Hello, Weirdos. Here is Part 2 of the Director Selective Series: Sam Raimi. The first week of November was fairly short, but I was able to squeeze in Raimi's first three feature films (thoughts on those below). Next for Raimi's directorial filmography are:
Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness I have seen previously, but will still rewatch. This will be my first time viewing Darkman, however. Should be a fun week.
Here is what I thought of last weeks Raimi films:
- It's Murder!: This movie was difficult to find. I ended up watching a rough version that had an ad. for the site hosting come across the screen every 10 minutes or so. Outside of that, this movie was…eccentric. It had a straightforward plot: man died under mysterious circumstances, the death gets investigated, and the audience finds out whodunit. It is all the stuff surrounding those main events that makes this film zany. Honestly, I thought it was damn funny. The investigator is full of one-liners. In fact, almost everyone is full of one-liners, which gives the movie an Abbot & Costello and 3 Stooges vibe to it. For me, it was fun to see Sam Raimi elements before they were his signature style.
- The Evil Dead: I watched The Evil Dead a few weeks ago as one of my Two Tone's Terror Tales bonuses. I had seen it before, but not for a few years. I can proudly say this movie holds up. As with It's Murder! the viewer gets to see the building blocks which eventually became what we love about Raimi—the over-the-top acting, the angled closeups, and the balance between campiness and horror, to name a few. Also, this film was disgusting. Coming in 11 years before Dead Alive, it was clear where Peter Jackson got inspiration. The special effects were great and added to the severity of the situation Ash and his cohorts were dealing with. Plus it looked gnarly, especially for the budget.
- Crimewave: Considered a disaster by Raimi himself, this movie had elements of several genres including crime, horror, and comedy. None of these genres were fleshed out enough to give the movie a cohesive feel to it. One prevailing element is this picture felt like a live action cartoon with parts that reminded me of a higher budgeted It's Murder! Often the jokes hit, but not always. Crimewave, while wacky-fun, was a slightly worthwhile spoof that never quite knew what it was, and demonstrated the beginnings of both the Cohen Brothers and Director Sam Raimi as filmmakers.
What did you think of these movies? Looking forward to other opinions on early Raimi. Check back next week for thoughts on Part 2 and the next films for Part 3. Also, keep an eye out for a new Review in the middle of the week. Keep on Creepin'.