The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 4.22.13 Issue #254: Evil Dead (2013)
Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz on 04.22.2013
In this issue I take a look at the 2013 horror remake Evil Dead, plus some thoughts on the new ABC sitcom How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life), two new batches of Things to Watch Out For This Week and more!
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #254: Evil Dead (2013)
Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that wants you to know that most conspiracy theories are just bullshit, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number two hundred and fifty-four, I take a look at the remake of the 1980's horror classic The Evil Dead, Evil Dead, directed and co-written by Fede Alvarez.
Evil Dead (2013)
Evil Dead is an insane, gory as all hooha horror movie that has no problem being disgusting, terrifying, or generally nasty. It's the kind of horror movie that diehard horror movie nerds always claim to want more of, as it's become generally harder and harder for down and dirty "R" rated horror movies to get any kind of major theatrical release (and that's because those diehard horror movie nerds very rarely ever show up to see said down and dirty "R" rated horror movie, but that's a rant for another time). Evil Dead opened in the #1 slot at the box office, making just a little under $26 million its first weekend, a healthy opening that essentially ensures a sequel (finally, the diehards showed up along with everyone else).
The remake features the same essential set up as the original: a bunch of people go out to a cabin in the woods, they find an old book, the woods come alive, and very, very bad stuff starts to happen. In the case of the remake, Mia (Jane Levy) is a drug addict in need of a weekend dry out session (she's addicted to heroin and recently overdosed). Coming along for the "dry out" are Mia's brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci), Olivia (Jessica Lucas), and Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore). They're all close, but they're not too hopeful in regards to Mia's potential sobriety. They've done this kind of thing before and Mia always goes back to the drugs. So they go into the cabin and start the dry out, hoping for the best. It doesn't take long, though, for the dry out process to go south and for Mia to start hallucinating (maybe). She complains again and again about a nasty smell, "the smell of death," which no one else can smell. After Grandpa the dog lifts up a carpet and exposes a door to a hidden basement, the group finds out that Mia wasn't exactly hallucinating when it comes to the death smell. There's some nasty goddamn shit in the basement.
The focus of the story then shifts from Mia's sobriety to cleaning up the basement. There are oodles of dead animals in the room, some of them hanging from the ceiling (mostly dead cats). The group also finds a weird package wrapped in a garbage bag and barbed wire, a package that Eric eventually opens to investigate. It's an old book filled with weird drawings and hand written warnings to not read anything from the book out loud. So Eric reads out loud from the book.
Huge mistake. Massive. It doesn't take long for everyone in the cabin to find out just how big a mistake reading from the book is. The rest of the movie is a non-stop battle to survive as the group of friends deal with an unrelenting evil that just refuses to go away. It's bloody, nasty, absolutely disgusting, and, to a certain extent, unpredictable. Just what the heck is going to happen? Who is going to survive? Will anyone survive?
The movie's opening sequence, where we see a group of weird beard rednecks attempt to exorcise a demon from a young girl, is a great way to get the movie going, as it lets you know, just in case you were unaware, that what you're about to see is going to be nasty as fuck. I usually complain about these kinds of opening sequences as they tend to give away the whole movie (Hostel, anyone?) but the opener actually works here. It doesn't give away as much as it could have. Could the movie have worked without it? Absolutely. In fact, I probably wouldn't have included it at all. But having it doesn't kill the movie at all. That's good.
The cast is also unusually excellent. Levy is a great lead actor, and Fernandez is brilliant as Mia's brother David. Pucci, who has douchebag written all over him as Eric, never devolves into what is expected of him. Jessica Lucas, as Olivia the nurse, probably suffers the most outside of Levy (the barfing sequence is nauseating, although not as creepy as the tree rape scene). But then Natalie, as played by Blackmore, has to suffer through quite a bit, too. Would you be able to do what she tries to do if attacked by an unseen evil from the woods?
The movie's only real drawback is that it's a little too long. The last sequence, the goriest of the movie, feels like it goes on forever. At 91 minutes, the movie could easily lose like five minutes and still rock. I'm not sure what should go, though. Could time compression "fix" that running time problem?
I'm still amazed at how much the MPAA allowed in terms of the gore. If there is an unrated version coming, I can't imagine what is going to be put back in. Will the big chainsaw scene go on longer? Will we get more double barrel shotgun stuff? Will we see more from inside the burning cabin? More deformed redneck stuff? I can't wait to find out. The movie doesn't skimp on the suspense and weirdness, either. There's a scene in the basement where David is attacked by a demon that freaks me out just thinking about it.
Now, as most of you most likely know, there's a bit of a surprise during the end credits, a surprise that has already caused massive speculation as to what it means. Does it mean anything at all? Is it just a goof? Or is it a preview of something larger coming in the future? Will we get the ultimate Evil Dead experience? The people I saw the movie with certainly hope so. They all enjoyed the movie, but when the surprise was revealed they all jumped out of their seats (and when I say "jumped" I mean they fucking jumped out of their seats and screamed with unbridled joy). "Groovy?" Fuck yeah.
If you haven't seen Evil Dead yet, Jesus Christ you need to see it now. Drop everything and go now. You won't regret it. It's a great time at the movies. Fucking awesome.
See Evil Dead now. See it, see it, see it.
So what do we have here?
Dead bodies: 5+
Explosions: There's sort of one.
Doobage: A bleeding woman, bag over the head, a sort of backwoods exorcism, demonic possession, body burning, shotgun blast to the head on screen (Dolph Lundgren Award nominee), a cabin in the woods, a nice hug, an artist chick that likes to smoke, a dog, a goofy magic trick, a Michigan sweatshirt, drug addiction hooey, old family photos, an automatic nail gun, some very nice short shorts, withdrawal, a basement trap door, a bunch of dead and burned animal corpses, a package wrapped in a garbage bag and barbed wire, roast beef cutting with an electric knife, walking in the rain, a paper cut, blood dripping, projectile vomiting, a car accident, tree rape, skepticism, a very dead dog, hot water burns, white puke, a flooded road, wind, red puke to the face, a nasty mirror surprise, hot urine, face cutting, chest stabbing, face stabbing, needle to the eye, chunk of toilet to the back of the head, a gaping chest wound, duct tape hooey, stair breaking, attempted demonic zombie lesbian foreplay, tongue cutting, attempted book burning, a nasty hand wound, a rotting hand, arm removal via electric knife, nail gun to the head, graphic nail removal, crowbar beating, hand smashing, shotgun blast to the arm with graphic arm removal, scary basement attack, a live burial, a homemade defibrillator, exploding house, blood rain, a shed attack, kneecap slicing, serious feet cutting, more hand crushing, chainsaw through the face, and the promise of a sequel.
Kim Richards?: None.
Gratuitous: Attempted backwoods exorcism by deformed rednecks, demonic possession, Jane Levy, Jane Levy wearing a "Michigan" sweatshirt, Grandpa the dog, old family photos, an automatic nail gun, the Book of the Dead, a basement full of rotting animal corpses, roast beef cutting, projectile vomiting, tree rape, wind, red puke to the face, face cutting, attempted demonic zombie lesbian foreplay, tongue cutting, graphic nail removal, live burial, a homemade defibrillator, a gross final confrontation, chainsaw through the face, and the promise of a sequel. Oh, and awesomeness during the end credits.
Best lines: "Only the evil book can undo what the evil book has done," "I'm so sorry, baby," "I will rip your soul out, Daddy," "I'm a registered nurse," "Okay, let's play cold turkey," "Okay, let's make this place livable," "What's your medical diagnosis now? It fucking wreaks," "You shouldn't have touched anything from that basement," "Leave this book alone!," "Come on, God, give me a break," "David, drive me home," "Everything's going to be fine," "Mia, what are you doing?," "You are all going to die tonight," "I can smell your filthy soul!," "Kiss me you dirty cunt!," "What kind of virus makes a person cut a piece of their face off with a piece of glass?," "She just cut her fucking arm off. Does that sound fine?," "Why does my face hurt?" "I just don't want to become the devil's bitch," "Sorry, Mia. I love you," "You're not her!," "Why do you hate me, David?," "Thanks for not leaving me, David," "You're going to die here you pathetic junkie!," "I will feast on your soul! Feast on this motherfucker!," and "Go back to hell, bitch."
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Facebook Page!
Please check out The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page, which can be seen here. There's not much there at the moment, but, as time goes by, expect to see daily questions and musings and other B-movie hooey. And it would be cool if you "liked" it, too.
- Gangster Squad: I did a "mini-review" for this movie in this column. Overall, I thought it was pretty good. It's also way more violent than I thought it would be, which is always a nice surprise when it comes to action movies. Hopefully this movie garners a decent sized cult following on home video because it deserves it.
- A Haunted House: I missed this horror movie spoof when it was in theatres, which I'm kind of annoyed about. I thought it looked pretty good. And it sounds like this movie made just enough money to warrant a sequel, so it has that going for it, too.
- Pegasus vs. Chimera: This sort of looks like one of those modern Roger Corman low budget monster movie mash-ups that are all the rage on the Sci Fi Channel. But Corman, according to imdb.com, isn't involved in it, so I guess this low budget effort could go either way. I'm all for people continuing to make these movies, though. The world can never have enough weird monster fighting movies, especially ones featuring people in ancient Greece.
- Assassins Run: Man, Christian Slater gets around, doesn't he? He has one of these low budget efforts coming out every few weeks it seems. And I'm grateful. This one definitely looks rentable.
- Cloned: The Recreator Chronicles: I don't know much about this low budget effort, but it looks ambitious, and that kind of thing is always welcome in the low budget movie world, even if the movie ultimately fails. Anyone out there see this?
- It's in the Blood: This horror flick looks a little weird, but it's got Lance Henriksen in it, so that alone makes it worth checking out. Anyone else out there agree with me on that? Lance Henriksen always makes things better?
TV Quick Hits
- How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) thoughts: I didn't hold out much hope for this new ABC sitcom. I haven't been a Sarah Chalke fan since her stint on How I Met Your Mother (I just didn't like her on that show, but I thought she was great on Roseanne) and the previews for her new show made it look terrible. It looked like yet another "whiny female" show. I mean, they cancelled the awesome Don't Trust the B... in Apartment 23 for this shit? Now, having seen the first three episodes of How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life) I'm happy to say that the show is actually pretty good. It is a "whiny female" show, but only every so often.
Chalke's single mother Polly is the star of the show and the focus of the ongoing plot, but the real stars of the show are Elizabeth Perkins, as Polly's mother Elaine, and Brad Garrett as Max, Polly's stepfather. Elaine is a kind of flighty bohemian artist type, and Max is a sort of failed actor/gruff weirdo with a weight lifting fetish. They are completely irresponsible people when it comes to raising children and being grandparents, but they somehow manage not to screw things up too badly (at least so far. There are nine episodes left in the first season). Their Academy Awards party last week was hilarious, as was Max's night club model.
Polly's ex-husband, Julian, as played by John Dore, is pretty funny now, but he was terrible in the pilot. He was a little too "out there" in the pilot, and the "jogging thing" in the second episode was just stupid. The "fish" bit he did in the third episode, though, was great stuff.
Now, Chalke is pretty good on the show when she's interacting with Perkins and Garrett and Dore, and how she tries to balance family and the need to find a boyfriend is always potentially interesting in a sitcom like this one. What doesn't work, though, is Polly's job at the coffee place (or whatever the hell it is). Her boss is an idiot, and I'm not buying her friendship with the pseudo Goth chick. Why can't she have a different crappy job, like in a Walmart type store or something like that? Wouldn't that be a little more interesting?
Hopefully ABC will allow this show to finish its first season on television and not relegate it to the internets (that's where Apt 23 gets to finish out its second and final season. Why not team it up with the awful Happy Endings on Friday night? Do we really need a double shot of that show every Friday night?). So far, How to Live With Your Parents is a worthwhile sitcom. So far.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Theme of the Week
Have you ever watched The Monster Channel?
The Monster Channel is the internet's "first 24/7 interactive horror movie channel, featuring classic horror movies and TV series, retro trailers and commercials, features hosted by the nation's new generation of horror hosts and you!" (taken directly from its website). You can watch and chat with fellow horror nerds from all over the world, or just watch the channel's streaming programming, or just chat. You know, whatever you want to do.
Just go here to check out what the channel has to offer. I watch it whenever I can, and you should, too.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Babe of the Week: Jessica Lucas
Things to Watch Out For This Week: Part 2
- Regenerator: This movie, originally known as One Night, was apparently co-directed by its star, the great Olivier Gruner. Let me repeat that: it is apparently co-directed by Olivier Gruner. Why the hell would I not want to see this? Olivier Gruner!
- Gothkill: The Soul Collector: Yet another weird beard low budget horror movie that looks ridiculous. Of course you should want to see it. The whole "Goth" thing is just a bonus here. I mean, really, how often do you see that kind of thing?
- Deep Dark Canyon: Ted Levine and Matthew Lillard are in this low budget sort of action flick. The trailer makes the movie look a little more exciting than it probably is. The movie is probably a little more low key ("quirky" would be a good word to use, but then I don't like that word so I won't use it). Rentable.
- 5th & Alameda: What the heck happened to Mario Van Peebles? Wasn't he a sort of mid-level movie star at one point? Now the only time you ever see him is in movies like this one. I'm not complaining, but it seems kind of weird to me. Why isn't anyone trying to put together a Solo sequel for him?
- Sloppy the Psychotic: A movie about a clown that becomes a psychotic murderer? Yeah, we've all seen it before, in one form or another, but I don't think I've ever seen it as gory, as disturbing, or as low budget as this movie. Rentable.
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week
This week, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week goes to everyone who thinks that Family Guy somehow "predicted" the Boston marathon terrorist attack. Family Guy, of course, didn't predict anything, but saying that just proves to the conspiracy minded out there that I've been co-opted by the Illuminati conspiracy to run the world, or the Zionist gun grabbers, or whatever particular entity runs the world at the moment. It's all part of the latest "false flag" operation perpetrated by the government.
Bullshit. It's all fucking bullshit. The Boston marathon terrorist attack was not a hoax, nor was the Sandy Hook school massacre, 9/11, or Columbine. Please, for the love of God, stop listening to Alex Jones and everyone else who sees "hidden agendas" that, when you start to think about them, make absolutely no sense.
Stop believing in bullshit, people. It isn't healthy.
And then there's the ultra-right wing media, for claiming that the "liberal media" oh so desperately wanted the Boston marathon terrorists to be white Christians. I watched MSNBC, the apparent home of the liberal media, quite a bit during the whole Boston marathon attack aftermath. Were on air hosts, along with guests, speculating on the possibility that the attack was the handiwork of ultra right wing Americans? Yes, they did speculate on that possibility, but to say that MSNBC "wanted" the terrorists to be white Christians is fucking ludicrous. All the anchors/hosts on MSNBC wanted to know was who did it and when will the police capture them?
But, hey, there's a potential national emergency going on, what better time to engage in political grandstanding to see how many points you can score for your side? These people have no shame. None at all.
And finally there's Douchebag Hall of Famer Sean Hannity, for allowing known Islamophobic racist Steve Emerson on his Fox News program. You can go here and here to read all about it.
Pretty sad, right? Makes you kind of sick, too, doesn't it? This shit, and people like Alex Jones and Glenn Beck (read this), are what far too many people are listening to.
NASCAR and Indycar thoughts
Well, the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway was pretty good, despite the fact that eventual winner and pole sitter Matt Kenseth was the dominant car. He led the most laps and, at the halfway mark, it was obvious that it was his race to lose. Second place finisher Kasey Kahne put up a good fight at the end and came close to touching Kenseth's rear bumper, but there was just no denying Kenseth his second win of the year. It sure seems like Kenseth made the right decision leaving Roush-Fenway for Gibbs, at least at the moment.
Kyle Busch, who dominated the weekend at Texas, had a terrible day, wrecking three times. For whatever reason Busch's car couldn't keep pace with his Gibbs teammate Kenseth and was essentially all over the track (Busch complained of a "lack of grip" in an interview). Joey Logano, behind the eight-ball a bit because of the penalties levied by NASCAR to his Penske Racing team, had nowhere to go when Busch slammed into him, destroying his front end and ending his day. Marcos Ambrose and Juan Pablo Montoya, two guys in serious need of a win, were fast the whole race and in contention for a good finish, but wrecks and blown tires ruined the race for both of them. When is their luck going to change, especially Montoya's?
Jeff Gordon has a weird weekend. He had to start last in a back-up car and was a non-factor the entire race. Gordon eventually finished 13th, a decent finish considering where he started, but yet another disappointment in a 2013 of disappointments (when will his luck change, too?). Brad Keselowski, also hampered by penalties levied against his team by NASCAR, managed to finish sixth despite having a smashed up race car (his rear bumper flew off towards in the later stages of the race). And Jamie McMurray pulled a top ten finish out of his ass (how the hell did he do that?).
Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. had a good day, running up front for most of the race (he ended up 11th). Sam Hornish, in a rare Sprint Cup start, had a good day right up until he was wrecked. And 3-time champion Tony Stewart had a terrible day, finishing 21st, well off the pace. What the hell happened to him?
I didn't see the Trucks Series race on Saturday, but from what I read about it it was quite the wreckfest. Matt Crafton picked up the win. I really need to watch more of these Trucks Series races. I feel like I'm missing out on some great stuff.
Richmond is up next for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series, with Nationwide racing on Friday night and Sprint Cup on Saturday night. Both races should be good. Should be. Sprint Cup races at Richmond tend to be a little long but, if there aren't endless cautions Saturday night should be a good race.
Over in Indycar, the Long Beach Grand Prix featured a first time winner in Takuma Sato and one of the worst starts in the history of the Indycar series. The first three rows were the only rows lined up side by side with everyone else roaring to the green flag single file. I would like to know why Indycar race control thinks that's a good start. I know why the drivers don't give a shit about the start, but if the cars are supposed to be lined up double file shouldn't they be, well, lined up double file?
Dario Franchitti finally had a relatively good race, starting on the pole, leading laps, and eventually finishing 4th. Justin Wilson and Graham Rahal also had good days, finishing 3rd and 2nd . Scott Dixon had Franchitti's early season luck, starting last and getting into an early wreck that destroyed any chance of a possible win. Dixon did rally to finish 11th, so the race wasn't a total loss for the Ganassi driver, but you have to believe that he expected a little better.
Sebastien Saavedra was a menace on the track. Is he the new E.J. Viso?
Ryan Hunter-Reay didn't have a good day, nor did James Hinchcliffe. Does that spell doom for Sato going into the next race in Brazil? Is it bad news to win a race? And what the hell happened to Will Power? He's usually a badass at Long Beach. He wasn't in the hunt at all this year. Is he going to dominate in Brazil again this year?
The Brazilian street race is next on the Indycar schedule in two weeks, and then it's Indy 500 time. Indy can't get here soon enough. We need more Indycar oval racing!
Well, I think that'll be about it for this issue. B-movies rule, always remember that.
If there's anything you want to see reviewed here in this column, feel free to offer a comment below or send me an e-mail. I'm always on the lookout for new stuff to watch.
And don't forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.
Jane Levy- Mia Shiloh Fernandez- David Lou Taylor Pucci- Eric Jessica Lucas- Olivia Elizabeth Blackmore- Natalie
Directed by Fede Alvarez Screenplay by Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues, with uncredited work by Diablo Cody and based on a 1981 screenplay by Sam Raimi
Distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Rated R for strong bloody violence and gore, some sexual content and language Runetime- 91 minutes