21 December 2013 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The critic is repulsed by Sam Raimi's controversial 'video nasty' debut and similarly unimpressed by Gremlins

One of the iron laws of the arts is that when censorship is imposed it will crack down on the wrong thing. Video rental outlets have been raided and busted for the alleged offence of stocking The Evil Dead . Having at last sat down to see this contentious opus, I would not defend its right to exist – not because, like Joyce's Ulysses, it is a great work that makes the weightiest prosecutor look a fool, but because it is just too crummy to be concerned about. Putting The Evil Dead under arrest is like bringing down a hat-rack with a rugby tackle.

The Evil Dead fails even to horrify – always a serious drawback in a horror movie. I was able to watch most of it with my eyes open. Admittedly I was looking »

- Clive James

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