I have some embarrassing gaps in classic-horror-movie-viewing, and the first two Evil Dead movies are one of them. Somehow I’ve seen:
- Army of Darkness
- Ash vs Evil Dead
- The Evil Dead 
- Evil Dead: The Musical
…All of which were bloody amazing, yet I’ve somehow never seen the first two original movies. Now that I’ve seen the second movie, perhaps I’ll work my way back to the first one like I did with all three Die Hard movies (there are no other Die Hard movies) when I was a kid.
I definitely see the Fulci influence (splatter, oozing corpse effect makeup, the odd strange bit of ADR) and, in turn its own influence on the movies that came after it (everything from the infamous cabin setup to the evil-POV zooms, the foul-mouthed demons and its signature-Raimi campy gore. It was ridiculously fun to watch with a [virtual] group; I’m kind of giddy on how just…extra everything was.
I’d been advised that this sequel was pretty much the first movie but with less people, owing to the return of the cabin, but Ash (the impossibly handsome Bruce Campbell)’s character, whom I’d only known as the ‘groovy’ guy, went from hapless to frantic at the end of the first movie, and then here from manic to badass – replete with his famous chainsaw arm (although why didn’t he just bind his hand in the first place?).
And it absolutely holds up. The sheer amount of hard work that must have been put into the SFX – the creatures, the mewling hand, the bloated demon witch, the literal buckets of blood – is clear on-screen, and is practically its own character, a theatre macabre. I can see why it translated so well into a musical. It’s fucking fantastically bonkers.