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Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
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Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)

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Plot Summary:
"Trapped in a lonely cabin, a couple fight off ferocious hordes of the spirits of the dead. Can be looked at as a sequel to the cult classic 83 zombie movie The Evil Dead, or a bigger budget remake. Either way a hysterical and controversial horror."

Review by
Steven Davies
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Review Date: 31 July 2003 My Rating: out of 5


Deep in the woods in a lonely cabin sits our hero Ash. Forced to fight against the dark forces which surround the cabin - who will survive the sequel to the ultimate experience in grueling terror!!? Yes its the Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn. And wow!, what can you say about a film like this? Several words come to mind - fantastic, amazing, brilliant etc...etc...

As you can already probably tell I am a massive fan of Evil Dead II. Director Sam Raimi exceeds all expectations and makes one of those extremely rare sequels that actually betters the original. I enjoyed the original Evil Dead, don't get me wrong, but this is one of those genre movies that just stands out above the rest.

We begin the film with what seems to be a remade flashback version of the first movie (done due to denied rights apparently) and from then on we are treated to amazing make-up effects, prosthetics, camera trickery, stop-motion animation, giggling lamps and a multitude of various coloured liquids.

What makes this film so good is the direction and the editing of the overall picture. After watching the special behind the scenes features on the DVD it was just fascinating seeing how many different and unique filming techniques were used to get some of those brilliantly executed visuals. The combination of make-up effects, prosthetics and stop-motion animation was used impecibally.

The movie has a great look about it. It has a very cinematic quality. The colours are vibrant, the scene lighting is excellent and it just gives off that really special photographic feel to the picture.

Of course the performances from the great cast of characters just adds to the enjoyment. Bruce Campbell is just great to watch in this picture and especially as scene after scene he seems to be getting thrashed about all over the place. A memorable scene where Ash's hand becomes possessed and starts smashing plates over his own head, punching himself round the room and finishing on with a first class flip. It was great to see such a unique way of handling this situation without using any of the usual cliches but instead using slapstick to portray it. Of course many scenes like this influenced by Sam Raimi's love for The Three Stooges.

Some of the effects to look at today, especially some of the blue screen shots and in particular the stop-motion animation, does look a tad dated but still holds up on the believability scale. And along with the rest of the movie most definitely can stand the test of time.

Now if only Sam could get back helming small budget shockers like this and for the love of God bring back Ash!

An amazing genre movie from start to finish. Very unique in its delivery and you'd be very hard pushed to find anything else quite like it. Great ideas played out, nice and original effects all round and excellent comedic moments throughout. A thoroughly enjoyable movie to watch any time, any place. Highly recommended!

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