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Have you in splits (and gashes)

entertainment Updated: Jan 07, 2011 23:39 IST

The Evil Dead
Sony Pictures, Rs 499

Here’s another reason why you should stay under the covers. Thirty years after being unleashed from the depths of writer-director Sam Raimi warped mind, the digitally remastered and value-added DVD of one of the most original ‘horror’ films, The Evil Dead, is roaming the earth again. Why the qualifying inverted commas while describing this cult classic? Well, there are standard spine-crawling, press-the-mute-button moments in this 1981 flick. But essentially, it is a loopy, surreal, gore-fest that has dollops of body-chopping hilarity.

The film takes the most standard of clichés: five youngsters camping out in a dilapidated cottage in the woods who, courtesy an ‘evil spirit’, are picked off one by one. But Raimi turns these clichés and stock shock images inside out. In a way, this is a pure visual experience that ties in with what Jean-Luc Godard said about violence in one of his movies: “It’s not blood, it’s red”. And the decapitations, go ugings, stabbings, impalings and lacerations in Raimi's movie contain a smart-assed aesthetic quality drowned in something insane. It is no wonder then that the film had trouble getting distributors when it was first released. It was only after it was picked up in Cannes that it hit some theatres. Made on a $375,000 budget, don’t expect Exorcist special effects. Which makes it even more amazing that we are moved considerably by this scream-fest. The commentary by Raimi throws much light not only on specific scenes but also on the ‘crazy’ ideas behind most of them.