Still Groovy After All These Years

 

I just got back from seeing "Evil Dead". I went with a friend who differs from me in his unwillingness to see every random movie that comes out, but this was one of those occasions on which he decided to take a chance and do it for the sake of it. For what it's worth, I wasn't that sure about seeing it tonight either, but I'd heard good things, and my standing affection for "Army of Darkness" gave me a sense of obligation. 

I remember getting that tape from one of my father's assistants for Christmas when I was 10. Was I 10? Probably. It seems slightly stranger in retrospect, but that guy's primary job seemed to be taking care of my brother and me. The whole situation is somewhat reminiscent of the sort of internship one would see in a situation comedy. Still, the guy was pretty awesome, and some sort of amiable connection must have been established through sheer familiarity, for that gift really hit the mark. I hadn't heard of the franchise before, and I was initially bemused to receive the final installment of a trilogy I'd never seen. He explained that the movie's greater emphasis on crazy fun made it the one for me, and I agreed that that made sense. I don't know whether I've actually seen the middle film yet, but my eventual encounter with the first one definitely reinforced the guy's argument. A fairly straight horror movie pales beside a fantastical time travel romp in my eyes, and that would have been especially true at that age. That was probably around the time of my first viewing of "Young Frankenstein", which initially left me in a state of confusion over the movie's placement in the comedy aisle of the video store. I watched it again shortly afterwards and started to build up a greater affection for it, but I doubt that I'll ever be able to say the same for Ash's first outing. In any case, I watched "Army of Darkness" on the first day of Christmas vacation, and the thing still sits on some nebulous list of my favourite movies.

This new film is obviously a different beast, but it does what it does well. My friend and I didn't leave the cinema with any sort of transcendent joy, but we had a good time. There is one lingering thing, though.

How is a decrepit cabin a relaxing environment for a recovering drug addict? Mother of balls. Cabins are generally pretty boring unless you already enjoy the sorts of activities they enable, and I would guess that most heroin fanatics aren't really the types who ascribe any great importance to the joys of fresh air. I doubt that anyone has a great story about going on a kayaking expedition with Lou Reed. I suppose that the included diagram claims the possibility of a slight overlap between addicts and cabin enthusiasts, but it's probably filled by adherents of the Coleridge lifestyle that mostly just involves sitting alone and suppressing sanity with a bunch of opium. And Coleridge's place certainly couldn't have been as isolated as the one in this film. For one thing, it would have needed to be in walking distance of that guy who interrupted "Kubla Khan" with some great offer on water heaters or something.

People go to cottages to get away from distractions. Care for a quick bit of news about distractions? They're pretty important in fighting obsession. For some reason, I have a very vivid memory of going to see "Clerks 2" with a group of friends. When Jay walked up to the camera and sighed that boredom was the first step on the road to relapse, the suicidal alcoholic who sat beside me proudly whispered, "It's true."

If the poor girl hadn't been interrupted by damned zombies, she might have had a worse time. I don't think that you're really supposed to sit alone in an empty room when you're trying to fight off addiction. At least turn on "Ellen" or something. Damn. 

Obviously, bad decisions are fairly necessary to enforce the plot of most horror movies, but there's often a bit of justification. The people in them have no way of preparing for the types of new and depraved situations in which they find themselves, and it therefore makes sense for them to be unable to formulate decent plans. They're not trained for it. But it's harder to condone the mistreatment of a friend in that manner. It's the same level of horror movie stupidity with less logic. In this case, it's especially weird because they specifically mentioned the abject failure that resulted from a previous attempt to do the same thing in that exact manner. 

Whatever. I preferred "Oz".

Copyright © 2011, Jaymes Buckman and David Aaron Cohen. All rights reserved. In a good way.