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Film / Evil Dead 2

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"Legend has it that it was written by the Dark Ones. Necronomicon ex Mortis. Roughly translated: Book of the Dead."
Opening Narration

Evil Dead 2 (1987)note  is the second movie in the Evil Dead franchise. It is a partial remake and sequel to the original The Evil Dead.

Ashley J. Williams survives the possession of his girlfriend and, along with some new arrivals, manages to fight back the evil demons possessing the house. This film leads straight into Army of Darkness.

This film provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out: The film's first act was a partial remake of the first film, showing the basic story (people going out to a cabin to have a good time), but boils it down to only two characters (Ash and Linda), removing Cheryl, Scotty, and Shelly from the narrative entirely.
  • Alien Blood: A lot of the deadites
    • Linda's is black.
    • Ed's is green after he's possessed.
    • The evil given physical form at the end has blue blood.
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  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Ash is turned into a Deadite twice during the film. The first time is when the evil corrupts him after he buries Linda (continuing from the first film left off), but the sun coming up cures him. He gets possessed again later on when he's knocked out by Jake, but eventually rids himself of the evil for good when he spots Linda's necklace, the reminder of him losing her allowing him to retake control of his body.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Professor Knowby records the first incantations on a tape recorder. Then uses it as diary for the horrifying results.
  • Asshole Victim: Jake, he sells information for a trail instead of just helping Annie and Ed, and then forces Ash and Annie to go out in the woods with him to seek Bobbi Jo.
  • Badass Transplant: Ash is arguably the Trope Codifier with his chainsaw arm. Early in the movie he's forced to cut off his possessed hand, and attaches the chainsaw to the stump so he can use both the chainsaw and the shotgun.
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  • BBC Quarry: It wasn't shot in England (though the story does take place there), but Ash's arrival in the Middle Ages at the end was filmed at a very similar-looking North Carolina rock quarry.
  • Big "NO!": Ash at the end when he's Trapped in the Past and all the Knights are bowing to him as the chosen one.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Evil Dead are banished away from the present and back to where they come from. But Linda is still dead, along with Annie, and Ash has been thrown back in time to the year 1300 in Deadite occupied England.
  • Black Blood: When Ash is chopping up Deadites, black green blood flies everywhere.
  • Bloody Hilarious: You better believe it. The horror is somewhat offset by the movie acknowledging the sheer absurdity of what's happening.
  • Brutal Honesty: Ash rips the Band-Aid right off when it comes to Jake and his worrying over Bobbi Jo's disappearance:
    "If she went into those woods, you can forget about her."
  • Butt-Monkey: Bobbi Jo seems to suffer the most injuries and grievances out of the other four main characters. For instance, an eye goes flying into her screaming mouth.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The opening sequence with Linda, where Scotty, Cheryl and Shelly aren't shown is now non-canon, since Ash vs. Evil Dead has them mentioned in it.
  • Catchphrase: "Dead by dawn!" and "I'll swallow your soul!" Said by multiple Deadites.
  • Ceiling Smash: When Ed is possessed, he grabs Jake by the face and throws him vertically into the ceiling where he smashes a lightbulb.
  • Chainsaw Good: Ash uses the chainsaw he finds in the tool shed to slash through Deadites with ease. He later installs it onto his stump, giving him his iconic chainsaw hand.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "Hush Little Baby" this is the lullaby Henrietta used to sing to her daughter, and Annie sings it to distracted the possessed Henrietta long enough for Ash to recover and impale her with a chainsaw.
  • Closed Circle: Ash has to spend the a second night in the cabin due to the bridge being destroyed then Jake notices the trail he used to get Annie there seems to have been swallowed up by the trees.
  • Composite Character: Due to them being Adapted Out, Linda stands in for Cheryl, Scotty and Shelly who all succumbs to Demonic Possession besides herself during the recap of the first film's events.
  • Creator Cameo: Several crew workers took on bit parts.
    • Sam Raimi appears at the very end as the knight who proclaims Ash their savior and leads a chant.
    • Rob Tapert and Tom Sullivan are the workers at the airport.
    • Scott Spiegel is credited as a Fake Shemp.
  • Creepy Basement: Ash is temporarily locked in the cellar, only for Annie to listen her father Raymond having buried his wife in the cellar. Her corpse then rises to attack Ash.
  • Creepy Ballet: Linda's decapitated corpse dances like a creepy ballerina — the body pirouettes, the head does not move.
  • Decoy Protagonist: After Ash gets possessed again and goes on a rampage, the film follows Annie for a short time, until Ash overcome his possession and the perspective returns back to him.
  • Denser and Wackier: The first movie was pretty much an outright horror film, while this one is a lot more comedic, introducing several of the franchise's most iconic gags, a number of cheesy one-liners, and upping the gore from standard horror film to the level of outright farce.
  • Demonic Possession: The Evil Dead can possess people, their corpses, a particular limb, and even objects.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Ash's evil reflection makes a brief appearance in the mirror, then returns as a full-fledged villain in Army.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The creature that appears in the end.
  • Evil Hand: Ash's right hand is possessed, and repeatedly tries to kill him. After it is seemingly killed, it returns with a vengeance holding Bobbi Jo.
  • Fanservice: Linda dancing in her shirt and panties in the beginning
  • Fan Disservice: Deadite Linda's headless body has one breast exposed.
  • Flipping the Bird: By Ash's own possessed, chainsaw-severed hand, no less. His taunting must have ticked it off.
  • Forging Scene: Ash creating his chainsaw hand. He and Annie make a strap and adapt the chainsaw so that Ash can wield it and start it up without using another hand.
  • From Bad to Worse: When Ash wakes up, he desperately tries to get out of the woods, but the bridge is completely destroyed. As he vents his frustrations, the sun begins setting, and he realizes his situation is about to get much worse.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Just as Ash is about to use the chainsaw on Deadite Linda's head, this trope is invoked - showing blood splattering on the walls and shadows rather than the actual act. The DVD commentary points out the irony of this.
    "Why are you not showing that part? You've shown everything else."
    • Played with when he cuts off his own possessed hand: we don't see the actual amputation, but do see Ash's face getting drenched in the spray of blood.
    • Jake's death is presented as this. He's pulled into the cellar and ripped apart by a Deadite, but we don't really see it happen. We do however see the huge wave of blood that comes gushing out of the cellar, leaving the worst to the imagination.
    • We never see Bobbie Jo's body after she's rammed into a tree at high speed.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: In some humorous irony, Ash does this unwittingly when he and Annie read the page about The Chosen One who fell from the sky and originally banished the evil in 1300.
  • Hope Spot: It looks like Annie has succeeded in banishing the evil, except she died without closing the door through time and space, so it sucks Ash in too. He then finds himself in the Middle Ages.
  • Immediate Sequel: Following a short, abridged recap of the first movie's events, the story picks up from the exact moment the Evil seized Ash at the end of the original film.
  • In the Back: Annie is stabbed in the back by Ash's severed hand with the Kandarian dagger as she reads from the Necronomicon.
  • Laughing Mad: After everything in the cabin comes alive and decides to laugh at Ash. Ash joins along... and laughs at the camera, deep in insanity.
  • The Legend of Chekhov: The Necronomicon narrates the tale of a past hero coming from the sky who vanquished the demon. Ash is sucked into the rift in time and space and discovers that he's stuck in the Middle Ages as said hero.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Ash preparing his chainsaw and shotgun rig.
  • Locked into Strangeness: When Ash first sees the Eldritch Abomination at the end, he gains a white/grey stripe of hair on the side of his head from fright as a stop motion effect. However, this seems to disappear in Army of Darkness.
  • Long Neck: Deadite Henrietta sprouts these, but that just makes her easier to decapitate.
  • Madness Mantra: "WHO'S LAUGHING NOW?"
  • Mouse Hole: The possessed hand uses these to hide in the walls of the cabin.
  • Multiple Head Case: The demon at the end has the heads of all its previous victims.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Had Deadite Ash not regained his humanity at seeing Linda's necklace at the last moment before nearly killing Annie, the Evil Dead would have triumphed against the living.
  • Never Found the Body: Professor Knowby's exact fate is never revealed. Only his soul appears in his bedroom, telling Annie to save him.
  • Oh, Crap!: Ash has a major moment of this when he hears Professor Knowby on the tape mentioning he buried the Deadite Henrietta down in the cellar. Which Ash is currently locked within.
  • Ominous Obsidian Ooze: Several people possessed by demons are seen drooling black ooze. At one point Ash is hit with a torrent of it after blowing a hole in the cabin wall with his shotgun.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner:
    Ash: Swallow this. Shotgun blasts Henrietta's head to bits.
  • The Power of Love: Ash sees the locket he'd bought for Linda lying on the floor which reminds him of the love he had for her which in turn allows him to break free of the Deadite possessing him.
  • Religion of Evil: Can be presumed to be what the "Dark Ones" mentioned in the opening narration followed when they first wrote the Necronomicon.
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Ash when he sees Deadite Henrietta burst out of its grave while locked in the cellar, quite understandably.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: One of Ash's two iconic weapons, Ash pillages an old double-barreled shotgun from the cabin, which he promptly saws off to use one-handed.
  • Slave Mooks: The first deadites in the film.
  • Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: The movie teeters on this scale a lot.
  • The Smart Guy: Annie Knowby; the creators joke in their DVD commentary that, had she been in Ash's situation from the beginning, she would have solved the whole thing in about 30 minutes.
  • Splatter Horror: In line with the more comedic tone, this film features gallons of bodily fluids of various colors and visual gags involving zombie parts.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Jake. Athough it happens mostly off screen, and we only see his remains later.
  • Sweeping the Table: Ash sweeps a bench clear to make enough room to attach a chainsaw to the stump where his right hand used to be.
  • Taught by Experience: Annie starts to approach Deadite Henrietta when it reverts to the form of her real mother and starts singing Annie's favorite childhood lullaby. Ash, who's seen this trick before, stops her and gravely shakes his head "No."
  • Taxidermy Terror: The house is full of creepy stuffed trophy heads who laugh at Ash.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Bobbi Jo for running out of the cabin and straight into the evil infested woods after being scared by Ash's disembodied hand. Jake is even worse, forcing everyone out of the cabin at gunpoint to go look for Bobbi Jo, along with idiotically stuffing the vital Necronomicon pages needed to save the day down into the cellar with the Deadite Henrietta. Even Ash can't help himself with what a monumental idiot Jake is being.
    Ash: "NO YOU IDIOT! You'll kill us all. She's dead by now, don't you understand? With these pages, at least we have a chance!"
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ash Williams goes from a clueless and frightened college kid to a badass, shotgun-toting, chainsaw swinging demon-hunter.
  • To Serve Man: Happens to Jake. He's dragged into the cellar and devoured, leading to a spectacular shower of blood.
  • Transflormation: Bobbi Jo is captured by the possessed trees in the woods. Next time we see her, she is a tree or herself or at least was merged with one.
  • [Verb] This!: "Swallow this." *BOOM!*
  • Visible Invisibility: When the bodiless entity in the woods chases Ash from the Broken Bridge back to the cabin, it smashes through the back window of his car rather than going around it. This demonstrates to the audience how very relentless and violent it is.
  • Visual Pun: Among the books Ash stacks atop his recently cut-off, possessed hand is A Farewell to Arms.
  • When Trees Attack: Once again, the evil possesses the trees around the cabin and uses the branches like tentacles to attack a young woman. The nudity and tree-rape from the first film aren't present, however.
  • Who's Laughing Now?: After taking constant abuse from his Evil Hand, Ash invokes this trope (even the title word-for-word!) with the help of a nearby chainsaw.
  • Winged Humanoid: The harpy-like deadite that Ash defeats at the end.


Video Example(s):


Ash's Breakdown

The Evil Dead mocks Ash's misfortune. Having endured its torment for two nights, Ash cracks and laughs along with it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / LaughingMad

Media sources:

Main / LaughingMad