The Evil Dead: still scary after all these years

I first saw The Evil Dead when it came out, in 1981-82, round at a friend’s house in London, back when VHS tapes were relatively new and straight-to-video releases even newer. (Aye lad, and you try and tell the young folk today…) At the time, it was the scariest movie I had ever seen. It sent a new benchmark for gore – especially for gore on the cheap. If you’ve ever seen Dusk Till Dawn or, especially, the Blair Witch Project, you have to know that they would never have been what they are without Sam Raimi‘s The Evil Dead leading the way.

What I had forgotten over the years is how damn funny that film is. So my thanks to Sugartown Vintage Boutique in Saugerties for hosting a free screening of the movie last Saturday October 22, as part of the town’s second, hopefully annual Zombie Crawl. The Evil Dead is not for everyone, of course: if you can’t see the funny side of chopping up your zombie-fied girlfriend only to see her body parts twitching uncontrollably, well… you probably haven’t seen The Evil Dead. This shot of a blood-drenched Bruce Campbell, taken from the screening Sugartown, is one of the more age-appropriate images from what is arguably the bloodiest but funniest, most creative and absolutely most frightening horror move of all time.

PS: The 1980 haircuts are pretty cool too.

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December 2020