The ability to both scare the shit out of someone whilst also making them laugh is not an easy task at all.
Probably the only person in the world who has ever been able to do this was Bernard Manning who although his jokes were only funny for about 10 minutes in 1972, there was always the fear that you’d get glassed from some random bloke while watching him.
With films in mind, The Evil Dead series managed to tow this line very effectively, and still continues to with the brilliant Ash vs Evil Dead TV series that is now in its 3rd series. The original films have achieved cult status with their mix of scares, laughs and outstanding cinematography and creative effects.
Luckily for fans of the series, The Plaza in Stockport will be showing a marathon on Saturday 7th April, including all 3 films from the original trilogy as well as the surprisingly excellent re-make from a few years back.
The Evil Dead (1981)
The story of a group of kids (who look about 37) heading to a cabin in the woods has become such a modern horror trope that it spawned the brilliant..err Cabin In The Woods a few years back. This beaut is the true original though, and the first to introduce our hero Ash Williams, the Book of the Dead and plenty of gore. The effects are pretty rudimentary, with director Sam Raimi using a little too much PlayDoh – but with a budget of about £17.50 – he can be forgiven. I just won’t mention the tree scene. A horror classic.
Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987)
Pretty much a remake of the original but with more bunce, more characters and better effects, Ash Williams once again heads to the cabin in the woods, reads from the book of the dead like a dick and all hell breaks loose. This ‘sequel’ is much funnier than the original with scenes of Ash chopping off his own possessed hand, dancing corpses and plenty of gushing blood. Right at the end Ash ends up in medieval times with a chainsaw for a hand, leading nicely into…
Army of Darkness (1992)
Personally, the weakest of all Evil Dead films, this one follows on directly from Evil Dead II with Ash in medieval times, a chainsaw for a hand and a shit load of terribly animated monsters after him. I struggle to stay awake while watching this one, but it’s still pretty entertaining with many more gags than the previous movies and much less horror. It also features some of Bruce Campbell’s best one liners, so is pretty popular with the nerds.
Evil Dead (2013)
A horror remake that was actually pretty good, 2013’s Evil Dead adds more backstory and loads more production value to the franchise and it turns into a very entertaining and very frightening movie. The hero of the film is Mia, who finds herself (as you’d expect) in a cabin in the woods, fighting undead dick heads and watching her friends get possessed and die. The climax of the movie is spectacular and very gripping, well worth a watch.
So, there you have it. If you fancy it, head on down to The Plaza on Saturday 7th April from 1.30pm. You can buy tickets below: