Dissecting 'Evil Dead' PART 3 (Analysis, References, Easter Eggs)

By: Heather Seebach

**The following article is intended ONLY for people who have already seen Evil Dead. It contains explicit, detailed spoilers**

Because I know people love their Easter eggs/references, I have highlighted them in bold for easy finding. 

Last night I saw Evil Dead in the theater a third time and had a few more realizations. This is a follow-up to my last 2 articles about the film's references, easter eggs, etc. If you have not read those, please do so:

Now onto the new stuff!

- In my previous articles, I mentioned the supposed easter egg involving Eric's playing cards. This time, I kept my eyes peeled, but all I saw was a moment where they were spread out on a table (no way of telling which were facing up). However, I did notice that when Eric is holding them on the front porch, he is holding them away from him and then flipping them over. He is obviously trying to guess the card! What a cute little barely-seen nod to the original film! I overlooked it twice!

- Speaking of the original card-guessing scene, I forgot to mention before how Mia does the classic deadite opossum trick after she says "You're all going to die tonight." In each of the original movies there was a moment where the deadite would pop up in a fit of wind & noise and threaten everyone before dropping to the floor as if dead. Then, of course, some idiot would walk over to it to see if it's dead (and of course, it's not). When Olivia approached opossum Mia to retrieve the shotgun, I wanted to reach through the screen, grab her wrist, and in my best Ash voice say, "It's a trick. Get an ax."

- Watching the "tree rape" scene again in this film got me to thinking: it's not really tree rape at all. It was a vision of deadite Mia (or whatever they're called in this film) vomiting up a nasty vine and that thing crawling up inside her vag. The trees themselves didn't do it (though they were an accessory of course....). This seemed more like a transmission scene than a rape scene, though not sure how I feel about that (I discussed my issues with the physical transmission theory in the previous posts).

- Speaking of the transmission theory, I originally thought Eric was the exception but a commenter pointed out that he was stabbed by the box cutter Mia licked. This time around, I noticed David was also sliced by that box cutter - and he never turned. So who the hell knows.  

- I noticed a photo of Mia and David's mother on the wall and realized she was wearing that red dress that Mia is later buried in. So that's the significance of that!

- I failed to emphasize the importance of the necklace before. In Evil Dead 2, it is the very thing that brings Evil Ash back to normal. In this film, Mia is okay (aside from the withdrawal) until she gets pissed at David and discards the necklace. Once she does, she is attacked by the woods and soon becomes possessed herself. So it does seem to fend off the demons just like in ED2. After defeating the evil version of herself, Mia puts the necklace back on for protection.

- Small detail, but I want to mention another VERY Raimi-esque shot I loved, which is when Eric is on the floor of the bathroom and the door slams shut as he is reaching for it. The movement of the camera in that shot is so Sam it gave me goosebumps!

-This time around, I paid close attention to the continuity of blood on David's face toward the end and noticed no significant change. I thought I might be able to find where that missing chainsaw scene took place but alas, no. Perhaps they filmed two versions. 

  - A friend of mine wondered why Mia's tongue was not still split when she was revived. The bigger question is, why isn't her face burned? Presumably, the burial cured her of that; however, I did notice that Abomination Mia DID still have the burns on her face (and probably a split tongue but I can't tell). So it seems the demon side of Mia (and everything that went with it) were separated into that evil version of Mia at the end.

- How did I forget to mention that bad-ass split face at the very end?  Long live practical FX!

- On the issue of CG gore, there was only ever 1 shot where the blood looked digital to me and that is when Natalie gets her second arm blown off and it is steadily pouring blood. After 3 viewings, I think it is just the way it's shot or lit - it reminds me of the blood in Planet Terror which, despite being in-scene, had a weird glow about it. Anyone know what I'm talking about? 

- I was informed that the urination scene reminded some people of The Exorcist. I totally get the comparison to that film ("Your little sister is being raped in Hell!"), but not the pee scene. Frankly, I love how the possessions in this movie wreak havoc on the victims' bodies. Olivia loses control of her legs, her bladder, her head, and then everything else. When Natalie is turning in the meat cutter scene, she is profusely drooling all over herself. It's pretty intense and I love that.

- Speaking of the arm-cutting scene, what the fuck is that coming out of Natalie's hand when she's squeezing it under the tap? Some kind of bugs or leeches? At first I thought they were clumps of dark blood, but the squealing noise that accompanies them suggests to me they are little creatures. They sorta sounded like Ash's severed hand did in ED2. 

 - This is probably obvious, but I didn't go into the drug parallels in my other articles. Mia's burial and revival are a sort of new birth for her, away from evil (including heroine). She constantly battles herself throughout the movie, right until the end. The "abomination" version of herself even calls her a pathetic junkie. This is her dark side incarnate. On Dead Air: The Liberal Dead podcast, I had a deep discussion about this and something else was pointed out to me - all the arm abuse in this movie could totally be symbolism for heroine addiction! Reaching, perhaps, but hey, it's fun to speculate!

- Previously I mentioned the credits included Fake Shemps (much to my delight). This time I was only able to jot down two of the four names. One is Judah Tapert, that is producer Rob Tapert's son. Interestingly enough, Rob's sister (Judah's aunt) was one of the original Fake Shemps in The Evil Dead! The second name I managed to catch was none other than Bill Vincent - former MSU professor of Rob and Sam, and an original Shemp himself! Awesome! He plays one of the rednecks in the opening scene. Here he is with Rob:

4th VIEWING UPDATE: I saw the film again and wrote down the other two Fake Shemps. One is named Terri Donaldson, for whom I cannot find any certain info, while the other is Alan Breslau, the founder of The Phoenix Society for burn survivors. He was severely burned himself in an airliner accident, so you can probably guess who he played in that opening scene. 

Other things I wanted to mention, little details though they may be. I don't think I ever mentioned the fantastic music in this film, but I especially want to point out how similar the slower, sadder music is to Joe LoDuca's original The Evil Dead score. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, the similarity is obvious. 

Another little Raimi-esque moment I enjoyed was after Eric bludgeons Olivia with a piece of the shattered toilet, he says (dramatically), "She tried to kill me! She tried to kill me!" as the camera zooms up and the music swells as Eric screams. It reminded me a lot of Sam, specifically that scene in Evil Dead 2 when Ash is screaming, "You bastards! Give me back my haaaand!" and the camera pulls outside and the music swells. 

And finally, I've mentioned the "he" vs "we" stuff before, but I was reminded of it yet again with Eric's last line before the cabin exploded. He approaches David and each time I see the film I imagine he is going to say "Join us..." but instead he says, "He is coming." Naturally, I prefer the former, but it's just another reminder that this is Fede Alvarez's film, not Raimi's. 

Be sure to check out the rest of my Evil Dead Week Articles!

Monday: Top 10 Deadites from the Evil Dead Trilogy
Tuesday: The Early Films of Raimi and Campbell
Wednesday: Top 10 References to the Evil Dead Films
Thursday: 5 Reasons to see Evil Dead (and 5 Excuses-Not-To That Are Bullshit)
Friday: My review of 'Evil Dead' (updated)

Saturday: Dissecting 'Evil Dead' Analysis Part 1
Sunday: Dissecting 'Evil Dead' Analysis Part 2 

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