Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5  
Evil Dead II (1987)
18

It's generally accepted by moviegoers that sequels to hits are always going to be poor, over-commercialised imitations of the original. Well, for every supposed truism there has to be an exception and "Evil Dead II" is one sequel that is even better than the original. Not so much a follow-up as a ruthless self-parody, "Evil Dead II" ranks as one of the most visually inventive, relentless, and truly original films ever made.

Ash (Campbell), the apparent sole survivor of "The Evil Dead" - and presumably with no recollection of the first film - heads back to the dingy cabin in the woods for a romantic break with his girlfriend (Bixler). He discovers a tape recording of magic spells, which needless to say, he plays. As a creepy voice reads them out, the woods close in and creak into life with all kinds of bad magic. In the ensuing chaos, "Evil Dead II" soon forgets the confines of horror, and whirls off into a strange, almost hallucinogenic cartoon nightmare of flying eyeballs, bleeding walls, and possessed limbs. Forget plot and narrative, this is cinema as pure visceral circus and wide-eyed spectacle.

A hugely influential film, "Evil Dead II" had producers and directors across the film-making world glued to their seats. Director Sam Raimi's kaleidoscope of stop-motion animation, unbelievable point-of-view shots, trembling hand-held camera, rotating sets, bizarre lighting, and chase scenes has now been endlessly imitated, and pastiches crop up in everything from TV ads to music videos.

Read a review of "Army of Darkness", the third film in Raimi's "Evil Dead" trilogy and a review of the DVD disc.

End Credits

Director: Sam Raimi

Writer: Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel

Stars: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley, Theodore Raimi, Denise Bixler

Genre: Horror

Length: 84 minutes

Cinema: 1987

DVD: 22 October 2001

VHS: 11 September 2000

Country: USA

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