Sunday, October 14, 2012
Making Monsters #13: The Evil Dead
This is especially true in the movie's showstopping finale, when Ash (Campbell) manages to destroy the demon-summoning Necronomicon and the ghouls inhabiting his friends' bodies quickly turn into a sticky pile of decaying flesh, guts, snakes and fluids of every color. The sequence is clearly accomplished with stop-motion animation and is about as photo-real as a California Raisins commercial, but that's completely beside the point. Raimi and Sullivan are so totally committed to going for the gross-out and bringing this disgusting tableaux to life that the sequence works brilliantly on the level of B-movie showmanship (keep in mind that a movie that leans heavily on Claymation was effective enough to be labelled a Video Nasty in the UK and banned for many years). As with all of Raimi's best subsequent work, it goes sublimely over the top. And the best thing about Raimi, as a filmmaker, is that even as he's become more respectable and works with budgets about five hundred times the size of The Evil Dead's, he's never lost his mischievous love of putting on a good show.