The sequel to Sam Raimi's one and only true masterpiece, Evil Dead, comes some 6 years after the original. It's often been said that it's simply a more comical remake of the first, but this isn't the case. The story goes that due to budget constraints and disputes with the film studio, Raimi was unable to secure neither the original cast nor footage from the first film. So the first 10 minutes of the film may seem like it's a remake, but it's really just a quick recap of the first film. Everything after Bruce Campbell's first possession scene is a new story.
But of course, when I say "new story", I'm really saying very similar events with a very similar plot in the exact same location. So - remake or sequel? The debate continues.
What's certainly not debatable is that where Evil Dead was a splattery, gory indie film with zombies, demons and buckets and buckets of blood, the sequel is a bit more tame and a LOT sillier. It's almost fair to say that Evil Dead II is nothing more than an extended episode of The Three Stooges or Tom & Jerry where the actual results of whacking a guy with a shovel or placing someone's head in a vice are shown. It's a funny movie, the highlight being Bruce Campbell's incredibly over-the-top performance (his freak out upon seeing that the bridge is out is fantastic).
Campbell, is in fact, the best thing about the film hands down. The effects are decent, if hokey. The monsters are obviously made of rubber and not made very well at that. But Campbell is consistently working his ass off to entertain and you gotta love the guy for that.
Evil Dead II is in no way as good as the first film (but how could it be?). And, it's really not even as good as Army of Darkness, the third in the series. But it's perfect for a late night showing with some friends, some beers and a lot of laughs. Just don't expect the splatterific genius of the first one.
- Complaint Department