boy, I love this film. An unbeatable combination
of scares, apocalyptic violence and black comedy,
it's one of my all-time favourites. But Horror
Movie Sequel Theatre isn't about the quality of a
film - it's about how closely they adhere to the
template of the horror movie sequel.
introduces one of the most popular characters in
the world of horror - Ash, played by Bruce 'The
Chin' Campbell. Not to be confused with the Ashes
from Alien, Crow 2: City of Angels and Pokemon,
Ash was the instantly likeable reluctant hero
with a wealth of one-liners, most or all of which
were later pinched by Duke Nukem. Interestingly
enough, although everyone likes Ash, whoever
wrote this film didn't seem to like him at all.
Let's go through the plot and take a look.
open with Ash being a perfectly normal, sane,
lantern-jawed rugged sensitive guy, taking a
break with his girlfriend in a cute little house
in the woods. He's obviously the hero. He plays
the piano, for God's sake. Then he finds a tape
recorder and turns it on. It's a bloke reading
from the Necronomicon, which (as we learnt from a
fun stop-motion animation at the beginning) is an
ancient book of evil.
go bothering your local library for the
Necronomicon, kids, 'cos this ain't no bathtime
reading. Next we get the point of view of ...
something ... as it rushes towards the house.
Then it bursts through a window and engulfs Ash's
lovely girlfriend. She expresses her discomfort
at being groped by an ancient evil, and in
springs Ash, who finds his girl missing and the
window smashes. Apparently feeling there's not
enough broken glass on the floor, he theatrically
drops the wine bottle he was holding.
outside he discovers that his girl has become a
zombie. Hey, it happens to he best of us. Any
normal person would try to appeal to the human
side of the beast. But not this boy, oh dear me
no. Ash hasn't got time for such pleasantries. He
finds a convenient shovel and pops her head off.
normal horror film at this point would have
Ashy-boy leaving the body and sealing himself in
the house. But no! Apparently our Ash has seen a
few horror flicks. He knows exactly what he's
doing. First he buries the corpse, then he jams a
huge wooden cross into it. Nice one. Now we're
back with the point-of-view shot of something
nasty as it homes in on our hero. It collides
with him, and in the first truly hilarious
slapstick moments he gets hurled right across the
forest, being deposited face-first into what
looks like a puddle of wee-wee.
it's his turn to get possessed. Conveniently, the
sun rises the exact second he does, and he's back
to normal. Further evidence that Ash has
experience with horror films - he then does what
we're always shouting at characters in these
flicks to do: hop into his car and drive off into
apparently not. The bridge back to civilization
seems to have coiled itself up. This is the first
of many moments where Ash does a bit of anguished
yelling. In this case, "NO! OH NO!
NOOOOOOOOOO!". So apparently continuing on
foot is not even worth considering. Maybe he's
trying for the no-claims bonus on the car
insurance and doesn't want to leave it behind.
Days apparently pass pretty quickly in this neck
of the woods, as the sun suddenly sets and the
invisible thing that gets a lot of POV shots is
back in action. Ash gets in his car again and
drives away from whatever it is as it pursues him
at high speed.
terror has reduced Ash's ability to drive, and he
hits something and hurtles through the
windscreen. Unperturbed, he legs it away from the
chasey thing at high speed and hides in the house
until it goes away.
find any pictures from the film on Google
Search, but get a load of this cake!
to the fact that he's going to have to stay in
this bastard haunted house to get away from the
bastard chasey thing in the woods, Ash has his
second encounter with zombie wife. The
disembodied head sinks its teeth into his hand
and won't let go. Now begins ED2's open season on
'people receiving blows to the head' as he whacks
the head against walls, trees and anything
his wits for a second he nips to the toolshed
and, with the help of a vice, gets the possessed
bitch off. Next step is to wrestle a chainsaw
from the rest of the body and use it to finally
bring his wife's undeath to an end. It pretends
to be his wife for a second, but there's no
fooling Ash! Especially not by a disembodied head
in a vice. In goes the chainsaw and the toolshed
is redecorated in an interesing new shade called
'hint of brain'. Joke stolen from Blackadder Goes
chainsaw will soon become Ash's greatest ally.
Especially in the next scene where his hand
becomes possessed (Inducing more anguished
yelling: "YOU DIRTY BASTARDS! GIVE ME BACK
MY HAND!!") and smashes plate after plate
onto Ash's poor head. With the help of his new
best friend, his evil hand is sawn off. I'm not
sure if Ash could feel the pain, but he certainly
was grinning a lot as blood sprayed all over his
the hand's not finished! First it flips him off,
and you really don't do that to a man who has
just been forced to saw off an important
appendage, and now seems to be wielding a
shotgun. Boom! Holes in the wall. The furniture
finds this incredibly amusing and starts laughing
at him. But Ash doesn't let it get to him, he
starts laughing too. In no time at all he's
laughing his face off with the house, like
they're the best of chums. Then I started
laughing and everyone - villain, hero and viewer
- are enjoying the joke. What a jolly day. I
think it would have been cool if Ash had then
told a few jokes and struck a deal with the house
while it was in a good mood, then maybe have a
few games of Charades with the armchair and have
a party. but no, his laughter becomes more
anguished yelling - he's gonna get a sore throat
at this rate - and there comes a knock at the
the shotgun at the door and blowing a hole in it
may not have been a smart social move, as it
wasn't the Evil, it was the daughter of the
house's owner and a few mates. Here's more
evidence that the writer of this film didn't like
Ash - the new arrivals beat him up and, assuming
by the presence of a bloody chainsaw that he's
been dismembering the landlord, chuck him down
the stairs into the cellar and, just to add
insult to injury, spit on him. Now that wasn't
don't wanna write too much, so I'll just speed
through the rest. Daughter turns tape recorder on
and discovers the truth, some zombie appears in
the cellar, Ash is let out and he explains the
nature of the Evil to his new chums. Everyone
except Ash and daughter get killed by the Evil or
possessed by it, in which case Ash kills them.
Ash has to go down to the cellar to get some
pages from the Necronomicon and end the Evil, but
the zombie's down there, so first he gets kitted
out as ... SUPER ASH! The chainsaw is modified
and attached to his arm stump, he makes a
shoulder holster for his shotgun, and he comments
on how groovy this all is.
cut a long story short, daughter reads a few
spells, Super Ash battles the zombies and a big
tree monster, then daughter gets killed and both
Super Ash and Evil are sucked into a rift in
space-time, ending up in 1300 AD. Some knights
are about to kill Ash, thinking he's a demon (due
to the chainsaw), when a winged monster swoops
down. By this time Ash has had enough. He stares
down monster, draws his shotgun, aims, and spills
some gooey monster blood. Then the medieval folk
accept Super Ash as their saviour from the sky,
and get down on there knees and hail him. Does he
accept their praise gracefully? Does he bollocks.
in ears rating - 8/10
There're so many 'jump and scream like a
girl' moments it's almost silly. Like much of the
rest of the film.
to last film rating - N/A
I've never seen Evil Dead 1, but from
what I've gathered, there's no Ash in it, so I
don't think I'll bother.
nekkid and DIE! rating - 1/10
The 'get nekkid and DIE' principle
doesn't really apply to ED2, as no-one gets
nekkid. The one point is 'cos a few zombies were
nekkid, but being zombiefied you don't see
and guts rating - 8/10
The quantities of blood get biologically
unsound here and there - and that's A-OK with me.
heroes rating - 7/10
There is no way anyone could ever
conceivably dislike Ash. But the other goodies
were tossers to a man.
horror movie sequel rating - 5/10
An ace film, straying greatly from the
cliche of the horror movie sequel.
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