Greetings cult movie fans! My apologies for not frequenting this blog (or my site)! Truthfully I was thinking of putting the kibosh on this here blog because I just don't know what to do with it. But until I figure that out, it shall remain online as part as the ever-growing, and ever-evolving B-Movie Film Vault.
But nevermind that, the important thing right now is "The Evil Dead," Sam Raimi's cult horror classic from 1981. We've all seen this movie numerous times, and many of us have been duped into buying it over and over again by those bastards at Anchor Bay (case in point, the "Limited Edition" Blu-ray is coming out on Tuesday, August 31st), each one boasting something new that the prior release didn't have.
I myself ended up buying "The Evil Dead" three times (VHS, DVD Special Edition, Book of the Dead Edition), which is pretty good considering I bought "Evil Dead II" five times (two VHS tapes, DVD special edition, Book of the Dead edition, and the Blu-ray release) and "Army of Darkness" five times (VHS theatrical cut, DVD theatrical cut, bootleg edition on VHS, then later on DVD, and finally the "Boomstick Edition). Stop raping (me and) the fans Anchor Bay!
In any case, Saturday night I drove up to Rochester, NY (three hour trip mind you) with my girlfriend Tara, and my buddy Greg to see an all new print of "The Evil Dead," made from the original 16MM print. This particular print of the film was lent to the Dryden Theatre (at the George Eastman House in Rochester) by Sage Stallone and Bob Murawski from Grindhouse Releasing.
Joining us for this milestone event was the triple threat of Kristy Jett (of Fright Rags fame), her best friend Laurie, and Bill Adock from Radiation-Scarred Reviews. We combined our forces and feasted at a place called dogTown where I discovered the horror that is the "The Junkyard Plate." (a.k.a. "The Garbage Plate" which is made up of various foods that I would never dare to mix together.)
After filling our bellies with deliciously greasy food, we went to the theater to see, what is in my opinion, the most beautiful print of "The Evil Dead" in existence. (I kind of want to get the Anchor Bay Blu-ray, just to compare the picture quality.)
To kick things off, Kristy got up and did an introduction for the night's feature presentation, and geeked out a bit about Sam Raimi, telling the audience about how he eventually teamed up with Rob Tappert, Bruce Campbell, Scott Spiegel, and everyone else who brought this cult gem into existence. She also shared a few fun anecdotes about Sam Raimi that she heard from folks like Fred "Monster Squad" Dekker and Mark Shostrom.
I got a kick out of Mark Shostrom's tale of his meeting with Sam Raimi to do the makeup f/x for "Evil Dead II." He was so embarrassed by his crappy car, that he parked it a few blocks away, and walked to the meeting, only to later discover that Sam himself drove an equally crappy vehicle. (a.k.a. "The Classic")
After Kristy finished her little speech, the lights dimmed, and a series of cult movie trailers were played to get us all in the right mood. My memory is a bit sketchy, but I think this is the full list of trailers we saw: "Maniac," "Alligator," "Phobia," "The X Y Z Murders," "Venom," "On the Right Track," (with Gary Coleman!) and "Dressed To Kill." Bill and I cheered for "Alligator," and the audience as a whole cracked up during the trailer for [in a whispering voice] "Phobia." (a.k.a. "The Nesting")
And then "The Evil Dead" played.... and all was right in the world. For the next 85-minutes, we all gawked at the most beautiful print of "Evil Dead" I think any of us has ever seen. The crowd in the theater was totally in tune, and we all screamed, shouted, and laughed in unison at the demonic antics of the film's beleaguered stars. It is truly experiences like this that makes three-hour drives to a movie screening totally worthwhile!
As for the film itself, I will say that the image was a bit soft, but compared to all the VHS and DVD versions I've seen, nothing comes close. The picture was clear, the movie was in its original aspect ratio, the audio was fantastic, and I think I have finally fallen in love with this cult classic. (To date, "Evil Dead II" was, and still is, my favorite in the trilogy.) Plus, I can tally up seeing yet another classic horror film on the big screen!
After the movie, we bid our fond farewells to Kristy and company, then departed for our (tortuous) three-hour trek back into Northeastern, PA. And while we're on that topic, many thanks to Garmin for making a GPS that likes to mess with its users. The damned contraption decided that the best course to take on our return home was through a toll road, then down Route 96, through Ithaca, NY. Thanks for making our return trip longer than it had to be! (A-holes!)
Saturday was a blast, and I still can't over how good "The Evil Dead" looked! If it's playing in a city near you, I urge you to go out of your way and see this print of the film; you will most assuredly thank me.
You can get the entire schedule of "Evil Dead" movie screenings by clicking HERE and going to the official Grindhouse Releasing webpage! Cross your fingers that it is playing at an independent theater near you!
As for actual website news: Stay tuned for a double-dose of Monster-Mania Con XV coverage with a (lengthy) article chronicling my adventures, plus a podcast (chock full of John Carpenter scores in the background)! After that, I'll return to my original mission of reviewing Gary Ugarek's "Deadlands: Rising" and "Deadlands 2: Trapped," and finally post Holly Hobgoblin's guest review of "Burial Ground: The Nights of Terror."
After that? Well, if I make it to Monster-Mania XVI, you can expect coverage of that event; the return of some ancient reviews from the olde Vault archives, perhaps another podcast, and my two contributions to a remake-themed roundtable at the end of September!
Finally, I know I haven't been posting much on the blog (or site for that matter), but I'm working towards changing that. If you don't see much action around the Vault, feel free to bug me over at The B-Movie Film Vault Facebook Page. (Now with over 260 "likers" and counting!) At the very least, I check out said Facebook page twice a day and post various links, videos, and b-movie news that should be right up your alley. JOIN US.... won't you?