(On VHS, July 1999) Simply put, a blast. A shotgun blast. Effectively mixing dark comedy and liquid gore while making the most out of its small budget, this movie works by sheer audacity. Director Sam Raimi’s devilishly inventive camera angles and non-stop pacing (the movie’s 85 minutes, but packs a wallop) are as frantic as anything you’ve seen elsewhere. Plus, Bruce Campbell is very cool and the special effects are pretty well-handled. Drags a bit by the end. Works simultaneously as a movie, a parody and MST3K fodder. Clever, hip and simply a lot of fun. Rougher than its sequel Army Of Darkness, but well worth the rental.
(Second viewing, On DVD, August 2006) I’m sure that this film does get old at some point, but watching it every few years is still a treat: The mixture of horror and comedy is one thing, but Sam Raimi’s hyperkinetic camera style is still a blast after twenty years and countless imitators. The film manages to top itself minute after minute, and this despite an introduction that repeats the entire first film in a matter of moments. It also helps that Bruce Campbell truly emerges as an icon right on time at the beginning of the third act. Good gags, appropriate gore and tons of creativity: ah, if more horror movies could be like this… The DVD contains an amusing commentary by the principal crew members, who take the time to reflect on the film shoot in general and how specific scenes were shot.