Years and years ago, something happened during the late 12th century. It was bad. Now, it has come back to haunt us. One man will have to do the impossible- eat a bagel in the morning, fight off creatures that no one has seen since the late 12th century during the day, and then get the girl only at night to get killed off in the sequel.
THIS. IS. TRORROR.
Another sequel? WHAT.
This is “The Return of the Evil Dead”, and it’s a sequel-slash-remake of the first film. I say it’s a sequel because of the fact that it’s the follow-up to “Tombs of the Blind Dead” with the same monsters, but it’s also a remake as the undead templars get a bit of a reboot concerning their origin. This time they’re outright caught by the village people (no, not THOSE village people… the regular ones who live in villages. That still happens across various large bodies of water in other places, you know. People living in villages and not cities. Let’s continue!), and they get their eyes burned out and set aflame. The leader of the Templars swears that they’ll come back to take revenge, and since the title of this movie is “The Return of the Evil Dead”, then I suppose he spoke knowingly before he was burned to death.
Cut to modern day times in the early seventies, where the legend of the Templars has turned into a bit of an event- it’s pretty much like "”The Day of the Dead”, but decidedly Italian and fitting the means of this particular movie. People are setting off fireworks and burning effigies of the Templars and all that stuff, and it’s up to one horny landskeeper to bring those nasty Templars back.
How horny is he, you ask?
He spies on the main couple as they’re busy trying to knock boots on a clean patch of grass, and then reveals that he’s been hiding a chippy of his own in order to bring back the Templars. He kills her, the Templars are resurrected and pissed, they ride into town slow-motion style, kill a bunch of people and it turns into a siege on the town as the movie ends. Former lovers are reunited, rivals are forced to work together, and everyone is in great danger as they try to survive the RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD.
HEY, THAT WAS PRETTY GOOD
WHAT I LIKED
There’s an actual sense of direction with this sequel, as the first movie is a bunch of “HEY WHAT IF WE HAD SOME UNDEAD DUDES RIDE AROUND ON HORSES IN SLOW MOTION AND KILL PEOPLE AND HEY, FUCK AN EXACT STORYLINE BECAUSE I JUST WANNA SEE SOME SLOW-MOTION HORSEBACK RIDING!”. This movie actually builds up to the slow-motion horseback riding- once everyone’s sequestered into the small town square for the final act, it’s boatloads of fun.
There is also one little story beat I loved… but people are going to hate me for it.
KID BAIT 101
Let it be said that I hate children in horror movies- I absolutely hate them. They’re a distraction from the story, and when they are actually needed, most of the time the poor kid picked for said part can’t act.
This movie used a small child perfectly… because she was bait.
Once I saw the kid in the movie, I started cursing up a storm; however, once the bad guy decided to use her as bait, I was hooked. There’s a bit of cruelty involved when you can have a character tell a child that their father is across the street from where they are with candy even though you know full well that he’s dead.
In fact, the whole final sequence of the film is pretty awesome- everyone who’s trying to survive knows that the Blind Dead only respond to sound, so some folks are trying to get other folks to make noise in order to draw attention from various escape attempts. It’s a shitload more fun than the previous movie, that’s for sure.
Oh, and the chick who runs from the Blind Dead only to hop on one of their horses and ride around in slow-motion?
WHAT I HATED
The fact that when in moments of crisis, Italian men on celluloid in the seventies tend to think “RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE RAPE” and not “…hey, this is all sorts of fucked up, why don’t we get outta here together?” COME ON, MAN.
THE INTERNET’S OWN EMO SAMUS RAPPELLED DOWN FROM “WHADDYA MEAN MY GAME WASN’T UNIVERSALLY PRAISED?!” LAND IN ORDER TO GIVE YOU A CHOZO-BASED THUMBS UP, MOVIE
Until next time, gang.
Brick Prior does not care about universal praise. He only wants fried chicken whenever he can get it.