Search this blog and The Mike's favorite blogs!

October 18, 2012

The Mike's Top 50 Horror Movies Countdown: #7 - The Evil Dead

Previously on the Countdown: Number 50 - Happy Birthday to Me  Number 49 - Prince of Darkness  Number 48 - House on Haunted Hill  Number 47 - The Monster Squad  Number 46 - Hellraiser  Number 45 - The Fog  Number 44 - Creature From the Black Lagoon  Number 43 - Zombie  Number 42 - Tales from the Crypt  Number 41 - Bubba Ho-Tep  Number 40 - Phantom of the Paradise  Number 39 - Dog Soldiers Number 38 - Pontypool  Number 37 - Dark Water  Number 36 - Army of Darkness Number 35 - The Legend of Hell House  Number 34 - Poltergeist  Number 33 - The Abominable Dr. Phibes  Number 32 - The Phantom of the Opera  Number 31 - The House of the Devil   Number 30 - Evil Dead II  Number 29 - Dead of Night  Number 28 - Carnival of Souls  Number 27 - Nosferatu  Number 26 - Candyman  Number 25 - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre  Number 24 - Horror of Dracula  Number 23 - The Wicker Man  Number 22 - Suspiria  Number 21 - The Omen  Number 20 - Spider Baby or, The Maddest Story Ever Told  Number 19 - Rosemary's Baby  Number 18 - The Devil Rides Out  Number 17 - The Blob  Number 16 - Gremlins  Number 15 - Targets  Number 14 - Fright Night   Number 13 - Frankenstein  Number 12 - Alien  Number 11 - The Shining  Number 10 - An American Werewolf in London  Number 9 - The Thing  Number 8 - Dawn of the Dead
The Evil Dead
(1981, Dir. by Sam Raimi.)
Why It's Here:
I don't know man. I'm really second guessing myself at this point in the list.  Maybe this is too high on the list for The Evil Dead.  But it might be too low too.

If the competition is dealing with inventiveness and ingenuity, then The Evil Dead would probably be in a class of its own.  Aside from its sequels, there just aren't a lot of films out there like it. Some might say it's just a splatter flick, but I dare them to name a movie that splatters like The Evil Dead does.  We've got glop of all colors and consistencies spraying from all over the place, we've got pencil stabbing, and - yes - we've got tree rape.  The whole thing is just so ridiculous, yet at the same time it manages to be incredibly tense and quite unsettling.  And that's pretty awesome.

The Moment That Changes Everything:
I simply can not talk about The Evil Dead without mentioning tree rape.  And I'm a dude. A fat one. I'm 99% less likely to be raped than anyone else (outside of a prison). And it still creeps me out to the max.  If there was ever a moment when a horror movie literally stuck it to the audience, this might be it.

It Makes a Great Double Feature With:
There aren't a lot of movies like Evil Dead out there, but fans of do-it-yourself horror and practical special effects should jump backwards in horror history and find Equinox, a low budget monster film from 1970 that has since been restored by the Criterion Collection.  It lacks the shock value and tension of Evil Dead, but the theme and the method behind the film are surprisingly similar and there's fun to be had there.  (Bonus pick from the low-budget and fun genre - Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except.  Raimi co-stars in friend Josh Becker's backwoods cult picture, which is ridiculous and fun in all the wrong ways.)

What It Means To Me:
When I dug up The Evil Dead as a teenager, I was promptly told I was doing it wrong.  It was the '90s, after all, and Army of Darkness was how the cool kids knew Ashley J. Williams.  Now I love Army of Darkness as much as the next guy - the poster's on the wall in front of me and the movie's already been talked about on this list - but I kind of feel bad for anyone who worked their way to The Evil Dead in reverse.  I wasn't ready for what I saw when this movie came to me, which left it as one of the most new and thought provoking movies I've ever seen. If you're like me, your first time with The Evil Dead is one of the most memorable movie events of your life.


Chris Hewson said...

Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except is so fun!-"I'm Jesus Christ!"-"No, you're not, you're DEAD!"

Kev D. said...

When I saw you had '2' at number 30, I wasn't sure if this would make the list, and if so, where. Glad it did. Great pick. Definitely deserves to be in anyone's horror top ten.

Keep 'em coming!