The new "Evil Dead" from director Fede Alvarez pays loving tribute to the gore of the original by providing one of the grossest, most graphic mainstream horror films in recent memory.
The buzz coming out of its premiere at South by Southwest has been largely positive, with critics celebrating the film's excellent and spectacular special effects. What makes it all the more impressive was that it was decided early on that they would use any CGI. Some groaned at what they perceived as pretension but the reaction of most cinephiles, particularly fans of horror, was a humongous sigh of relief. CGI has certainly provided some spectacular effects, but its biggest affect
on the film industry has been to make gore and blood splatter look about as convincing and organic as a cartoon mallet. After all, the primary reason for the proliferation of CGI in horror is cost, and it comes at the expense of quality.
Not with the new "Evil Dead." Everything you see was meticulously crafted on-site and performed by the cast and crew themselves. What you see is what you get. Well, okay, they don't literally torture and disembowel the cast, but from what cast members have told of the process, they came pretty damn close.
On this week's All Access Weekly
, our host Katie Linendoll – a big horror buff herself – sat with Fede Alvarez, Bruce Campbell, and the stars of the film to discuss the effects and the grueling process of creating one of the most intense films in years. You can see it below.
We're also paying homage to the film's roots by taking a look at a dozen of the most disgusting moments in horror film history.
"The Mist" – Spider Eggs
A scene in 2007's "The Mist" hit upon a very real, ridiculously irrational fear we all have: that the spiders living in the walls of our apartment going to crawl inside of our body, lay eggs, and burst out en masse.
"Human Centipede" – Sorry, my b(owel movement).
Source: IFC Films
Human Centipede comes across as a film designed to provide the grossest, most disturbing concept imaginable and not much else. That's because…well, that's pretty much the story of how and why the film was made. As soon as we see what's done to the victims, we know what's coming, yet we still can't help but feel dread when the "head" of the centipede lets everyone know that he's about to…well, you know.
"Misery" – A chip off the old block
"Miserably" is arguably the best film adaptation of one of Stephen King's works, and this scene is probably its most memorable. Unlike so many others on this list, it's actually a really simple and grounded concept, which makes it that much more disturbing. Kids, take it from James Caan: you want to keep your fans happy.
"The Shining" – Blinded by beauty…?
Source: Warner Bros.
"We've all been there, bro!" cried frat boys upon seeing the scene in "The Shining" where Jack Torrance is seduced by a beautiful woman only to find that she's actually some sort of hideous, decayed semi-corpse. There was a lot of disturbing imagery in this film, but nothing that was as gross as this.
"Prometheus" – Uh…hey, honey, let's adopt
On the whole this film was sort of a mess and didn't make a heck of a lot of sense, but it still managed to give us some really intense scenes, for example the one where Elizabeth Shaw (played by Noomi Rapace) has to get a rapidly expanding alien embryo out of her body post-haste, and does so with the assistance of an automated surgery table to perform an emergency c-section on herself. Oh, and she's fully conscious for the whole thing.
"The Evil Dead" (the original) – Lemme pencil you in
Source: New Line Cinema
There are more intricate and bloodier scenes that appear in this film. It isn't particularly gory. What makes it so gut-wrenching, though, is how long Raimi lingers on the pencil digging into the ankle. It feels like hours.
"Society" – Rich people know how to party!
On paper, the ending to this cult classic is ridiculous. But the way in which they create the effect of high society cannibals morphing together into frightening, amorphous blobs is the stuff of nightmares and one of the most visually dynamic effects ever.
"Dead Alive" – I'll have you know I'll be writing about this experience on Yelp
Source: Trimark Pictures
The dinner scene in Peter Jackson's breakout film about a boy desperately trying to keep his family from falling apart – literally – is one gross-out after another. My stomach still turns at the mere mention of custard.
"Seven" – Meet 'Sloth'
The most horrifying scene in "Seven" happens when one of the killer's victims isn't murdered, but rather left to literally rot. The reveal that what they think is a months-old corpse is actually alive is one of the biggest "gotcha" moments in film. Really disturbing stuff.
"A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" – It's the Muppet Show!
Source: New Line Cinema
Despite the fact that the title sounds like the name of a cheesy prog metal band, there are a lot of disturbing and horrifying deaths in this movie. The worst by far, though, is the fate of poor Phillip. Freddie appears as a giant puppet, then decides to make Phillip one himself by tearing out his veins and using them as strings to manipulate him like a marionette.
Day of the Dead – You're tearing me apart
The climactic scene in the conclusion of Romero's trilogy sees the main human antagonist, Captain Rhodes, literally torn apart by zombies, intestines and all. What made it grosser is that actual pig intestines were used, and someone decided it would be hilarious
to turn off the refrigerator that was storing them overnight. As a result, it ended up being even grosser for the poor actors involved (especially the ones playing the zombies) than the audience.
Well, folks, what scenes did we miss? Let us know by trolling and yelling at us in the comments below.
SXSW 2013: Evil Dead Extended Cast Interview