Evil Dead 2013

The JJ Abrams Whac-a-Mole


Well, I do want them all to die. So that's kind of an accomplishment.
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Reported on 23rd of April, 2013

I have a new system! It’s fantastic! Do I really have to tell you how much I detest the fact that I have to sit through half an hour worth of ads, only then to have any slight chance of enjoyment given away by every detail of a trailer? Again? I just did!

Evil Dead 2013

17 May 2013 @ The Dukes @ Komedia


-$37.00 or, if one must be quotidian, and one must... 
☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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There is much planning, but here it is: find a theater that allows reserved seating. In Brighton that’s the new Komedia, which allows you to pick the seats online, and pick up the tickets from a machine (no human contact – so many pluses). The reserved seating is crucial; even though I like the front row, it can be taken up by a stinky nerd (this is a term of endearment; I hate stinky nerds and love myself. I didn’t say who the term of endearment was for), and this is what the damnable theaters are counting on – that we’ll show up on time and sit through commercials for risk of missing a good seat. Take that, the Man! Technically, the Men. Technically everyone. I’m nothing if not ambitious.

Ah, so many parentheticals to get through before I even begin to stomp on the flaming bag of shit on my doorstep that was Evil Dead. So, reserved seat, gelato from next door (the artsy gelato from down in the Lanes that they serve from the bar is crap, and designed to be served fresh, not in a paper tub that has been sitting in a pub refrigerator for two months, and the lousy gelato is delicious. Take this with a grain of salted caramel from a man who loves Pizza Ruffles and fois gras in equal measure and at the same time), and finally, headphones. I recommend the worchester flavored doritos of headphones, the Klipsch S4i’s, with the Comply foam inserts. I couldn’t hear a word of dialog from the Star Trek trailer. Now when I looked up, Mr. Pine and Mr. Cumberbatch said:

‘I am better than you.’

‘At what?’

‘Everything!’

‘Well that doesn’t make any sense. If you’ve already said “I am better than you”, the implication is that you are better than me at everything. You’re adding a line for emphasis that doesn’t contain any emphasis.’

‘Well, I’m clearly not better than you at rhetoric.’

‘Look, we’re on a giant floating platform of death. Can we agree it doesn’t make a lot of sense to be saying anything at all. Including this.’

‘What are we fighting about any way?’

‘Dunno, think you were evil. Or maybe I was. Dunno.’

‘Let’s get a shake.’

‘Because of the giant floating platform of death. Good recovery!’

They’re magic headphones. They erase memories and mock JJ Abrams. And the stereo separation is to die for!

Despite it being a machine, humans interact with it, and it is therefore not perfect. Thus, the ticket is printed on the wrong side of the perforation. Was this a sigh? We can say definitely no, since Spring Breakers was the same. Everything is random. Even crap.

Despite it being a machine, humans interact with it, and it is therefore not perfect. Thus, the ticket is printed on the wrong side of the perforation. Was this a sigh? We can say definitely no, since Spring Breakers was the same. Everything is random. Even crap.

So many things to discuss for future. Headphones open versus closed, sitting in the front row, the fact that the arthouse chain is showing 1) Evil Dead and 2) Trailers for Star Trek: Into the kind of Darkness the Dark Knight Forces Us to Attempt as if That Was What Made the Movie Successful. But having gone through many old posts to get this new look up, I’ve also realized how many jokes I recycled, so I will very desperately clutch onto any potentially new material for next time. Unless I forget about it and simply write the same old I hate commercials and why it isn’t like Silence of the Lambs because of JJ Abrams and so on. I may want to be famous as the film writer guy of all historical time, but there are one or two advantages to be the only one reading this.

Shia LaBœuf!

So before I run out of energy, let’s just talk about how much I wish I had left the headphones on during Evil Dead, and then wish I hadn’t said that, since it implies that there is a whit of visual competence that could be enjoyed by listening to Dark Side of the Moon backwards and watching while wishing it was Tron or even Certified Copy. No, I wish I had left my magic headphones on. What do these magic headphones do?

1) The headphones are not in any way magic.  They are simply loud enough so that I don’t have to hear such gems as:

a) How’s it goin’, Mr. hotshot city boy? Teaching high school finally turned you into a bitter old coot.

b) I’m your big brother. Of course I came.

c) Be careful, these steps are old and rotten.

Usually I add something to sell the joke, but no need here. Each of these examples in an actual unretouched line of dialog. The headphones are a bit magic, however, because they know to turn down the volume so that I can stage whisper to the invisible person next to me:

a) I think he’s an astronaut.

b) Who’s that? What’s going on? What’s going on?????

c) I can’t believe I’m watching a movie about how to reinforce staircases. Boring!

Respectively.

Then, by magic, because they are magic headphones, they turn back on, because, as it turns out

2) The magic headphones can also drown out written text. What text? The text that the theater used to justify showing Evil Dead 1) in an arthouse theater and 2) In an context other than through the light of the flames burning every print. These headphone blurred the following, which has been thankfully erased from the Picturehouse website:

As with the original, the script – here co-written by Diablo Cody (JENNIFER’S BODY, JUNO) – is simultaneously both chilling and hilarious (e.g. “If we want to help Mia, we’re going to have to kill her”). Essential horror viewing.

It is traditional when characterizing something as ‘witty’ that one would follow with an example of same, instead of, say, something JJ Abrams would put in a trailer. Zing!

Also, sigh.

3) The magic headphones are not only not magic, but I wasn’t even wearing them at all. Who came up with this terrible metaphor? Anyway, there’s something positive to be said for Evil Dead or at least for having seen it. It is an historical turning point in horror. The ascendance of torture porn has been an unfortunate development, as I have never been a fan of inexplicable sadism (I like my sadism justified). I would see the occasional Grand Hostel or House of like, a Million, Billion Corpses! or whathaveyou, and simply find it somewhat exhausting and depressing. Who gives a crap about ethics (me apparently), motivationless violence is utterly uncompelling.

And so the not magic or the occasional magic headphones in this case have at the very least borne witness to the end of my hatred of this correctly maligned genre. Why? Torture porn has finally come full circle. Seeing all the limbs and skin and eyeballs and blood and the MDF characters that were designed to either take it or give it, I was…bored. I wasn’t disgusted or tired or offended, just exhausted. As it turns out, there are just so many things you can do to the human body, and in order to not become boring, I recommend adding fart jokes and puppies, which never gets old.

Speaking of which:

4) The magic headphones bring the dog back to life. Yep, they kill a dog, and violate the ‘Road Warrior rule‘ The character responsible is not killed in a long, and extremely sadistic way (see ‘justified sadism’ above). Which leads us to:

5) The magic headphones teach the dog to kill every last character, who die in agony. Let’s call this the Cloverfield rule, since it allows me to once again bash the detestable JJ Abrams. When did movie reviews become so personal? Hey, JJ Abrams started it. He made Star Trek. What am I a character in a torture porn film?

And, if we imagine me in said film, and being an idiot besides, we get the idea that making characters stupidly run into dark corridors, monster’s arms and so on, is that their stupidity somehow allows us to enjoy their being killed. Yes, it’s horrible from a moral point of view, but medium horrible. The Cloverfield rule extends this. Because instead of acting normal for a while and then doing something stupid, characters are just awful, and the tension builds because we can’t wait for them to stop whining and literally just die. In the case of Evil Dead, I honestly don’t know if this is an ESL thing, an incompetence thing, or a competence thing, but our erstwhile Sr. Fede Alvarez managed to make the characters both utterly non-existent and self-involved. The movie succeeds because we want them to die, and fails because it doesn’t happen in the first nano-second.

In what can be only called fanboy fiction, we have a case of remaking the original, by taking out anything that made it so in the first place. I sense a kind of inner studio exec at work here: I want to remake Duck Soup, but I’m concerned about all these ‘jokes’. Do we really need the ‘Ilse’ character in Casablanca? I want to remake Alien. Let’s make it all about the guy in the chair that we see for three seconds. Don’t worry. I’ll get to Prometheus.

6) The magic headphones are now being worn by the filmmakers. Look, I had huge problems with Cabin in the Woods, but it does do one thing, and one thing well. It makes all movies about Cabins, especially those that might be located in the Woods, a bit silly. It would seem the headphones in this case, were worn by the filmmakers in question to drown out this fact.

This is not a such a minor problem, as this is, finally, what makes Evil Dead the worst film of the year. Like the Shakespeare Fetish, we can say that the filmmakers have forgotten that what makes The Evil Dead a masterpiece (and please understand, I am talking about the second one, which is a remake of the first. Evil Dead 2 may be called Evil Dead 2, but it’s not a sequel. Hey, I’m not the one who made it confusing) isn’t the story, which this film slavishly clings to. What makes The Evil Dead a masterpiece is that it’s fun, and fun filmmaking. Cutting off the hand, the hand coming to life, Mr. Bruce Campbell, 2X4 camera runs, dancing corpses, and chainsaw prosthetics, to mention 1% of this film, whose push-ins, double push-ins and tilts, fast cuts and rhythmic clicks is pure cinema at its Bressonianist.

The story, like Shakespeare, is garbage, and should be. A bunch of kids are possessed by evil and do some stuff. It’s not Shakespeare. Who didn’t have good plots as I’ve already explained, goddammit. In what can be only called fanboy fiction, we have a case of remaking the original, by taking out anything that made it so in the first place. Let’s leave out, for example, the greatest ending in the history of cinema. I sense a kind of inner studio exec at work here: I want to remake Duck Soup, but I’m concerned about all these ‘jokes’. Do we really need the ‘Ilse’ character in Casablanca? I want to remake Alien. Let’s make it all about the guy in the chair that we see for three seconds.

Don’t worry. I’ll get to Prometheus.

I don’t really have much more to say on this unfortunate overpraised crap fest, I just didn’t want to end on a cheap dig at Prometheus. I want my dig at Prometheus to be prolonged and vicious (and now you can read it here!). But let us finish on a positive note. If we consider Mr. Bruce Campbell and Mr. Sam Raimi giving their nods of approval to whatever the hell it was I just saw, the cynical among us might say they’re just cashing their well-deserved checks. But I suspect it’s more like a sense of relief. Their work remains not only un-topped, but utterly untouched. Watch it listening to the soundtrack of Certified Copy. That’s how good.

Profits!
The very small parts left from from the original
Forestcam.
$1.00
PushInAndTiltOnKnockingDoorCam
$1.00
Total Profits
$2.00
Losses!
What? She’s pulled off her face like the poster of the original which was then copied into the book which the director showed us? Who could have seen that coming?
$3.00
Oh, did I mention, the worst looking digital transfer I’ve seen since Hansel and Gretel:Witch Hunters 3D?
$5.00
Going to the place that’s all burned…
$2.00
…saying ‘Something’s burned here’ (unretouched, remember)…
$3.00
…then showing a flashback of the burning that happening fifteen minutes previous.
$7.00
The fact that it forces me to use the word ‘desecration’ about a movie originally called ‘The Evil Dead’
$19.00
Total Losses
$39.00

-$37.00

 

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