Evil Dead

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Evil Dead. Sam Raimi, dir., script. USA: Renaissance Pictures (prod.) / Anchor Bay (dist.), 1983. Bruce Campbell, featured player (and last person standing). Joel Coen, assistant film editor.

Not SF but "The ultimate experience in grueling horror," according to the note on the final credit screen—significant here for a few machines and how they are handled in a Horror film that could have been SF. The Evil Dead are brought into our world via information and pictures in an old, uncanny Book of the Dead, and by means of an incantation given (along with exposition) on a somewhat dated, reel-to-reel tape recorder; there is also a brief sequence in the middle of the film wherein the Evil Dead take over central high-modern machines: a wind-up phonograph and a motion-picture projector. Note also the promised more than shown action of a chainsaw, a featured prop (or prosthetic) in later films of the series and notable in the subgenre, most notably in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre of 1974. CAUTION: Evil Dead includes a variety of extreme S&M and is an extraordinarily gory film; it comes across as misogynist, except (as required by the generic plot) the male characters act as stupidly as the women and Hal Delrich's character has the classically unheroic line to Bruce Campbell's Ash(ley): "You save her—she's your girlfriend" (qtd. Carol J. Clover, Men, Women, and Chain Saws [...] [1992, 1993: 143; ch. 3]). See Evil Dead II. (RDE, 14/05/00)