I remember watching The Evil Dead ages ago on the recommendation of the wierdo at the video store. It was great - scary and so damned funny. I actually think that it is funnier than the deliberately campy remake Evil Dead 2. Anyhow, if you had told me back then that the team that directed and produced that movie would one day be making the biggest blockbusters ever, I would have never believed you.
I had to be talked into watching Evil Dead 2 because I don't do B-grade horror very well. I likened most of the genre to torture porn and soft-core snuff films. I ended up so taken with the creativity of the film; very grateful my arm had been twisted. Still one of my favorites, the film showed me that you could do great things even with a limited budget if you were resourceful and imaginative enough. It was one of the works that motivated me into my profession and still inspires me to wonder about the possibilities of narrative features on the low low.
Army of Darkness is a classic in a different sense. What Raimi and Cambell did with the character of Ash was just brilliant and hilarious. While it is a sequel, the tone is way different from the Evil Dead(s). It’s more a dark comedy with Asian cinema influenced action sequences. Ash’s dull witted machismo, cornball lines, and his absurd resiliency after being on the receiving end of some of the most twisted violence a hero has endured on screen, endowed the character with a charm few guys could reject. We were just waiting for the next classic line we could quote ad-nauseam.
After ED2 I expected great things from Raimi. It took a long time, but he has got the success he deserves. I’m still waiting for the great Raimi original big budget movie. Spidermans are all fine and well for his checkbook but I think that he has better work yet to do.