Horror Films We Love: “Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn” (1987)

Only Sam Raimi can remake his own film AND mix in a sequel all in under 90 minutes. This is a great film, it features a great amount of horror, while incorporating some wacky humor. Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Producer Rob Tapert are known for their love of Three Stooges comedy and we get a nice taste of that, unfortunately they overdo it in the 3rd film, which is all comedy.

I love how the film makes use of the extra budget it is given, but still manages to look and feel like the original film, with some great special effects and good scares. Of course, the film is known for its comedy, the most disturbing, but also laughable scenes in the whole franchise shows Ash, who has finally snapped cutting his possessed hand off with a chainsaw and a maniacal laugh, like he is beating to death his worse enemy.

I also love how the film uses different colors for the blood, in the commentary track it is said they did this because they wanted to go nuts, without fear from the MPAA, whose reasoning’s make no sense, even if it shown to be blood, if its not colored red its ok.

Bruce Campbell will forever be associated with the role of Ash, this is because he isn’t a hero, he isn’t a good guy or noble . He doesn’t even care what these “evil dead” do, just leave him alone. He is like John McClaine in the “Die Hard” franchise, he is a regular everyday guy who is thrown into situations, but while John risk his life because family is in danger, Ash is all about saving himself. The 3rd film does show some character growth, but considering this mixes part 1 with a sequel, he is still growing as a character.

Once again Sam Raimi gives some amazing and unique shots throughout the film, you can tell this is during his experimental film making days, but the different shots shown and they all work well.

I would consider this to be the best of the series, but only slightly over the 1st, let it be known I wasn’t scared of any of the films, what I love about this film is how it doesn’t take itself seriously, but still is trying to tell you a good story. You stll don’t know anything about these creatures, are they zombies, are they possessed bodies? I love that, it leaves it up to us to decide. The first film did some amazing jobs in its own right and is also incredible for all the same reasons, but this was the first film in the series I saw and it is one of those rare sequels that are equally as good and in some cases better than its predecessor.

–Eric Curto