Sunday, August 03, 2008

all about ash

image courtesy: the boston phoenix
The Evil Dead is perhaps the scariest of the trilogy that made Sam Raimi famous, even though it is not without touches of humour and moments where you wonder if you're supposed to laugh or scream (or, perhaps, both). The presence of footage from the film in Donnie Darko (which I caught again recently) might well count as a repeat viewing.

The Evil Dead II was a little more overt about its debt to The Three Stooges while still heaping up gore and comic horror. Issues with rights prevented this sequel from using footage from the original and it consequently ended up starting off as what looked like a re-interpretation of the events in the first film. The first time I saw it, the scene that lingered was the light bulb filling up with blood before inevitably exploding and splattering the basement. The second time I saw it, the wonderfully ingenious twist in the sequence when the force chases Ash into the house won. That scene merited an instant rewind.

Surprisingly, I ended up watching Army Of Darkness rather late (last year, to be precise). The verbal essence of this film and the two films that preceded it was already familiar thanks to heavy use of lines in Duke Nukem 3D, an old favourite on the PC. The film continues to riff on The Three Stooges, but its props betray a debt to Jason And The Argonauts and The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad, both featuring the classic stop-motion animation of Ray Harryhausen. Besides boasting the hilarious appearance of Evil Ash, the film itself proved to continue to showcase ingenious approaches to low-budget filmmaking: my favourite would have to be that they used women (dancers, especially) for the skeletons, because they had a more amenable body frame. Consider that a skewed example of forced perspective if you like. One must not forget Sam Raimi's multiple cameos.

But all this is really an excuse to show off the cool poster, which is one of several showcased in a book called Translating Hollywood: The World of Movie Posters that contains several samples of international posters for Hollywood movies. The use of Campbell soup cans is priceless.

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