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Michi
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Michi Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:25 pm

Evil Dead 2
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Our hero Ash is forced to spend yet another night at the demon infested cabin from hell. Four unsuspecting visitors show up, including two yokel locals, and the daughter of the archeologist who found the accursed demon book and brought it to the cabin in the first place. Ash knows he is going to need her help if he wants to lock away the evil.

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Bonus points will be given to those who can pick who dies first.

The beginning of Evil Dead 2 starts with a brief recap of the first film and about the book and the demons it spawns when you read from it. In these first few minutes, several key things become apparent. The first, is that the budget for the sequel has clearly gone up. The sequel in no longer languishing in ‘indie love project’ territory. The overlays and green screens show it’s got a bit more money behind it. There are no more odd looking moon sequences, the quality of the stop-motion has gone up and, I’m not sure how, but I think they even increased their goo and blood allotment. Pretty impressive for something that was still cheaply made.

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When they were making the first movie, they could have only dreamed of a giant tree monster.

The second thing you notice is that some terminology has been more firmly established. The evil book of the dead is now consistently referred to the Necronomicon and the demons are now solidified as Deadites. Both terms will remain consistent from this point forward.

The last thing you’ll notice is that though this is billed as sequel, some major plot points from the first film have been drastically altered. Namely Shelly, Cheryl and Scotty have all been ret coned out of existence. This means that all the actions revolving around them from the last film are also moot. Anything Ash learned about from the first film, such as finding that the bridge is out when he went to take Cheryl back to town, never happened. So we get to re-live those moments over again in altered incarnations in Evil Dead 2.

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Wait, didn’t I already kill you six years ago? And didn’t you have a different face?

This causes some confusion over whether or not Evil Dead 2 is a sequel or a reboot. I wouldn’t argue too much with someone who was firmly fixed in the reboot camp. However, the film does make it clear that the events of Evil Dead 2 occur during the second night that Ash is forced to spend at the cabin, with the initial flashback including altered and updated shots of some of the moments involving Ash and Linda from the first film. Where on the spectrum between sequel and reboot you choose to sit is up to you.

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Sequel? Reboot? I’m the guy with the gun.

Compared to the first film, Evil Dead 2 has a pretty drastic change in tone. Where the first film was three parts horror and one part comedy, its sequel fully flips those proportions. Where the scenarios of the first film toe the line between horror and comedy due to how over the top some of the situations are, Evil Dead 2 takes a flying leap over that line, face plants on the other side and rolls around frantically in a puddle of blood while laughing manically. It’s moved almost completely away from horror and turned into essentially a self parody of itself, if not about horror movies in general. It’s a drastic change, to be sure, but the film manages to pull it off without coming across as too awkward. Instead we end up with a fun romp filled with monsters, talking deer heads and buckets of blood. It’s good times

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Well, good times for the deer, anyway. The hand maybe not so much.

Evil Dead 2 is a bloody and disgusting good time. The movie is so over the top that it manages to be funny even with all the horrific events unfolding around it. It’s occasionally disturbing and oftentimes so wacky that you’ll feel like you’re watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon. This is the movie that cemented Bruce Campbell’s reputation an and A-list, B-movie star. When the film’s focus is planted solely on him, and he’s able to just run around and do his own thing, that’s when the film shines the brightest. It’s only when the rest of the cast shows up that the film shifts a bit back to horror and then to action and we’re introduced to the true badass Ash most of us have become familiar with. It might not be as funny as its sequel, but it should still manage to put a smile on most horror fans faces. It’s a strange hour and a half, to be sure, but it’s a good time non the less.

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noiseredux
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by noiseredux Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:29 pm

I've always considered it a straight sequel with the friends glossed over in the retelling because only his girlfriend was important to what was about to continue in the plot. You have a point about the bridge, but for the most part it feels pretty clear that after the first 10 mins of the movie or so, the recap is over and we're on to what happened next (where Ash was the only one of them left).
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Michi Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:45 pm

noiseredux wrote:I've always considered it a straight sequel with the friends glossed over in the retelling because only his girlfriend was important to what was about to continue in the plot. You have a point about the bridge, but for the most part it feels pretty clear that after the first 10 mins of the movie or so, the recap is over and we're on to what happened next (where Ash was the only one of them left).

I think what they were going for is a quick, abridged reboot of the first film in the first few minutes and then a straight-up sequel.

And I say that not just because of the bridge, which I think is a big tip, because why is he so surprised the bridge is out when he saw the same thing a few hours ago? I also think it's also hinted at through the lack of damage to the cellar door. He might not have sawed through it like he did in 2, but it was clearly damaged by the end of the first film, and in 2, it's seen fully intact. That suggests to me that it was never used the night before.

He also never mentions them in Army of Darkness, only bringing up that he went out to the cabin with Linda.

I guess they could have cut them out for simplicities sake, but I find it suspect that they were completely ignored when it's just as easy to say you went out to the cabin with your friends as it is to say you went out with your girlfriend.

The only way to know for sure is to ask Raimi. I wonder if he's said anything about the matter before...
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by noiseredux Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:15 pm

I agree with the cellar door thing. I can't remember for sure now, but I feel like in the show he references being at the cabin with "friends," though. I'm halfway through the season though. You'll have to keep your ear peeled for that detail in the first episode when you get to it. :lol:

Obviously it doesn't really matter, but it is fun to be overly geeky about certain details sometimes.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Ack Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:32 pm

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6. The Ghost Galleon

My experience with the Blind Dead series continues with the third entry in the tetralogy. This time the formula has been changed up so that all the action takes place on a boat full of men who had sympathized and allied with the Knights Templar but had instead been lost on the high seas and now cursed to sate their bloodlust by pulling ships into a pocket universe to feed off their victims one by one. Only this time it's a couple of fashion models they catch in the middle of a publicity stunt out on the ocean. With the girls missing, the owner of the company doing the stunt teams up with his rapey henchman, the immoral head of a modeling agency, a curious professor, and the kidnapped angry roommate of one of the missing models.

If while reading that last line you thought, "Well this sounds stupid," you would be right. The vast majority of characters in this movie are incredibly cringe-worthy. Three of the leads, the executive, his henchman, and the modeling agency lady, are all outright scum. When the concerned roommate tracks them down to find out about her missing friend, they instead lock her up, thinking they can pay her off to keep quiet once they find the missing models. Then the henchman goes so far as to rape her while she is apparently having a seizure. And then there is the professor who constantly makes absurd leaps in logic. He even decided to come on this little shindig to find a haunted ship despite not being able to swim.

Of all of the so-called "heroes," only the concerned roommate is ever anything approaching a decent person. She genuinely cares about her missing friend and reminisces on how she got her into modeling, quietly blaming herself for her disappearance. If there is one character who deserves to get away, it's her. But this isn't that kind of movie. Instead its a nihilistic glimpse of the forces of the past surging forward to conquer the present with no survivors.

In fact it's so willing to make everyone suffer that by far the most interesting and effective scene is the five minute sequence a little over halfway through in which the roommate is drawn into the ship's galley to her death. The dead Templars rise, one claws her throat so deeply he damages her vocal chords, and she slowly tries to crawl away and gasp hoarsely for help before they drag her back down below to dismember and eat her. The only sounds during this sequence are her strangled cries from bleeding lips and the chanting music which accompanies the rise of the dead. Once again the blind dead work in silence, and how they pull her down the stairs as she goes wild-eyed with fear is truly magnificent.

It's a shame the rest of the movie just doesn't live up to this. The ending is another highlight, but most of this film is poorly thought out, and making everyone into human trash certainly doesn't make me empathize with them at all. They cut that right out halfway through the movie with the roommate's death. I blame the script, which feels like someone had to come up with a new way to handle the series but then failed to develop a "why" for it to happen. The result is the weakest of the series so far.

Oh well, I still plan to watch the fourth and finish this whole thing off.

6/31

1. Late Phases
2. Ghoulies
3. Nightbeast
4. Tombs of the Blind Dead
5. Return of the Blind Dead
6. The Ghost Galleon
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I have a movie review website now: https://moviereviewsbyamook.com/
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Michi
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Michi Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:06 pm

noiseredux wrote:I can't remember for sure now, but I feel like in the show he references being at the cabin with "friends," though. I'm halfway through the season though. You'll have to keep your ear peeled for that detail in the first episode when you get to it. :lol:

Willdy-doody.

But first...




Army of Darkness
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Two write-ups in one day! I had some extra free time today, so don't expect this often, folks.

Picking up where the last film left off, Ash finds himself somewhere in the 1300’s, a time plagued with medieval feuds and more damn Deadites than he can shake a boomstick at. Hailed as the prophesied one, the wise man of the castle says that in order to go home and banish the darkness, Ash must quest for the Necronomicon. Ash just wants to go home and couldn’t care less about the plight of some hapless villagers, but with no other choice, he does as he’s asked. Unfortunately, we find out that Ash follows directions poorly and in retrieving the book he accidentally releases an army of the dead upon the poor people who had hoped that he would help them.

Oopsie.

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Honest mistake. You guys can handle this, right?

While the first two installments of the Evil Dead franchise flip-flopped between horror and comedy, Army of Darkness forgoes horror altogether and barrels headfirst towards a straight-up comedy with a bit of action thrown in for good measure. It’s kind of evident that at some point between the first film and Army of Darkness, Raimi must have lost interest in the more horrific elements that the first film focused on. Instead, Raimi has Ash descend into what can only be described as a mix of bad-ass action hero and elaborate slapstick fallboy.

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Groovy

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This right here is a perfect summation of this movie in GIF form.

Once again, the glue of the movie is Campbell’s Ash. After two previous films, it’s clear here that Campbell has become quite comfortable with the role. Ash has now been perfected into a determined, fierce, though not particularly bright hero that, despite some poor decision making, is still someone the audience can root for.

Campbell’s physical skill and timing is put to the test here. In Army of Darkness he’s often forced to work with things that weren’t real or weren’t there and had to be added later in post production.

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Following the pattern of the other films, Army of Darkness seems to have been given another decent sized budget and an increased scale. The prosthetics used here are probably the best they’ve ever been and once again, despite its shift to comedy, the series shows no squeamishness when it comes to blood.

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Though I think they used most of their blood allotment on this one scene.

Unfortunately, the scale of Army of Darkness might have ended up being a little too big. It’s clear that towards the end there were budgeting constraints. Sadly, this mostly effects the films grand finale, the final battle between the army of Deadites and the castle defenders. There are a lot of exploding skeletons at the end and one gets the feeling that there were much grander plans at work here, but they had to be scrapped for monetary reasons. This does not effect every scene at the end, but it is sad feeling that there were grander plans that just couldn’t be pulled off.

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If most of them are going to get blown up, you’ve got to make at least one of them look
really, really good.


Army of Darkness may be my favorite Evil Dead movie, even though it often doesn’t feel like an Evil Dead movie at all. Instead it feels like more of a follow up to Monty Python’s Holy Grail. The horror elements are present, but are presented in such an over the top way that they just come across as gloriously ridiculous. I mean, having a second head growing out of your shoulder should be terrifying. But when said head is constantly trying to poke you in the eye with one of your own hands, it takes the fear factor out of it.

Army of Darkness can best be summed up as a medieval comedy. The fact that it has an army of skeletons and zombies in it feels like more of a footnote than an important aspect of the film. And that’s just fine. It’s not supposed to. Despite some of the terrifying shit going down, you know that the hapless hero will come out in the end, accompanied by some witty, sarcastic remark. And with this series, that’s really all the fans want.

That and a couple dozen gallons of blood.


Now that those three are done, it's on to the remake and then the show.

I am giddy with excitement.

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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Jagosaurus Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:10 pm

My father in law, who aside from reading a few Stephen King novels, has zero interest in horror and thinks it's odd I watch it.

Even he enjoyed the Evil Dead movies! I had no idea until recently. He's a fan of Burn Notice which Bruce Campbell is in also & he asked if I'd ever seen them. We found some common ground there. He was confused on if it was suppose to be funny or scary. I had to explain what "campy" was to him. Either way, surprised the crap out me.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Xeogred Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:19 pm

Man, great screencaps. I think I've only seen those three movies once each and it's been forever. But those practical effects from those screens look amazing.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Nemoide Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:51 pm

So tonight instead of a horror comic, I watched the 1980s made-for-TV movie Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School. In my mind, the real HALLOWEEN SPIRIT has an element of fun and so I'll take one of these cheesy kids-cartoons over a dark-toned gory horror movie as an emblem of the holiday, even though I do love those gory horror movies in general. This one wasn't all that bad but it wasn't all that great.
It starts with Shaggy driving to a girls' school at which he was hired to be the gym teacher, taking along Scooby and Scrappy Doo.
ASIDE: Why did Hanna-Barbera keep using Scrappy Doo? I'm under the impression that NOBODY likes him. Even if audiences liked him at first, I feel like his massive unpopularity would get him removed from the character roster after a year or two of him stinkin' up the show. Oh well, this was one of his final animated appearances.
ANYWAY, the girls' school is really a ghoul's school and all the students are daughters of famous monsters: Frankenstein's monster, Dracula, a werewolf, a mummy, and a ghost. Shaggy has to coach them to victory in a volleyball game against the next door boy's military academy. He does. Then an evil spider-witch captures the girls and makes them evil (actually just makes them clean her castle) until they get saved. It's pretty formulaic!

What this has going for it are some fun character designs along with typical Shaggy & Scooby antics with some puns. There's also a Halloween party scene with the fathers of all the monster-girls and I just can't dislike a party full of monsters!
The negatives are... well it's a Scooby-Doo TV-movie. It's nothing too creative, the humor never goes beyond "kind of amusing," and the animation is maybe a little better than a typical TV episode but not by much.
It's fun enough to watch once for a little nostalgia kick, but I don't see myself ever looking to revisit this one.
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Re: The 2016 October Horror Marathon

by Michi Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:01 pm

Xeogred wrote:Man, great screencaps. I think I've only seen those three movies once each and it's been forever. But those practical effects from those screens look amazing.

The practical effects are where the films shine.

The digital ones...Eh, not so much.

Nemoide wrote:So tonight instead of a horror comic, I watched the 1980s made-for-TV movie Scooby-Doo and the Ghoul School.

I'm more partial to Reluctant Werewolf and Meets the Boo Brothers, myself.

I didn't think some of the newer films were bad either. I haven't seen all of them, because there's, like, *looks* Holy crap! 26 of them. But I did enjoy the first two: Zombie Island and Witch's Ghost. I thought some of the others were hit or miss. I'm going to have to watch a few more of them.
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