Trent: It’s Ash-kicking time! Actually, 2013’s “Evil Dead” doesn’t show Bruce Campbell’s Deadite-Destroying Ash Williams until the very last moment, (when he shows up to promote “Ash Vs. The Evil Dead,” I guess). That’s fine: a chainsaw still makes its expected appearance, although not when / how you think. Oh, is that a spoiler? This has been out for years! Here’s more spoiling: This remake of Sam Raimi’s classic “Evil Dead” is directed by Uruguayan filmmaker Fede Alvarez (“Don’t Breathe”), and it contains everything fans need an “Evil Dead” remake to contain. We’ve got dumb peeps staying in a cabin in the woods; rapey tree branches; the flesh-bound Book of the Dead; that chick from “The Exorcist” in the basement; and a Mack truck’s worth of fake puke.
So! Twitchy Mia (Jane Levy, “Suburgatory”) is trying to quit her addiction to some groovy, unspecified crap, and so she retires to a smack-free shack for some cold-turkeying. Keeping her company are: the world’s most clueless nurse, (Jessica Lucas); a nerd who “teaches high school” and so has to wear glasses (Lou Taylor Pucci); Mia’s supportive brother (Shiloh Fernandez); and some other chick (Elizabeth Blackmore), who… is blonde? I can’t think of any character trait for her. Let’s be honest: who cares about this crew? They are bags of blood waiting to explode. Which they do. And when they do, it is awesome. This is top-notch gore!
Grandpa Felicius: …And bottom-shelf acting, highlighted by the fact that Jane Levy, who’s hardly Vivien Leigh, is four or five tiers above the rest of the cast. The dialogue is so inane that one can only thank the emaciated demon who destroys these five idiots; it has made the world a smarter place. I understand a literal Devil was involved in trying to rescue this script from its soul-sucking idiocy?
Tracey: Grandpa! The script-doctor was Diablo Cody, the Academy-Award winning screenwriter of “Juno,” “Jennifer’s Body,” and “Young Adult”!
Grandpa Felicius: Well, that makes this twice as terrifying!
Hank: Oh, that Diablo Cody! I bet she’s the fire-spitting wit who named the characters David, Eric, Mia, Olivia and Natalie. D-E-M-O-N! What does that spell, Trent?
Trent: Dee… Dee Dee Ramone?
Tracey: Well, I enjoyed the silliness of it.
Beatricia: I despised the silliness of it. How would Abdul Alhazred’s “Necronomicon,” a.k.a. “Al Azif,” make its way to a random woodsy cabin? The book is awfully scarce, and the copies held by Harvard University, the Universidad de Buenos Aires, the British Museum, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, and Miskatonic University of Massachusetts are all safe in their shelves, last I checked. Sure, the Greek translation that was owned by painter Richard Upton Pickman vanished in Boston in 1926, along with its unfortunate proprietor, so THAT copy may have surfaced SOMEWHERE, but its appearance in “Evil Dead” strains credulity.
Hank: Actually, babe, you’re wrong. I believe this particular tome is supposed to be the Naturom Demonto, not the Necronomicon.
Beatricia: Thanks for correcting me, Hanky. I believe this particular night you will be sleeping in the couch, not in the bed.
Cousin Franz: There’s something to alarm the intellect in the remake of a movie that was ALREADY REMADE, with an added dollop of humor, as the superior “Evil Dead 2.” Not that this self-cannibalizing is a recent Hollywoodian practice: Cecil B. De Mille made versions of the offensively titled “Squaw Man” in 1914, 1918, and 1931. Still. In the very near future, after our pitiful cultural landscape has exhausted itself with copies of remakes of prequels to reboots, studios will default into creating Retro-Remakes. The Retro-Remake will try to work itself backwards, undoing whatever technical breakthroughs are au-curant, in order to recreate what was worthwhile about a given original concept. For instance, 2047’s “Evil Dead” will look, sound, and feel completely like 1981’s “Evil Dead,” and will in fact BE 1981’s “Evil Dead,” a fact which will be lost on a naive crowd of newly-sentient robots and their uneducated, leashed human pets.
Blurbarella: “Leashed Human Pets– Soon. Soon.”
3 out of 6 Cherries