Evil Dead II  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Evil Dead II (also known in publicity materials as Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn) is a 1987 American comedy horror film directed by Sam Raimi and a parody sequel to the 1981 horror film The Evil Dead. The film was written by Raimi and Scott Spiegel, produced by Robert Tapert, and stars Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams.

Filming took place in Michigan and North Carolina in 1986, and the film was released in the United States on March 13, 1987. It was a minor box office success, achieving just under $6 million. It garnered positive reviews in which critics praised Raimi's direction and Campbell's performance. Like the original, Evil Dead II has accumulated a cult following. The film was followed by a third installment, Army of Darkness, in 1992 and a television series, Ash vs Evil Dead, in 2015.

The hand

In one scene, the spirit chases Ash back to the cabin where Linda's revived head attacks him, biting his hand. Ash brings Linda's severed head to the shed, where her headless body attacks him with a chainsaw. Ash gains the upper hand and slashes the relentless deadite Linda to death, killing her a second and final time. Then Ash's possessed right hand tries to kill him, and Ash is forced to sever his hand with his chainsaw. Ash then attempts to shoot the severed hand hiding in the wall of the cabin. The hand mocks him and ultimately gets away.

Among the film's many inspirations include The Three Stooges and other slapstick comedy films; Ash's fights with his disembodied 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. Spiegel's humorous influence can be seen throughout the film, perhaps most prominently in certain visual jokes; for instance, when Ash traps his rogue hand under a pile of books, on top is A Farewell to Arms.


Plot

The movie opens with a brief (and altered/reimagined/truncated) recap of the first movie. Ash Williams and his girlfriend, Linda, take a romantic vacation to a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods. While in the cabin, Ash plays a tape of archaeologist Raymond Knowby, the cabin's previous inhabitant, reciting passages from the Book of the Dead, Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, which he has discovered during an archaeological dig. The recorded incantation unleashes an evil force (also known as the Kandarian Demon) that kills and later possesses Linda, turning her into a "deadite". Ash is then forced to decapitate his girlfriend with a shovel and bury her near the cabin.

At dawn, the evil force throws Ash through the woods. Ash briefly becomes possessed by the demon, but when day breaks the force is gone, and Ash returns to normal. Ash attempts to flee the area, but finds that the bridge leading to the cabin has been destroyed. The spirit chases Ash back to the cabin where Linda's revived head attacks him, biting his hand. Ash brings Linda's severed head to the shed, where her headless body attacks him with a chainsaw. Ash gains the upper hand and slashes the relentless deadite Linda to death, killing her a second and final time. Then Ash's possessed right hand tries to kill him, and Ash is forced to sever his hand with his chainsaw. Ash then attempts to shoot the severed hand hiding in the wall of the cabin. The hand mocks him and ultimately gets away.

Meanwhile, Knowby's daughter, Annie, and her research partner, Ed Getley, return from the dig with the missing pages of the Necronomicon in tow, only to find the destroyed bridge. They enlist the help of locals Jake and Bobby Joe to guide them along an alternate trail to the cabin. The four of them find an embattled Ash, who is, seemingly, slowly being driven insane by the demon, such as hallucinating that the room comes to life with objects in the room laughing hysterically at him.

The four new arrivals meet Ash at the cabin and listen to a recording of Knowby detailing how his wife Henrietta was possessed by the Kandarian Demon, forcing him to kill her. They find Mrs. Knowby, now a deadite, in the cabin's root cellar, and it attacks and possesses Ed; Ash dismembers him with an axe. Bobby Joe tries to escape but is attacked by the demon trees and dragged to her death. Annie translates two of the pages before Jake turns on them and throws the pages into the cellar, holding them at gunpoint to force them to go look for Bobby Joe. Ash is possessed once again and turns on his remaining companions, incapacitating Jake. Annie retreats to the cabin and accidentally stabs Jake (mistaking him for the possessed Ash) and drags him to the cellar door, where he is killed by Henrietta in a gory bloodbath. Deadite Ash tries to kill Annie, but returns to his normal self when he sees his girlfriend Linda's necklace.

Ash, with Annie's help, modifies the chainsaw and attaches it to his stump, where his right hand had been. Ash eventually finds the missing pages of the Necronomicon and kills Henrietta, who has turned into a long-necked monster. After Ash kills Henrietta, Annie chants an incantation that sends the Kandarian Demon back to its origin. The incantation opens up a whirling temporal vortex/portal which not only draws in the demon, but nearby trees, Ash's Oldsmobile Delta 88, and Ash himself. Meanwhile, Ash's severed possessed hand stabs Annie.

Ash and his Oldsmobile land in the year 1300 AD. He is then confronted by a group of knights who initially mistake him for a deadite, but they are quickly distracted when a real one shows up. Ash blasts the harpy-like deadite with his shotgun and is hailed as a hero who has come to save the realm, at which point he breaks down and screams in anguish.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Evil Dead II" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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