Raise your hand if you saw the new Evil Dead movie. Now raise your hand if you thought it was cheesy. If your hand is up, you, my friend, did not see the original. You have not seen cheese until you see the original. Now put your hand down, I can’t even see you.
I recently saw the new Evil Dead in theaters and took it upon myself to watch the original afterwards to see what spawned this gore-iffic cheese-licious possession movie. I had a feeling the original would be a pretty heinous film, based on the fact that when I saw the new one in theaters, I lost my armrest to a 40-something woman in combat boots that must have bathed in beer before coming to the theater.
In fact, most of the audience was quirky 40-somethings, I’m pretty sure they all owned the collectors edition of the original movie and had action figures in mint condition, and hell, probably multiple t-shirts. Seriously, they were diehard fans. You should have heard the hullabaloo they made when the title screen came on. When an ‘80s film has such an enthusiastic middle-aged fan base and is described as a cult classic on Netflix, you know you’re in for a treat.
The new Evil Dead definitely had some misplaced jarring noises and a few dramatic limb dismemberments, but nothing compares to the ‘80s possession makeup and full pit orchestra they hired for the soundtrack. Seriously, great violin work; it set the whole ambiance. The reason ‘80s horror movies are always being remade is because the graphics and make-up suck. Sure, the idea was all right, but compared to horror movies of today, the original Evil Dead is a visual turd. I’m sure when Evil Dead originally came out, it blew some minds. But as a young adult, I cannot appreciate the amount of claymation used to depict a melting disfigured corpse. I want CGI, I want proper anatomy, I want makeup that doesn’t look like it was put on in the dark with mortar and a trowel.
The graphics and makeup in the new Evil Dead are at least realistic; well, as realistic as a possessed coke-head can look. Sure, some things were over the top, but I believed it was raining blood. I believed that girl who died (but was then revived by a car battery) would be able to rip her hand off and saw a zombie in half with a chainsaw. The visuals made me a believer. Not so much in the original.
But enough superficiality, let’s discuss plot and theme, the meat of the movie. After seeing the original Evil Dead, I am convinced that the new one’s prerogative was to teach the audience a lesson. It’s subtle, so I’m going to help point it out: Don’t be an idiot. I know, it’s kind of like, duh. But we take this for granted nowadays. The characters in the original movie were extremely passive. No one read the gibberish chant from the human skin-bound book, it was recited on an anonymous tape. No one was attacked and/or infected with evil from the possessed girl, they just randomly became possessed. The characters in the original film really didn’t do anything. They were kind of lame.
The new movie, on the other hand, was chalk full of characters actively doing stupid things. First of all, the whole reason they’re out in the woods is because the soon-to-be possessed girl is trying to kick her heroin addiction. It’s the brain who cuts through barbed wire to read the incantations from the book. The coke-head is jonesing and trying to run away when she gets possessed, but ends up crashing the car into a swamp.
Let’s slow down here though, and take a moment to discuss the possession scene in both movies. The soon-to-be possessed girls in both movies get wrapped up in vines and cannot escape. Then, suddenly, an evil-possessed vine rapes the poor girl. It just slithers right past her conveniently spread legs and into the vagina it goes. And boom, possessed. This happens in both movies, and during both viewings, I’m sitting there dumbstruck. Mother nature is a rapist. And I must say, the “quality” ‘80s acting really comes through in the original. I think the girl low-key liked being impaled with the viney branch penis of evil. The screams and moans sure seemed to indicate it, at least. Like, really. Someone should have told her to dial down the fake orgasm just a tad.
One final thing about the two movies: Why does the new movie take it upon itself to make the feminist move and have a girl finally defeat the evil? Sorry, it’s not a girl. Let me be more specific. It is the formerly possessed girl who is killed and then brought back to life unpossessed who ultimately defeats evil. The original movie makes sure to thoroughly kill off all females and make them as useless as tits on a bull. The possessed girl in the original melts into a claymation soup of human and spurts what can only be assumed as the devil’s pus out all orifices. There isn’t even the slightest interpretation that she could ever be the heroine. No, the writers of the new movie took it entirely upon themselves to give the film a kiss of feminism.