***½/**** Image A Sound A+ Extras C+
starring Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, Dileep Rao
screenplay by Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi
directed by Sam Raimi
by Ian Pugh The Evil Dead was one of the primary altars at which I prayed as a young student of the cinematic arts--a vital entry in that education for how it left me shocked, nay, stupefied that such a work could actually exist, with its twitching limbs and tree-rapes and fountains of oatmeal ichor. How did they get away with that stuff? So it goes, I think, with Sam Raimi's best efforts, these four-colour horror comics put on film, blindsiding you with their towering insanity before you can understand just how deeply they'll worm into your psyche with their sadness and panic. Sounds incredibly petty to say, but I have to admit that when he found mainstream success and acceptance with the Spider-Man franchise, a little piece of that anarchic spirit died for me. Raimi himself was transparently nostalgic for it in Spider-Man 3, a decidedly misguided attempt to hark back to the themes of his original superhero masterpiece, Darkman.