Eye For Film >> Movies >> Evil Dead 2 - Dead By Dawn (1987) Film Review
Just for the record, this is not a remake, but a sequel. Sam Raimi could not get the rights to re-use scenes from Evil Dead so he re-shot some of them to explain what is going on and how Ash and Linda got to the cabin. But there still is a major sense of déjà vu.
Ash barricades himself into the cabin after the events in the first film and finds himself going crazy. The furniture starts laughing at him, his reflection talks to him and an evil force is determined to take him over. It manages to possess his hand and so he cuts it off. It starts scuttling around the floor on its own and randomly attacking him. Strangers show up in the hope of finding the Professor, who was staying there, and lock Ash in the cellar. They assume he is responsible for the bloody carnage.
People die, people turn into monsters - same old same-old. It's hard to imagine why this is such a cult favorite when it is obviously a badly made movie. Or perhaps Raimi just works the best he can with a low budget (although many times higher than the original) and the shoddy production values are a result of that.
He goes over the same ground he did before, except with more resources for gore and mayhem. Very little of this makes sense and none of it is scary. There are a couple of good moments, like when Ash's hand beats him up and when he is chased through the house by the unseen evil force. Campbell is a terrific physical actor and he is a delight to watch, but I doubt whether he understood what on earth he was doing, or why.
Having a low budget does not excuse a bad storyline and although this looks more professional than Evil Dead, it still looks like a student film. The best part is the cliff-hanger ending that leads to Army Of Darkness.Reviewed on: 07 Dec 2001