Thursday, June 11, 2009

DotW Salutes: The Ladies of The Evil Dead

"Back in the winter of '79, in the mountains near Morristown, Tennessee, we endured bitter cold, painful contact lenses, numerous bumps and bruises, lack of sleep, lots of sticky fake blood... and helped to create horror movie history! We didn't know that's what we were doing at the time -- we just thought it would be fun to appear in a scary movie. But it's all coming back to us now... and we're coming back to you." -Ladies of The Evil Dead

If you're a first time reader, a long time lurker, or just a random person passing can tell by my side bar (or my last entry) that I'm a bit of an Evil Dead nut. Sam Raimi is in my top 3 directors of all time, and lets face it, Bruce Campbell is scrum-dittily-umptious. While Ashley J. Williams may be the most familiar face of the series and the cult following of the films, often times overlooked are the Ladies of The Evil Dead. If it wasn't for these fab three women all those years ago, we wouldn't have the incredible film that IS The Evil Dead. These ladies go with Ash like the Joker with Batman, Michael Myers and Dr. Loomis, or Dee Snider and Tipper Gore. Hell, who would Ash have been avoiding to join without them?

The thing I love most about these ladies, is the fact that this film was put together so informally. Betsy Baker (Linda) really DID meet Sam, Rob, and Bruce in a Detroit area restaurant. Ellen Sandweiss (Cheryl) had been friends with Sam, Bruce, Josh and countless others since they were in the 10th grade. She appeared in Sam & Bruce's Super8 Films so she had previously worked with them before. Sarah York/Theresa Tilly (Shelly) was spotted at on 0ff-off-off-off broadway venue of suburban Detroit. When you really look at it, these girls were basically "nobodies" before this film. If you stalk their site (like I am cleverly doing at this very moment)

The actual first Evil Dead film, is more of a showcase of these women than it is of Bruce Campbell. Bruce doesn't become the Ash we all know and love until the second film. The first one, he's sort of a chump just looking to survive. The most famous scenes from The Evil Dead all include the women. The raping trees, the pencil in the ankle, Linda's ridiculous laugh, the naked headless body in the woods, the biting off the arm, THE CELLAR, the JOIN US, all of it, LADIES OF THE EVIL DEAD. This movie is so famous because of their performances. I recently made a group of friends watch the trilogy with me (after seeing my shirt and obsession with Bruce Campbell) and they were expecting to see the Ash performance I kept bragging about. However every single one of them told me how they were way more creeped out by the ladies of film 1 than they were of anything else in the series. My friend Erin once made a comment saying "I'm going to be haunted by that laugh for weeks". These three women truly make the Evil Dead the cult classic that it is.

I Salute you ladies for being truly amazing. Know that I would join you anyday!!!

4 comment(s):

B-Sol said...

Ugh, you just had to include a tree-rape shot, didn't you? Just when I thought it was safe to go camping...

Great post. The Ladies of the Evil Dead are awesome, met 'em at Chiller Theatre a few years back.

Monster Scholar said...

These ladies are too scary. Good work.

Mark Hodgson said...

These women did their own scary twitchy, zombie movies and their own incredibly unnerving 'childlike' voices for the movie. BIG part of the movie's creepiness. Big pity they couldn't have been in any of the sequels.

John said...

I'm meeting them this weekend at Monster Mania Con in Cromwell, CT, along with Bruce and Scotty himself, "Hal Delrich". Can't wait. They ladies and Hal will be doing a live commentary for the original film tonight.

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