Evil Dead (2013) Is the Pick of the Week

People love to slag on sequels and especially remakes. Whenever one is announced, the Internet explodes with righteous anger calling the remake stupid, ridiculous, a complete failure, and a slew of other words not fit to print. This is especially true with remakes of beloved genre pictures. Technology has made the world small and now fans of obscure movies in various genres be it sci-fi, horror, or rainbow ponies can bond together with other like-minded folks across the planet. We love to geek out at the good and raise our collective middle fingers to the bad, even if we’ve not seen an inch of footage.

Evil Dead saw it all. The Sam Raimi original is a veritable horror classic and in some circles the trilogy stands right up their with the Star Wars and The Godfathers. When it was announced that they were remaking it, Deadites from all over blew up in fits of rage. Never mind the fact that the original, while inventive and innovative in its low-budgetness, is not that good of a film. In fact, were it not for its incredible sequel I doubt the original would be remembered much at all by anyone outside of a few die-hard horror screwheads. And this comes from someone who is very much a fan.

Personally, when they announced the remake, I shrugged and put it in my increasingly long list of recent remakes of horror classics from my teenage years that I’ll get around to seeing one day, maybe. I’m really not one to be pissed off at remakes. Yes, usually they are just quick cash ends, banking on nostalgia and a new set of teenagers to make a few (million) bucks off of. Yes, rarely are they very good. No, there is hardly any reason at all for them to exist at all, especially when the originals are really good. While if asked, I’d prefer them to make new, original films, nobody is asking and I’m willing to accept that sometimes, just sometimes, remakes actually pull off something amazing.

To their eternal credit, many of the screaming horror heads did eventually settle down and watched the flick and loved it. Word is director Fede Alvarez took the basic story ramped up the adrenaline and gore and made a terrific, no-frill horror flick. That’s enough to get me on board, even if the end result isn’t masterful cinema.

Sometimes all you really want is some blood splatter. Or lots. Lots and lots.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

42: There was a time in my life when baseball meant something to me. Quite a lot of somethings, in fact. I have many great memories of watching the Braves with my grandparents and swapping baseball cards with my cousins. Those days are over and I haven’t watched a game in a good decade or more, but I still remember the old stories. Of Hank Aaron beating Babe Ruth’s home run record, of Willie Mays’ miracle World Series catch, and of course, of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier and kicking butt.

I can’t say those memories and stories are enough to make me all that interested in a movie based upon Robinson’s life, but its enough to make me mention it here.

Orphan Black: Season One: I don’t know anything about this series other than the basic synopsis, but I keep hearing good buzz about it. Read Steve Geise’s review.

Black Sabbath: Standard Edition Remastered (Blu-ray): I’m severely lacking in having seen Mario Bava’s films. This is supposed to be one of his best and I’m all for remastered editions of classic Italian horror.

Kidnapped: Standard Edition Remastered (Blu-ray): I own a Chinese bootleg of this film. For some reason I always thought it was an early Roman Polanski film, but no it’s apparently another Bava. No, I haven’t watched it. Yes I’ll be remedying that soon.

Lord of the Flies (Criterion Blu-ray): I’ve never read the book nor seen any of the movie adaptations of this tale, but I feel like I know it. I suppose that’s the mark of a great story. This is supposed to be the better adaptation and with Criterion’s support I suspect it has never looked better.

Mat Brewster

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