(detailed information about this entry from Wikipedia)
Evil Dead II (also known as Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn or The Sequel to the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror) is an American horror film, released in 1987. A sequel to 1981's The Evil Dead, the film was directed by Sam Raimi, written by Raimi and Scott Spiegel, produced by Rob Tapert and starred Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams. The film was followed by a sequel of its own, Army of Darkness, in 1993.
The film is very similar to the first, even to the extent that some consider it a remake (see below). However, Evil Dead II is noticeably more lighthearted.
Ash Williams and his girlfiend Linda take a romantic vacation to a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods. While in the cabin, Ash plays a tape of an archaeology professor, (the cabin's previous inhabitant), reciting passages from the Necronomicon, (or "Book of the Dead"), which he has discovered during an archaeological dig. The recorded incantation unleashes an evil force which kills and later possesses the body of Linda. While Ash is dealing with this force, the professor's daughter and her research partner return from the dig with more pages of the Necronomicon in tow, only to find the bridge leading to the part of the woods where the cabin is located destroyed. They enlist the help of a local man and woman to guide them along an alternate trail to the cabin. The four of them find an embattled Ash who is slowly being driven insane due to his encounter with the evil force. Over the course of his battle, he has dismembered his girlfriend's corpse, severed his possessed hand (which he later is forced to battle with using a shotgun to comic effect), and witnessed various household appliances laughing at him. He eventually attaches a chainsaw to the stump of his arm to help fight the "evil dead," a fight joined by the other four (one of whom Ash has accidentally shot). Eventually, as his allies die off one by one, Ash is forced to find the scattered pages of the Necronomicon in the basement (thrown down there by the local man in a failed attempt to take control of the group) where he battles the possessed dead body of the professor's wife. With these pages, the professor's daughter is able to chant an incantation that will send the evil force back to where it came from, and dies in the process. The incantation, however, opens up a portal to the 13th century and sends Ash, the sole survivor, back with it.
The concept of a sequel to The Evil Dead was discussed during the location shooting on the first film. Sam Raimi wanted to toss his hero, Ash, through a time portal, back into the Middle Ages. That notion eventually turned up in the third installment, Army of Darkness.
After the release of Evil Dead, Raimi moved on to Crimewave, a cross between a crime film and a comedy produced by Raimi and Joel and Ethan Coen. Irvin Shapiro, a publicist who was primarily responsible for the mainstream release of The Evil Dead, suggested that they next work on a Evil Dead sequel. Raimi scoffed at the idea, expecting Crimewave to be a hit, but Shapiro put out ads announcing the sequel regardless.
After Crimewave was released to little critical or audience acclaim, Raimi and Tapert, knowing that another flop would further stall their already lagging careers, took Shapiro up on his offer. Around the same time, they met Italian businessman Dino de Laurentiis, the owner of production and distribution company DEG. He had asked Raimi if he would direct a theatrical adaptation of the Stephen King (written under his Richard Bachman pseudonym) novel Thinner; Raimi turned down the offer, but de Laurentiis continued to be interested in the young filmmaker.
The Thinner adaptation was part of a deal between de Laurentiis and King to produce several adaptations of King's successful horror fiction. At the time, King was directing the first such adaptation, Maximum Overdrive, based on his short story "Trucks". He had dinner with a crewmember who had been interviewed about the Evil Dead sequel, and told King that the film was having trouble attracting funding. Upon hearing this, King, who had written a glowing review of the first film that helped it become an audience favorite at Cannes, called de Laurentiis and asked him to fund the film.
Though initially skeptical, he agreed after being presented with the extremely high Italian grosses for the first film. Raimi and Tapert had desired $4 million for the production, they were allotted only $3.6 million. As such, the planned medieval storyline had to be scrapped.
Though they had only recently received the funding necessary to produce the film, the script had been written for some time, having been composed largely during the production of Crimewave. Raimi contacted his old friend Scott Spiegel, who had collaborated with Campbell and others on the Super-8 films they had produced during their childhood in Michigan. Most of these films had been comedies, and Spiegel felt that Evil Dead II should be less straight horror than the first. Initially, the opening sequence included all five characters from the original film, but, in an effort to save time and money, all but Ash and Linda were cut from the final draft. This argues against the "remake" theory (see below), because it makes clear that the events of the first film are meant to take place within the timeframe of the beginning of the sequel, and that everything that happens after Ash is hit by the invisible force is new.
Speigel and Raimi wrote most of the film in their house in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California, where they were living with the aforementioend Coen brothers, as well as actors Frances McDormand, Kathy Bates and Holly Hunter (Hunter was the primary inspiration for the Bobby Jo character). Due both to the distractions of their houseguests and the films they were involved with, Crimewave and Josh Becker's Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except, the script took an inordinately long time to finish.
Among the many inspirations for the film include The Three Stooges and other slapstick comedy films; Ash's fights with his disemboided hand come from a film made by Spiegel as a teenager, entitled Attack of the Helping Hand, which was itself inspired by television commercials advertising Hamburger Helper. The "laughing room" scene, where all the objects in the room seemingly come to life and begin to cackle maniacally along with Ash, came about after Spiegel jokingly used a gooseneck lamp to visually demonstrate a Popeye-esque laugh. Sam Spiegel's humorous influence can be seen throughout the film, perhaps most prominently in certain visual jokes; for instance, Ash uses books to weigh down his rogue hand; the top book is labelled "A Farewell To Arms by Stubby Kaye". A Farewell to Arms is, in reality, a classic novel by Ernest Hemmingway and Stubby Kaye, a comedian.
With the script completed, and a production company secured, filming could begin. The production commenced in Wadesboro, North Carolina, not far from de Laurentiis' offices in Wilmington. De Laurentiis had wanted them to film in his elaborate Wilmington studio, but the production team felt uneasy being so close to the producer, so they moved to Wadesboro, approximately three hours away. Steven Spielberg had previously filmed The Color Purple in Wadesboro, and the large white farmhouse used as an exterior location in that film became the production office for Evil Dead II. Most of the film was shot in the woods near that farmhouse, or J.R. Faison Junior High School, which is where the interior cabin set was located.
The film's production was not nearly as chaotic or strange as the production of the original, largely because of Raimi, Tapert and Campbell's additional filmmaking experience. However, there are nevertheless numerous stories about the strange happenings on the set. For instance, the rat seen in the cellar and "blood flood" scenes was nicknamed "Señor Cojones" by the crew. "Cojones" is Spanish for "testicles".
Even so, there were hardships, mostly involving Ted Raimi's costume. Ted, director Sam's younger brother, had been involved in the first film briefly, acting as a fake Shemp, but in Evil Dead II he gets the larger role of the historian's demon-possessed wife, Henrietta. Raimi was forced to wear a full-body, latex costume, crouch in a small hole in the floor acting as a "cellar", or, on one day, both. Raimi become extremely overheated, to the point that his costume was literally filled with liters of sweat; Special effects artist Greg Nicotero describes pouring the fluid into several Dixie cups so as to get it out of the costume. The sweat is also visible on-screen, dripping out of the costume's ear, in the scene where Henrietta spins around over Ash's head.
The crew also snuck various in-jokes into the film itself, such as the clawed glove of Freddy Krueger, the primary antagonist of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series of slasher films, which hangs in the cabin's basement. This was, at least partially, a reference to a scene in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street where the character Nancy (portrayed by Heather Langenkamp), watches the original Evil Dead on a television set in her room. In turn, that scene was a reference to the torn The Hills Have Eyes poster seen in the original Evil Dead film, which was itself a reference to a torn Jaws poster in The Hills Have Eyes.
At the film's wrap party, the crew held a talent contest, where Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell sang The Byrds' "Eight Miles High", with Nicotero on guitar.
 Sequel or remake?
There is some question as to whether the film is a sequel or a remake, since The Evil Dead ends with Ash (Campbell) apparently being run down by the invisible demon which killed all the other characters. However, after the recap of the events of The Evil Dead at the beginning of Evil Dead II (which condenses the Evil Dead story to include only Ash and Linda, the only two characters from the first film important to the story of Evil Dead II) Ash is hit by the same invisible force and the story continues from there. Differences between the recap and the actual events of the first movie are mainly attributed to Raimi's inability to obtain footage from the first movie due to the rights being owned by several different companies in different worldwide territories. Following that, he decided to take a few creative licences with the story to help the flow of the plot. This is the film which introduces the famous chainsaw attached to Ash's arm.
The film was followed by Army of Darkness, which continues with Ash's adventures in the medieval fantasy world into which he was transported at the end of Evil Dead II.
- Sam Raimi cameos as the knight that hails Ash towards the end of the film.
- The car used in the movie, a Delta 88, is a trademark of Sam Raimi's movies, appearing in all of them except for The Quick and the Dead, though Bruce Campbell has stated the chassis was used to make a wagon in the film.
- Possessed character known as "Evil Ed" (a.k.a. "Pop-Top Ed") as Ash axe victim who loses the top of his head. The scalp (and stuff), complete with moving eyeball, skitters around the floor by itself. That scene, as well as Evil Ed's subsequent dismemberment, wound up cut from the final print.
- Originally when Bobbie Joe gets killed, the vines pull her legs apart and she's split in half like a wishbone when she gets rammed with a tree between her legs. The scene was cut out in order to obtain a R-rating.
- Warren, Bill. The Evil Dead Companion. ISBN 0-312-27501-3.
- Raimi, Sam. Spiegel, Scott. Nicotero, Greg. Campbell, Bruce. Evil Dead II DVD, audio commentary.
- Campbell, Bruce. If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of A B-Movie Actor. ISBN 0-312-29145-0
 External links