to see him so crazy young in this film. Was the acting Oscar worthy? No. But really that’s part of the charm. I’ll give Sam Raimi kudos though because he can do horror. I loved the scary forest, and the zoom through the tree shots. I loved the focus on the eyes and the copious amounts of blood that sprayed everywhere. All over the actors, all over the lens, it was divine.
I always appreciate a good film that also delivers a good lesson. It’s important that the audience learn something from the films they watch. For instance, I’ve learned that if I’m on an alien infested planet, the only way to eradicate them is to take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. I know that if I’m headed out to the open ocean, chances are good I’m going to need a bigger boat. I know that no matter what kind of pickle my starship is in, I’m eventually going to have to eject the warp core and possibly detonate the nacelles. I have also learned that chances are very good that whatever it may be, it’s a trap. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to get into the lessons I’ve learned from other films. Instead I want to talk about what I learned from the incredibly educational The Evil Dead. Here’s my list:
-While planning a remote cabin-in-the-woods get-away with friends, make sure to vet the area first. Do some research. I realize it wasn’t as easy for Ash & Co. considering there was no internet back then, but times are different now. Google it. Better yet, Google Map it and try and get a street view so you can see what you’re getting into.
-If, on the drive to the remote cabin you have to cross a scary looking bridge with a sign that says “Cross at your own risk” don’t do it. Enough said.
-If while exploring creepy cabin, you come across a book that appears to be covered in a fleshy material, take your leave. Post haste.
-If your douche bag friend refuses to leave, then leave him there. His days are numbered anyway and really, that guy was a jerk and not a good friend to begin with. Don’t let him drag you down too.
-If you find that your girlfriend/boyfriend becomes possessed and turns all demon-like, but then miraculously turns back into their former selves. Don’t trust it…..it’s a trap. (See? A lesson learned from multiple films)
-Never ever ever never run out into the creepy forest in just a nightshirt and robe. At least take a machete so you can hack at the vines that will eventually try to violate you.
-When instructions tell you that complete dismemberment is the only way to kill the possessed, it means complete dismemberment. Cutting off just the hand isn’t going to do anything. Yes it’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. If you’re still amongst the living, that someone is you.
-Bring a change of clothes. (see previous)
-It’s probably a good idea to wear a sturdy well-made boot. Preferably something that covers the ankles and possibly has little Kevlar inserts around the ankle. This is to ensure that crazy demon possessed ex-friends will not jab a pencil into your ankle. It’ll also help protect the Achilles tendon. Even strained your Achilles? It hurts. Now imagine it getting stabbed or sliced.
-If you find a weapon, grab it and don’t put it down anywhere. Ever. Also, don’t be afraid to use it. Yeah I know that person was your bestie at one time, but not anymore. Sack up and take care of business.
-If you can manage to hold out until dawn, chances are good you’ll live. But keep in mind you’ll probably have to go through the whole ordeal again for the sequel.
Remember when you were growing up and your parents always said that too much TV will rot your brain? Will I beg to differ. These are important life lessons. Having learned them from film and TV I’m pretty confident that they’re fool-proof. I’ll be glad that when the day comes where I survive demons, or an alien attack or the zombie apocalypse I’ll be able to prove to my folks that my brain did not, in fact rot out of my head. I know possess some serious survival skills. See? Films are not only for entertainment….they’re educational too.Tags: alien invasion, Bruce Campbell, educational films, Sam Raimi, survival tips, The Evil Dead, zombie apocalypse