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Learning from Movies: EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN

I’ve got nothing against Evil Dead.

If we’re being honest, though, Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn are basically the same movie, but with the second one having a bigger budget (by about $3 million).

That’s because Stephen King was such a fan of the first film that he convinced Dino De Laurentiis to finance the second one.

I’ve lost track of the number of movies that pay homage to the Evil Dead series. In particular, the low-angle camera shot racing over the ground comes up in lots of movies.

Just in time for your Halloween – humor, horror, and lessons after the break.

  • Run-down shacks in isolated woods are not the right places for romantic get-aways – especially when they have their own graveyards
  • You must not read from the book, or play a tape recording of someone reading the book
  • If you’re translating an ancient book of magic, don’t record yourself doing it. I mean, come on.
  • You can fool an evil spirit running around a corner if you do it fast enough
  • If you knock your possessed girlfriend’s head off with a shovel, don’t dance with her after she crawls out of her grave
  • If her disembodied head later falls into your lap, don’t make “going down” jokes until you’ve got the chainsaw
  • When Bruce Campbell showed up on set to film his scenes for Escape from LA, the first thing Kurt Russell asked him to say was, “Work shed,” because of the over-dubbing in this movie.
  • We just cut up our girlfriend with a chainsaw. Does that sound “fine”?
  • When your reality check is the image that just stepped out of the mirror, you might be in more trouble than you realize

  • It really sucks when your hand goes bad
  • Never agree to carry someone’s bags until you know how many bags there are, and what they weigh
  • If you trap your evil hand in a bucket, the appropriate book to weigh down the bucket is A Farewell to Arms – but that won’t stop the evil hand from crawling away
  • If you’re trying to kill your severed evil hand, don’t laugh – shoot!

  • If you show up at your dad’s isolated, woodland cabin and hear maniacal laughter from the inside, and you decide to knock at the front door, don’t be surprised if someone shoots at you
  • Cover your mouth when you scream. You’re less likely to swallow an eyeball
  • Your world must be pretty awful if you want to force your way into this one
  • I’m not sure I would trust a ghostly, disembodied, head after my girlfriend rose from the grave and I cut her up with a chainsaw – especially not if it told me to read from the book that started all the trouble
  • If something evil lives in the woods, don’t run off in them by yourself
  • You don’t want demons manifesting in the flesh, even if that means you can toss them into a kind of rift in time and space

  • Hey, redneck with a shotgun – if the demons want the pages from the book, then they’re not mumbo-jumbo bullshit, they’re important
  • If your girlfriend vanished in the haunted woods for more than a few seconds, going out in the woods and shouting her name is asking for trouble
  • Always look before you stab
  • Demon blood dries quickly, and doesn’t stain – unless you’re a guy, and then you’re going to be a gory mess
  • Love conquers demon possession…you know, sometimes…temporarily…
  • Chainsaws are groovy

  • Sometimes it’s the hero who reappears after everyone’s sure he died
  • A blast to the face from a double-barreled shotgun works on demons, but won’t stop walking trees

Happy Halloween, gentle readers. Swallow your soul! Dead by dawn!

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