Evil Dead II (1987) Poster



Stephen King was such a huge fan of The Evil Dead (1981) that he convinced producer Dino De Laurentiis over dinner (who was producing King's Maximum Overdrive (1986) at the time) to have his production company DEG (De Laurentiis Entertainment Group) finance Evil Dead II.
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During the scene where the severed head of Linda bites Ash's hand, Bruce Campbell says the single line "work shed". This line was later re-dubbed in post-production due to the quality of the audio, giving it a strange, slightly "disproportionate" sound to the audio. Nine years later, while filming his cameo in Escape from L.A. (1996), the first thing Kurt Russell said to Bruce Campbell on the set was, jokingly, "Say 'work shed'".
Often considered to be a remake of The Evil Dead (1981); however, this is not accurate. The rights to show scenes from the original could not be obtained to re-cap what happened, so the beginning was remade to explain how Ash got to the cabin, etc.
The recap of The Evil Dead (1981) includes a shot where the "evil force" runs through the cabin and rams into Ash. When this shot was filmed, Bruce Campbell suffered a broken jaw when Sam Raimi (who was operating the camera) crashed into him with a bicycle - or so people were led to believe. This was a story concocted by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell as a gag to see how many people would believe it actually happened.
Most of the film was shot on a set built inside the gymnasium of the JR Faison Junior High School in Wadesboro, North Carolina.
Ash's chainsaw appears to switch hands in one scene. This is because Sam Raimi decided Ash should walk the opposite way across the room in that scene, so he flipped the negative.
Sam Raimi credits Stephen King for making the sequel (as well as the popularity of the original) possible. Raimi couldn't acquire enough money to fund the film so Stephen King made a few calls (since he was a huge fan of the original) and convinced financiers to give Raimi the money he needed for the sequel.
The producers insisted upon using different colors of blood to avoid an X rating. This proved futile, as the MPAA gave the film an X anyway. The film was ultimately released unrated.
Many scenes were deleted from the movie and according to official reports, all of them and original version of the movie are lost. Some of these scenes are;
  • Henrietta is in her rocking chair while the professor reads the incantations when she rocks into the light revealing her demonic eyes
  • Linda's severed head throws up black bile on Ash when it's trapped in the vice (which is why black slime suddenly appears around her mouth in the final scene)
  • Linda's severed head puts its long snake-like tongue into Ash's mouth when he's sitting in the rocking chair
  • alternate longer take of the "blood flood" with green and yellow blood
  • after hitting the possessed Ed with the ax the scene continues as a "half-headed" Ed runs after them and eventually is chopped to pieces and body parts flop on the floor
  • possessed Ash eating a squirrel as he runs after Annie
  • Ash's demonic face morphing into normal after he takes his dead girlfriend's necklace...
Fans of the movie did manage to find very rare 36 minutes long workprint which only has very early versions of opening and ending scenes with only few extra shots, and old rare TV version of the movie with many alternate and extended scenes but unfortunately even this version doesn't includes all the famous deleted scenes.
The sexy, surly Bobby Joe was inspired by Holly Hunter, who was a housemate of Sam Raimi's in the early 80s, along with Joel Coen and Frances McDormand. One particular incident inspired the character: Hunter was auditioning for a hooker part and was unusually made-up and wearing a sexy, short-skirted outfit. She became angry at Raimi when he somewhat leered at her. Raimi pulled for Hunter to play the part, but the producers wanted someone "sexier".
The smoke that comes from the chainsaw is actually tobacco smoke. Sam Raimi rigged tubing to the back of the chainsaw, hid off-camera and blew cigarette smoke through the tube to create the effect.
In a visual pun, one of the books on the can that traps Ash's possessed hand is Ernest Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms".
Bruce Campbell's favorite film of the trilogy ('The Evil Dead', 'Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn', and 'Army of Darkness') is 'Evil Dead 2:Dead by Dawn'.
The rat seen on the stairs over Bruce Campbell's shoulder while he's locked in the cellar was nicknamed "Señor Cojones" by the crew.
The zombified Henrietta was actually played by Sam Raimi's little brother, Ted Raimi. He was forced to wear an extremely heavy full-body latex suit. With the addition of eye lenses and fake teeth, the only body part of Ted's the audience can see is his tongue when his mouth is open. The shooting location of Wadesboro, North Carolina was going through a heatwave at the time, and a combination of this and the cumbersome suit made the production extremely difficult for Ted Raimi. He would quickly become overheated and profusely sweat in the suit. The special effects team would have to pour the liters of sweat out of the suit into Styrofoam cups at the end of the shoot every day. In the climax of the film, the sweat can be seen pouring out of Henrietta's ear when she's flying through the air attacking Annie. Viewers can see it at the bottom of the screen when she turns to Ash and screams. There's a rumor that the effects team somehow used the collected sweat in a horrendous prank on Ted on his last day in the suit.
Rosebud - the supposed film production company - was not a real institution. Producer Dino De Laurentiis was forbidden to release an unrated movie through his own company so Rosebud was created specially for the purposes of releasing "Evil Dead II".
Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert's original idea for the film's plot had Ash held captive in the cabin by a group of escaped convicts searching for buried treasure. Bobby Joe's death was originally planned for a man and would have been much more violent with him being split in half by a tree.
The actors were completely blind when they had to wear opaque contact lenses when they were playing possessed versions of their characters. The only way they knew how and where to move was through rigorous rehearsals.
Sam Raimi's original idea for the sequel was to toss the character of Ash through a time portal to the Middle Ages. This ultimately became the plot to Army of Darkness (1992), the third Evil Dead film.
The tape recorder was one of the few holdovers from the original film.
The eyeball swallowing shot was actually filmed in reverse.
The large demonic head Ash battles in the climax of the film, which the crew nicknamed the "rotten applehead", was too large and cumbersome for the crew to carry back to California, so it was left in North Carolina and soon disappeared. Its whereabouts were unknown for a number of years until it was found in a Halloween haunted house attraction just outside the original shooting location of Wadesboro, North Carolina.
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The failure of Crimewave (1985), Sam Raimi's follow-up to The Evil Dead (1981) prompted him to return to his original franchise.
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When Ash was driving away from the force in the beginning after driving to the bridge and seeing it had been destroyed, the branches that hit Bruce in the face were controlled by Sam.
Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel wrote the screenplay during the production of Crimewave (1985).
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Ranked #19 in Entertainment Weekly's "Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time."
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Shot in the small North Carolina town of Wadesboro which had seen a much larger film unit two years earlier when Steven Spielberg shot The Color Purple (1985) there.
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Film debut of Kassie Wesley DePaiva.
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The dagger is another one of the many weapons from the first movie that returned here.
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The film is a sequel, as spelled out precisely in the end credits: "Evil Dead II, the sequel to the ultimate experience in grueling terror, was filmed in Wadesboro, North Carolina and Detroit, U.S.A."
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About 8 minutes in the movie, there is a scene where Ash is flying backwards, hits a tree, and falls face down into a puddle of water. Just as Ash rises up and possessed, in the background over his right shoulder, a dark horned figure can be seen moving toward Ash. This is the only scene in the movie where such a creature appears.
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Director Cameo 

Sam Raimi: the first Medieval knight to raise his sword and give his speech before hailing to Ash.

Director Trademark 

Sam Raimi: [chainsaw] Ash's weapon of choice is a chainsaw throughout the movie.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

A glove belonging to the A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Freddy Krueger character can be seen hanging above the door of the tool shed when Ash carves his girlfriends head with a chainsaw and when he's looking for the pages in the later cellar scenes. This was in response to the use of The Evil Dead (1981) on a television screen in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
Further evidence that this is a sequel rather than a remake - the original screen play called for footage from the original movie with a narrative recapping the story so far. However, rights to the footage could not be maintained so any my thing of relevance to the second story was remade into the opening 10 minutes. Evil dead 2 officially starts where the evil force possesses Ash for the first time, being the point at which the original movie ended on its cliff hang.

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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