Hello Geeks and Ghouls, Famous Monster here. Well, it’s finally October and you know what that means? Breast Cancer Awareness 5Ks? Good guess. Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Delicious, but no. Halloween? YES. Horror movies? DOUBLE YES!
Welcome to 31 Days of Horror, where I’ll cover at least two noteworthy horror films a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 62+ scary movies perfect for a cold, dark October night. Be sure to visit Geeks of Doom every day this month for a double-shot of chills and thrills!
Today’s double-shot features flesh-possessing demons in Sam Raimi‘s 1981 film, The Evil Dead and re-animated dead tissue in Stuart Gordon‘s 1985 Re-Animator.
On Spring Break vacation, five Michigan State students venture into the hills of rural Tennessee to party at a cabin in the woods. There, they find the “Naturan Demanto,” a Sumerian variation of the Book of the Dead. Accompanying the strange book, which appears to be bound in human flesh, the students find a tape recorder that plays demonic incantations from the book, unleashing evil demons.
That Creepy Scene:
Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss) hears the haunting voices of the demons and goes outside (DUMB!) to investigate. After walking deep into the woods, Cheryl is brutally attacked by what I’ve come to call The Date Rape Tree (not to be confused with the Angry Molesting Trees of Drew Goddard’s The Cabin in the Woods).
Brought to life with some impressive, low-budget gags, Cheryl is ensnared by branches and vines and pinned to the forest floor. The Date Rape Tree proceeds to have its way with her – which I guess should be entirely traumatizing and horrific but honestly, it’s pretty damn funny as a result of the homemade, shot-in-reverse visual effects. Still, it’s unnerving to see vines pull Cheryl’s legs apart while a thick tree branch rams into her crotch…
Sam Raimi‘s The Evil Dead was made for $350,000 and shot over a year and a half, with some actors leaving the project and being replaced by Fake Shemps and stand-ins periodically. With some borderline claymation visual effects, The Evil Dead has become the definition of a cult classic, grossing over $30 million since its release in 1981.
Filled with chainsaw dismemberments, sexually aggressive trees, and maniacal laughing demons, The Evil Dead is filled with memorable moments, and is also noteworthy for jumpstarting the careers of Raimi and Bruce Campbell, both of whom returned for Evil Dead II, a quasi-remake of the first film, and Army of Darkness, where Ash goes back in time to fight Jason and the Argonauts-esque skeleton warriors.
While I usually don’t get too excited for remakes, I’m actually looking forward to Fede Alvarez‘s 2013 remake, co-written by Alvarez and Diablo Cody (the highly-underrated Jennifer’s Body). The film will focus on Mia (Jane Levy), a young woman struggling with sobriety, who heads to a remote cabin with her brother and a group of friends, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads to danger and horror.
Based on the H.P. Lovecraft story Herbert West–Reanimator, Stuart Gordon‘s 1985 film, Re-Animator, stars Jeffrey Combs as a brilliant medical student who has perfected a green-glowing serum for reanimating dead bodies — or in some cases, parts of dead bodies.
Re-Animator is easily one of the top cult films of all-time, a hilarious low-budget horor flick filled with morbid humor, renegade body parts, mad scientists, all in the spirit of films like Dead Alive, Basket Case, The Evil Dead, and Return of the Living Dead.
Follow Me on Twitter, and come back tomorrow for a new double-shot of horror!
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