So, ole Mrs. Horror Boom here had insomnia last night, and started searching Amazon Prime Video in hopes of finding free, newly released horror movies I hadn’t seen yet that were worth seeing (with very little hope, but it has been known to happen). I saw a review for a movie titled “Evil Ed,” which claimed to have the recent release date in 2016. I initially figured it was a new movie, though it had the same title of a really disappointing horror flick from the 1990s. Perhaps a remake? This review contained the one-word title, “No.” That rang a bell. The more I read, the more familiar it sounded. Ever written a horror movie review fifteen years ago, started thinking you and the reviewer had a lot in common and would probably hit it off, then eventually something clicked and you realized it sounded familiar because you WERE that reviewer? No? Well, okay, but it has happened to me before. Not often, because I have used the same reviewer handle on Amazon and IMDB since I first got internet access in the mid-late 90s (drop me a line privately and I will share it with you; I built up quite a library which I am finally going to get off my ass and start recycling here), but it does happen. I was only thrown here–as I have been in the other rare cases–because for some reason my alias did not appear, and I was instead referred to as “a customer”. I actually find this concerning, since my reviews on both sites contain (or did, I’ll have to look into it) a way to privately contact me, which resulted in some great networking with other horror fans, many offers of free review copies, and even a couple of job offers, but I digress.
I found that I still stand by this fifteen-year-old (yikes)* review. The only information I might add is that I literally just this moment realized that the movie is titled Evil Ed not as an homage to the beloved Fright Night character as portrayed by Stephen Geoffries, but because it rhymes with “Evil Dead”. Also, they manage to rip off American Werewolf in London in the end credits, another reason to be pissed off. I guess I could be more kind and say it was inspired by AWIL rather than calling it a rip-off, but I am not in a generous mood. Finally, keep it mind that I went into the movie with only mediocre expectations and was still let down. Below, therefore, is my review of the 1995 horror flick that I still do not recommend, Evil Ed. The header/title of my piece is simply, “No”.
Actually I feel like having my review be that one word. My friend, whose opinions I almost always trust about movies, especially horror movies, warned me NOT to rent this no matter how tempted or bored or desperate to see a new horror movie I was, because it was a complete waste of time. Unfortunately I haven’t talked to him in a while, and I was in a hurry to pick a movie, and thought, ‘what the heck, how bad could it be?’ WHY don’t I learn? What was I thinking? Did I think it would magically turn into a better movie while sitting there on the shelf for years waiting to be rented?
The ‘plot’ concerns a guy who edits films for some company. His boss is a jerk. The guy who had the job before him went insane and blew himself up in the pre-credits sequence, so for some reason the boss picks nerdy ‘Ed’ for the special project of editing “Loose Limbs” splatter movies. He never says what Ed is supposed to edit, but I guess that doesn’t matter. Ed is upset by some of the clips, working on them up at this house all by himself that the boss has decided to relocate him to for no apparent reason. He asks his boss if he can stop or do another project, but his boss doesn’t care. He starts to slowly go insane, supposedly from watching the clips, and wants to carry out the gory murders in real life. Or has he been this way all along? Please note that I am making this plot sound much more deep, interesting, and coherent than it actually is.
We don’t care about the characters at all, or have any sympathy for them, or even hate the bad guys. The plot is really, really boring and predictable. The splatter isn’t even that gruesome or creative-this is NOT worth renting just to see the gore, because what there is isn’t interesting or original.
All the ‘tributes’ to Sam Raimi just come off like really bad rip-offs, and no-one in the movie is anywhere near good-looking enough as Bruce Campbell, so you can’t distract yourself with that. I think an “Evil Dead II-Dead by Dawn” poster is only prominently displayed in one scene in the hopes that Sam Raimi will be flattered and not consider any sort of legal action. A trained chimp could have written a better screenplay. Every time I hear lines like “Are we having fun…yet?” (which even Bride of Re-Animator couldn’t pull off without making me wince) I start feeling like picking up some sort of deadly weapon myself. Characters just appear out of nowhere with no explanation, wandering in only to get killed. This might be okay if the movie was even remotely amusing or entertaining, but it was all I could do to keep from fast-forwarding through most of it. Fortunately I chose to pay some bills and balance my checkbook at the same time the movie was playing. Trust me, it did not require my full attention-I still felt like 90+ minutes of my life were wasted just by having this on in the background.
Don’t watch it, no matter HOW tempted you are- you’ll hate yourself for wasting your time and money. Horror fans will be completely disgusted by how incompetent it is. Even those who haven’t seen too many splatter movies should stay away, as there are so, so many movies out there you could rent that are much more well worth your while. If you want something brainless, low-budget and fun, rent something else. Complete waste of time with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Be smarter than I was at the time and don’t be fooled by the “Warning-Not For the Faint of Heart” on the box. You have been warned!
Here’s the NSFW (technically, I guess) trailer for the 1995 movie (appears to be the unedited version; read more on that here), which contains much of the gore (and big Raimi horror fans can count the references) contained in the flick. Please just watch the trailer rather than the movie; you will do yourself a favor.
Also, this You Tube reviewer seemed to find it more entertaining than I did (in a “so bad it’s good” way-more power to him, I guess). Still curious? Then here is another way to avoid sitting through the movie, as the rest of the gore and practical effects more or less appear in this short “Monster Madness” review below.
*After hitting the age of forty, you will often make the unpleasant discovery that what occurred fifteen years ago seems more like a five-to-seven year old memory than something that apparently happened THREE TIMES LONGER AGO THAN THAT. Beware, millennials, this could very well be in your future… take it from a Gen-X’er.