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Evil Dead (2013) 
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Burning Godzilla
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TO THREAD READERS - I THOUGHT MAYBE THERE WAS FODDER IN THE NEW EVIL DEAD FOR DISCUSSION. SO BE WARNED THAT THIS IS A REVIEW THREAD ABSOLUTELY RIFE WITH SPOILERS THAT WILL RUIN YOUR FIRST TIME VIEWING EXPERIENCE. THE GENERAL SENSE IS THAT THERE IS MUCH TO ADMIRE ABOUT THIS MOVIE AND THE RECCOMENDATION IS FAVORABLE. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE REMAKE OF EVIL DEAD, READ FURTHER AT YOUR OWN PERIL, BECAUSE THE MOVIE DOES GOTS GOOD SURPRISES. oh yeah, and sit through all the end credits.


Juniejune wrote:
Evil Dead- I actually liked it a lot. So what if you don't get attached to the characters? They're all set up to get maimed and massacred, and I had fun watching them get sliced up like Deli meat.

SPOILER ... and there is an Ash in the film! Admittedly, it's kind of stupid how she gets brought back to life without a scratch on her body with a homemade defibrillator!!! I suppose you're suppose to root for her, that this is her story and maybe it's symbolic of getting to a clean state of living. Maybe. Who cares? The characters aren't any more unlikable than some of the characters from 80s slasher films that still hold up.

I normally hate rape scenes in movies. I won't even watch Irreversible. Likewise I hated the rape scene in the original film. This time around, it was inventive and uber-creepy! I especially liked the girl's doppelganger coming out of the mud. That made me jump! Everything that can be used as a weapon gets used.

The final demon of the film is a bit of a let down. They were obviously trying to steal the character from the ring. Even after this stuff was made fun of in Cabin in the Woods. But it was a fun film. I think because they were trying to be serious with campy material made it even more funny than if they tried to be humorous. I love the scene where the girl throws up EVERY DROP OF BLOOD IN HER BODY, but then they are worried that she might injury herself in the basement!
Good stuff!


I did too, actually. The thing about the first Evil Dead and this one is that the gore and violence are SO over the top, it's ridiculous. I found myself chuckling as the violence really started to ramp up.

As remakes go, this was a very good and worthy update to the original. It kept the elements that I wanted to see from an Evil Dead movie, even the times when this new director was put into the awkward position of having to mimic Sam Raimi's style (which is so distinctive, it's probably trademarked.) But I think he did it well and in a fashion that was truly a respectful homage to the original rather than an attempt to mimic it.

And I really agree with you, Junie, about the alteration to the notorious rape scene in the first movie. It is still a violation, but unlike the first movie, I got less of a sense of "rape" than I did get of the girl becoming infected or invaded by a parasitic host. IE, a horror trope, not a rape trope. I saw this movie with my hostdaughter, and she commented that she was horrified but did not perceive it as a "sexual" thing, which I found to be an interesting observation. Granted that is the insight of just one teenager, but I get a sense, Junie, that the scene was not nearly as offensive to you in the new movie as it was in the original.

I have to admit, I kept waiting for someone to say "groovy." though it was a wise decision to leave that behind. But thank you to Sam and Bruce for having it appear at the end of the credits anyway.

SPOILERS:

I still can see where K is coming from though. There should have been room for me to have a stronger rooting interest in at least one of the characters, but I think the script made a major misstep. I liked that the script divided up memorable elements of the Ash character and distributing them to almost all the cast. But I really think Mia should have been the central heroine rather than going from being a deadite to being Ash.

First, through two-thirds of the movie I had come to accept her as being one of the deadite villainesses, so when her brother goes through the buried alive ritual, I did not buy it. I kept expecting Mia to return to being a deadite. I thought when the house exploded, we might have gotten something like the movie prologue where the normal looking girl becomes the deadite again. (That prologue did come off to me like foreshadowing.)

And, if I might indulge a bit more in criticisms from the peanut gallery, the fact that she is fighting a heroin addiction could have provided a neat way for her to disbelieve early on some of the awful things going on in the cabin - doubting her own senses as maybe the nurse or the girlfriend becomes the first deadite.
(Given the intensity with which I hated the long haired whatsits even before he opened the Evil Book, I think I would have liked the twisted justice of having the ugly parasite invade his body rather than the invasion be a woman.)
But back to Mia, having her be the Ash character throughout, you have the potential of a deeper storyline about Mia being forced to fight for her life. And boy howdy, how the deadites could have attacked her psyche.....

My only other critique is minor. The illustrations in the book foreshadowed what would soon happen on screen and everything did fall into place. There was the blood rain and all that let the dead rise. So why didn't the candle head demon not make an appearence?

I have to admit, that's what I expected was the source of light at the end, rather than the sun.

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Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:45 pm
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From Keichii: EVIL DEAD (2013) - It's easy to admire this remake from a technical aspect. All the gore and violence are done with practical effects, not CG. And believe me, the blood does spill in this film. It's almost surprising this film didn't get slapped with a NC-17 for its violence.

That said, that's really all that stands out about this remake. The characters are dumber than dirt, and not worth caring about in the slightest, there's no "Ash" character who breaks through and becomes someone the audience can get attached to, and the dark humor has been muted to make way for gore, gore, and more gore. It's still there in some respect, but it's definitely not as strong as in Raimi's films.

If you're a gorehound, or have a personal interest in practical gore effects, this movie will work for you. I personally got kind of bored around the time the third face or limb got torn off.

Full review to come.

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Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:47 pm
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Her Berger, is there a scene at the end credits by any chance? I heard that Bruce Campbell appears at the very end. I had to leave before this scene, but he's mentioned on IMDB along with ... Lorenzo Lamas! Damn it, what did I miss?

No, I was not offended by the rape scene here. I suppose you make a point, this was like being infected. I did find the scene where Mia hears the voice and her doppleganger demon pops up from the mud to be pretty freaky. Closest thing to a real scare here I suppose, and the rest of the film is a lot of fun.


Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:44 am
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There's definitely something weird about chuckling while watching people get maimed and brutally killed on a screen.

How far movies have come...I don't mind a movie with violence but when a movie's main aim is to show violent death scenes to entertain the audience...I think we've lost our way. I know you probably won't agree but that's just my opinion. I just think it's a little weird.


Thu May 02, 2013 5:41 pm
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MackyPuncher wrote:
There's definitely something weird about chuckling while watching people get maimed and brutally killed on a screen.


Depends on how it's presented. I laughed at most of the graphic violence in Versus because it was so over the top that there was no possible way to take it seriously. Besides, according to a linguistics teacher of mine, there's a thin line between horror and humor and our brains often resort to the latter in order to deal with the former.

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Thu May 02, 2013 9:07 pm
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MackyPuncher wrote:
There's definitely something weird about chuckling while watching people get maimed and brutally killed on a screen.

How far movies have come...I don't mind a movie with violence but when a movie's main aim is to show violent death scenes to entertain the audience...I think we've lost our way. I know you probably won't agree but that's just my opinion. I just think it's a little weird.


It depends on the skill of the filmmakers. Return of the Living Dead has a cast with a 100% mortality rate by the end of the flick, often in the most horrifying manner possible. But it's also a pitch-dark comedy in which every attempt to address the problem makes it worse, no matter who is trying to fix things or why. If the people making the movie know what they're doing, the film stands a chance of being good. If they don't, it's just a catalog of bad things happening to the human form.

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Fri May 03, 2013 1:23 pm
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MackyPuncher wrote:
There's definitely something weird about chuckling while watching people get maimed and brutally killed on a screen.

How far movies have come...I don't mind a movie with violence but when a movie's main aim is to show violent death scenes to entertain the audience...I think we've lost our way. I know you probably won't agree but that's just my opinion. I just think it's a little weird.


Depends on your ability to discern between reality and cartoons.

I derive no entertainment value from actual scenes of terroristic violence or, for a recent example, watching the actual footage of a cargo plane stalling and crashing to the ground killing everyone inside. But I love the 1970s-era disaster movies - even the bad ones. And most of those exist for the purpose of watching A-list celebrity actors die.

I am fortunate that, like most people, I have a brain that is wired to tell the difference between footage of truly horrifying real world events and depictions of cartoonish violence so ridiculously absurd as to clue me in that they cannot exisit in reality, that they are intended to be seen as over the top and absurd, they are therefore not to be taken seriously. Therefore, I don't. Rather I laugh at them in much the same manner as I laugh at The 3 Stooges or classic Warner Brothers cartoons.

There are many, however, who imagine that those who enjoy the Stooges' brand of comedy have somehow "lost their way." As I consider myself a pretty well-centered person with a solid sense of my personal direction, I just consider the journey to be nothing more than a pleasant stroll through a winding forest path. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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Fri May 03, 2013 2:19 pm
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Bergerjacques wrote:
I derive no entertainment value from actual scenes of terroristic violence or, for a recent example, watching the actual footage of a cargo plane stalling and crashing to the ground killing everyone inside. But I love the 1970s-era disaster movies - even the bad ones. And most of those exist for the purpose of watching A-list celebrity actors die.


That's an interesting point--I've seen Mondo Cane more than once, and that film has real-life animal killing in it (in a religious ceremony and at an open-air food market IIRC). But I've never watched any of the Faces of Death movies or anything else that was supposed to be actual deaths caught on camera. I'm also one of the very few people who criticized the film of The Road for not being bleak enough and for hating on Cannibal Holocaust for having the camera that's supposedly recording the events on camera. It all comes back to technique for me again, with the incompetent filmmakers either being uninteresting or sickening to me.

And lastly, I remember hearing that there's a back-alley gender reassignment surgery scene in Shocking Asia 2 where a dude gets his junk rearranged with a power drill. That is why I have never seen Shocking Asia 2. I know my limits.

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Fri May 03, 2013 2:44 pm
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TelstarMan wrote:
That's an interesting point--I've seen Mondo Cane more than once, and that film has real-life animal killing in it (in a religious ceremony and at an open-air food market IIRC). But I've never watched any of the Faces of Death movies or anything else that was supposed to be actual deaths caught on camera. I'm also one of the very few people who criticized the film of The Road for not being bleak enough and for hating on Cannibal Holocaust for having the camera that's supposedly recording the events on camera. It all comes back to technique for me again, with the incompetent filmmakers either being uninteresting or sickening to me.

And lastly, I remember hearing that there's a back-alley gender reassignment surgery scene in Shocking Asia 2 where a dude gets his junk rearranged with a power drill. That is why I have never seen Shocking Asia 2. I know my limits.


In Doris Wishman's Let Me Die a Woman, I think the audience is presented an actual (for the time period) sex change operation. And while I may laugh a bit at the inept filmmaking, I don't recall laughing during that scene. I recall cringing and whispering "OMG OMG OMG" a lot. (The same thing occurred during my Human Sexuality class when we were shown footage of a first semester abortion surgery. I handled most everything else with a certain emotional detachment except the scene where the local anesthesia was administered. That, folks, was one hella long needle!)
I've seen Mondo Cane a couple of times - though none of the other mondo docs out there. The critics are right, the imagery doesn't add up to much, but I also wasn't moved to general guffaws and laughter while people in some country were dragging sharks out of the water and stuffing their mouths with a poison urchin to keep the beasties from depleting the area's local marketable fish population.
But for the most part, I can tell the difference between reality and special effects and trust my discernment between being approrpiately horrified and entertained.

In a narrower context though, there's a big difference between the way a horror movie presents its imagery. Evil Dead went gleefully over the top - in both the somewhat serious original version and remake, and the obviously comical, but no less horrific, sequel.

Compare that cartoonish brutality to the more deadly serious, but no less fictional, depiction of casual murder in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer which was considerably less gory, but due to the realistic presentation by the filmmaker, was, for me at least, intensely brutal, disturbing, and difficult to watch. I have heard that some of the torture porn movies that were in vogue earlier in the decade - Hostel, Hostel 2 were also a bit nasty.

That's a bit different than a silhouette of a demon being chainsawed in two while spurting a blood shower that covers everything in an even coating of shiny red gelatin.

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This is an appalling film. And for some of you, well worth your time - SSM

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Fri May 03, 2013 3:51 pm
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I finally sat down and watched this (everybody went to bed but me) last night. I had to keep the volume down, but the TV had Portuguese subtitles so I could follow most of it (actually, I could hear most of the dialogue, but it's good to follow). Generally speaking, the movie was well made, well written and well directed. The heroin habit angle was more original than your usual "let's shtup each other while *doing* drugs" cliché. The finale was something of an interesting call-back to the second Evil Dead. I also felt sorry for Eric, who got seemed to get jacked up by each successive possession victim (first he gets stabbed in the chest with glass and stabbed multiple times in the face with a syringe, then the next victim mutilates his hand with a crow bar and shoots him with a nail gun, finally gets cut open with a box cutter, at which point his body decides that it's had enough. The violence is very, very strong, and I frequently turned away because I couldn't stomach what was going on, especially when the act of violence was dragged out, say, when dragging the blade of a machete across a protagonist's leg. In the end, it's a good movie for it's type, but I really don't think it's type is for me. Also, I think the original movie was scarier.

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