I had seen THE EVIL DEAD before, based on the fact that film students go apeshit over the camerawork. I remember hating it the first time around, although honestly I remembered almost nothing about it, I'm pretty sure that I slept through most of it. But even most of the people who like it admit that the sequels are much better, and although I've seen parts of the sequels, I've never seen the whole films, and I felt like I should see the first one again to give the sequels a fair chance.
I suspect I was wrong, I didn't need to see this cliche-ridden film again. For the most part, it is terrible. There are moments of brilliance, mostly in the camerawork, but unlike last night's zombie film SHAUN OF THE DEAD, this film did not understand that most basic part of film-making: if you care about the characters, you won't notice the problems. The characters are completely undefined. Bruce Campbell is the only actor who rises above the material, everyone else, well, they deserved to die, although I wish it was a lot faster.
The amount of gore in the movie is way over the top, but not into parody range yet. The best sequences in the film are full of tension; the worst are full of blood. The film is an awful lot like the weaker entries in the FRIDAY THE 13th series, it's kids alone in a cabin getting killed off one by one.
I do have to admire Raimi for making the film, he basically sold the film based on a short he made in college and deliberately made it as a genre film to make money and prove that he could be successful. He also directed the camera well, but not much more. It looks like a 70s student film. Brilliant in parts, terrible for the most part. But clearly this guy had a future.
EVIL DEAD II will likely be Sunday night. I'm sure you're all dying for my review.
I'm hoping the sequels are a lot better.