And today’s Halloween pick is the other one of those “save the special ones for Halloween every year” picks. I told you I couldn’t decide between two films, so I was ending the year on two no-brainers. Yesterday I gave you the incomparable classic Night of the Living Dead (1968). Today, I give you the pivotal horror game-changer, The Evil Dead. It felt apropos, since the Starz series, Ash Vs. Evil Dead premieres tonight (so much yes.) Soooooo many horror freaks my age have this movie, and it’s incredible sequel, to thank for steering us in the direction we did. True story, when I was in high school and I heard the tales of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell putting cameras on 2×4’s and big wheels and just running around like idiots making this thing for almost no money, I immediately thought, “I want to do that with my life.” I wanted to make low budget horror movies. Like many of us out here, for better or for worse, we have Sam Raimi to thank for our careers in horror. Ever since that epiphany, I have had an original Evil Dead poster framed next to my writing desk ever since college. It hangs in my office right next to me as I type this. It’s a very important film for me. I was lucky enough to go to an incredible event at Beyondfest this year where I got to see the original Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 projected on the big screen surrounded by a million of my fellow Evil Dead fanatics. The best part was that between the films, both Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi held a Q&A session with Edgar Wright and just talked about the making of the movies for almost 90 minutes. It was my absolute HEAVEN. Heaven, I tell you. Hearing their stories from the trenches only cemented why I’ve had such an obsession with these films from an early age. They were run-and-gun, low-budget, horror movies that relied on unique visuals, aggressive bizarre effects (think Tim Burton-esque, but a LOT more disgusting), and the centerpiece of Bruce Campbell to hold it all together. The story is the tried and true classic. Group of friends go to a cabin in the woods. There they find an ancient book (the Necronomicon!), and some recordings from a scholar, and accidentally release demons that will “swallow your soul!” From there you’ve friends that suddenly want to kill you, possessed grannies in the cellar, and even trees that, um, want to have sexy-time with you. It’s bonkers. Purely bonkers. And amazing. Every frame of The Evil Dead holds your eyes and your imaginations. Whether it’s upside down, zooming around at a frantic speed, spinning around, it’s always alive. And that’s what this film is to me – alive. This is why Sam Raimi is such a genius. He just found a new way of doing things. Everything feels fresh. Everything feels new. And like I said, everything just feels alive. It’s a horror masterpiece for a reason. If you want to see one film that truly feels alive in every sense of the word, watch The Evil Dead and realize why so many of us hold it in such a high regard.
That should do it for 2015’s October Horror Movie Recommendations. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Although remember, horror isn’t just for October. It’s there all year round.
And now, as per typical, I will sleep until Thanksgiving. Farewell all.