Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters.
Ashley Williams travels to a secluded cabin in the woods with his girlfriend Linda where they find a tape recording of a professor and a book of evil. This unleashes a bunch of evil spirits that constantly terrorize Ash. Meanwhile a journalist comes to the area to study the book of evil. Ash and her end up having to survive this swarm of evil until morning comes.
The Sequel to the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror indeed
This is the type of film we really wish we made ourselves before some else thought of it. It's intelligent but not entirely complex ... entirely enjoyable yet a serious piece of film making ... everything adds up to cult status. It's the type of film your uninformed friends (or mine at least, I'm surely surrounded by fools) dismiss as trash without giving it a chance.
Raimi showed us the thrills, chills and blackly tinged laughs he could bring about in the first in the series on a virtually non-existent budget. Here with just that little bit more he retreads old ground but everything still works ... probably more effectively too! Seeing some of props used and slightly off production values (the 'muppet' headless girlfriend in the shed, the demon head stuck to camera attacking Ash towards the end, Ted Raimi's ripped old lady from hell suit and the quickest of glimpses of set floor boards during one stage of shooting) shows how Raimi was still constrained by budget issues.
Seriously though, who cares ... this film has 6 different colours of blood, some seriously funny slap-stick scenes (didn't think I'd say that anytime soon) and a chemistry between lead Campbell and director Raimi that let the jokes flow freely.
Campbell proves himself a master of face contortion, self-harm as well as flipping himself over! So many classic scenes in such a short space of time ... my favourite being when Jake is dragged into the cellar and a torment of pink blood comes pumping out. The camera work is as dynamic and as fast paced as in the first outing, the shot of ash standing by the remains of the bridge at the start of film standing out for its grandness among otherwise less cinematic shots.
The film leads on nicely to the 3rd installment in the series with one-handed Ash getting sucked into another dimension to face the undead in jolly olde England (or something like that). It really is no wonder that the in-store geeks/pop-culture snobs of High Fidelty described Evil Dead II as the greatest movie of all time.
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