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    “EVIL DEAD” (SXSW Movie Review)

    More often than not, when the name EVIL DEAD is invoked (like the nefarious, blood-scrawled writings in the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis), it’s actually shorthand for the more maniacally funny EVIL DEAD II, writer-director Sam Raimi’s nutty 1987 horror landmark that served as both polished sequel and camped-up remake of his equally beloved 1981 debut The EVIL DEAD. Both films have similar setups, as soon-to-be-cult-hero Bruce Campbell and others visit a remote cabin in the woods and accidentally unleash a demonic force, which takes turns possessing and transforming its victims into absurdist, homicidal caricatures of Linda Blair in THE EXORCIST. Though the original film’s budget was only a fraction of its successor, the franchise’s hardcore fans know its ratio of horror-to-comedy errs more on the side of unnerving terror, its grisliest sequence depicting a young woman raped by the forest itself.

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