Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1987), Cert 18.

Director - Sam Raimi.

Writers - Sam Raimi & Scott Spiegel.

Starring - Bruce Campbell, Ted Raimi, Sarah Berry, Kassie DePaiva, Denise Bixler & Richard Domeier.


Premise - The continuing adventures of Ash (Bruce Campbell) as he is still stuck in the old log cabin surrounded by the dreaded 'force'. The plot takes a new twist when some new meat wanders up to the cabin..........

Evil Dead 2 is wrongly considered to be a remake by some. Whilst it's true that the beginning of the movie resembles the plot of the first movie, it is however intentional. Sam Raimi wanted a kind of 'previously on the Evil Dead' recap at the start of the movie, but he couldn't get the original footage from studio New Line.

So he re-shot the whole of the first movie, taking out some characters and condensing it down to a five minute segment. The film begins proper where the last one left off, Ash being hit by the 'force' out front of the cabin in the morning.

If the original Evil Dead was the 'Ultimate Experience in Gruelling Terror', then the sequel is the 'Ultimate Experience in Gruelling Laughter'. The sequel is far more inclined towards the comedy end of the scale than trying to scare you witless.

Director Raimi uses almost every trick in the directors handbook to either scare you or make you laugh your socks off. Stop-motion animation, matte shots, forced perspective and many other techniques are all employed to their gore drenched limits. Often with more than a passing nod to The Three Stooges!

Whilst it's clear that a bigger budget than the original was used, the effects still look dated. However, like the original the poor (by today's standards) effects in no way detract from the enjoyment of the film. In-fact I would go as far to say that they improve the film. The ropey effects have more charm in a single frame than dross like 'The Mummy Returns' has in it's entire running time.

Obvious care and affection was poured in to this project. Who cares if you can see wires, the top of the sets and seams in costumes. As bad as some of the effects are the make-up and latex costume for the 'Henrietta' character still hold up today. It's simply a stunning piece of effects work.

Whilst the majority of the cast are forgettable monster fodder, Bruce Campbell builds on his performance from the original film and continues to stamp his name in the cult film bible. By the end of the film Ash has gone from being a whiny, meek character to an ass-kickin, chainsaw wielding, catchphrase spouting hero. It's a great loss to the world of movies that this actor did not break it fully into the big time.

Evil Dead 2 is easily on a par with it's predecessor. A funny, schlock horror film that has more charm than a bucket load of CGI-stuffed summer blockbusters that likely cost about ten times to make.


8/10 for Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn.

Poster Quote - The Ultimate Experience in Gruelling Laughter