A romantic weekend getaway to a remote cabin in the woods. *Sigh* What could possibly go wrong?
Everything! Everything can go wrong! Don’t you people watch horror films?!
Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn is the 1987 follow-up to the cult classic The Evil Dead. Still starring Ash (Bruce Campbell), the film begins when he and his girlfriend, Linda (played this time around by Denise Bixler) arrive at a secluded cabin in the woods to spend some quality time together. When Ash finds a tape recorder in the cabin, sitting inconspicuously next to an aged looking tome, he can’t help but switch it on.
The voice on the recording, belonging to a man who identifies himself as Professor Knowby, tells of the discovery of the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, or the Book of the Dead. The book sitting next to the recorder. He explains that the book contains certain phrases that, when properly recited, seem to reanimate or unleash evil forces. Even after having said this, Professor Knowby then begins to recite from the book.
Something dark and horrible is unleashed as the Professor’s voice carries through the woods. As it careens toward the cabin, a shapeless, formless entity, you find yourself fearing its intentions.
It gets into Linda, infecting her, if you will. And, before long, it’s gotten itself into Ash, as well. There seems as though nothing can be done to put a halt to the evil forces in the woods until Professor Knowby’s daughter, Annie (Sarah Berry) arrives at the cabin with the missing pages from the Necronomicon. She convinces Ash that these pages may contain the incantations to send the evil back to where it came from.
All does not go according to plan. The incantations, while managing to suck up the bad juju in the woods, also seems to create a wormhole into which Ash is sucked and transported back in time to the 1300s (this is where Army of Darkness picks up).
Evil Dead II – Dead by Dawn is more than just a sequel to its predecessor, The Evil Dead. In many ways, it seems to be the version many people remember when the phrase “Evil Dead”, Bruce Campbell (who stars as the indomitable Ash) or director Sam Raimi is mentioned in conversation. This is because, Evil Dead II, has the feel of being more of a remake than a sequel. Let’s put that feeling to rest now because there is evidence that indicates this just isn’t the case. Having unsuccessfully attempted to obtain the rights to the original footage from The Evil Dead, which would have been used as a way to get the audience up to speed in the opening sequences of the sequel, Raimi opted to reshoot the elements needed.
Utilizing nearly every cinematic trick in the book, we can thank the effects crew of Evil Dead II for some amazing, completely memorable moments. Shot in 1985, the crew consisted of a few very talented (and imaginative) folks whose names you may recognize today, including Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead). Greg Nicotero! They gave us dismembered yet completely animated limbs, a rainbow of differently colored blood (yellow, black, pink, green), Evil Ed, Evil Henrietta (played by Ted Raimi in a latex suit), severed heads in vices, dancing corpses, flying eyeballs.
It is a buffet of awesome.
Hell, even film critic Roger Ebert enjoyed the film, giving it 3 out of 4 stars, saying this: “if you’ve seen a lot of other movies and have a sense of humor, you might have a great time at “Evil Dead 2.” I did–”
Filmed over 25 years ago, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn enjoys an enviable cult status. Director Sam Raimi has gone on to work on some incredibly high-profile mainstream projects (Spider-Man triology) including some personal favorites like The Quick and the Dead and Army of Darkness. His unique, and instantly recognizable directorial style make Raimi’s films enjoyable and interesting to watch, viewing after viewing, year after year.
The official source for all things Evil and Dead: Deadites Online
Wiki facts: Evil Dead II
Rotten or Fresh: 86%
How did Evil Dead II do the box office?
Check out the Evil Dead Las Vegas musical. I did, and it was GROOVY!
Watch or Buy Evil Dead II on Amazon
Get your own Necronomicon – just don’t read it out loud!
Need a miniature Ash to call your own?