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  • Writer's pictureAllan Major

Evil Dead 2 1987 Plot Summary

"Evil Dead II," released in 1987, reimagines and expands upon the terrifying events of its predecessor, "The Evil Dead." The first 15 minutes offer a whirlwind recap of the original, albeit with notable changes. This version begins with Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) and his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler) driving to an isolated cabin in the mountains, seeking a romantic getaway. The cabin, however, holds dark secrets, and what follows is a descent into madness and horror that redefines the genre.

Within the cabin's eerie confines, the atmosphere is deceptively serene. Ash serenades Linda on the piano while she dances playfully, her joy starkly contrasting the impending doom. Ash gifts Linda a silver necklace with a magnifying glass pendant, a token of their love. This moment of tenderness is fleeting, as Ash soon discovers a reel-to-reel tape recorder belonging to Professor Raymond Knowby (John Peakes). The tape reveals that the professor was translating the "Necronomicon Ex-Mortis," the Book of the Dead, from ancient texts found in the Castle of Candar. The recording ominously details how reciting the book's passages can awaken malevolent spirits.

As the tape plays, the incantations unleash an ancient evil that possesses Linda, transforming her into a demonic entity. In a desperate act of self-preservation, Ash is forced to decapitate his beloved with a shovel and bury her dismembered body, keeping only the silver necklace as a memento. This grisly act sets the stage for the horrors to come.

The malevolent force from the woods surges through the cabin, launching Ash into a nightmarish odyssey. The demonic presence briefly possesses him, but the rising sun drives the evil away, leaving Ash battered and bewildered. Seeking escape, Ash discovers the bridge they crossed is now destroyed, a chasm of despair replacing their path to freedom. With the evil force in relentless pursuit, Ash's flight through the woods is a frenetic symphony of terror, culminating in a frantic chase through the cabin's labyrinthine interior.

Meanwhile, at a distant airport, Annie Knowby (Sarah Berry) arrives with her boyfriend Ed Gentley (Richard Domeier) and ancient pages from the Necronomicon. They head to the cabin, unaware of the horrors awaiting them. Back at the cabin, Ash experiences a haunting vision of Linda's reanimated corpse dancing grotesquely. Reality and hallucination blur as Ash battles both external demons and his own fraying sanity.

As Annie and her companions, including two local guides, Jake (Dan Hicks) and Bobby Joe (Kassie Wesley DePaiva), approach the cabin, Ash's ordeal intensifies. His right hand becomes possessed, forcing him to sever it with a chainsaw in a grisly display of self-mutilation. The disembodied hand continues to torment him, embodying the relentless nature of the evil they face.

Upon reaching the cabin, the newcomers are met with chaos. Misinterpreting the situation, they imprison Ash in the cellar, where he encounters the demonic Henrietta (Lou Hancock), Professor Knowby's wife. The ensuing struggle is a cacophony of violence and horror, punctuated by the grotesque transformation of Ed into a demonic entity. Ash's evolution from a terrified victim to a determined warrior is marked by a montage in which he crafts a chainsaw hand, epitomizing his transformation into a deadite-slaying hero.

The climax is a tour de force of horror as Ash and Annie battle the demonic forces. Annie translates the Necronomicon's pages, summoning a vortex that consumes the evil entities. In a final act of bravery, Ash confronts the monstrous manifestation of the evil, defeating it with his chainsaw and shotgun. However, the vortex also pulls Ash and his Oldsmobile into a temporal abyss.

Ash awakens in a medieval landscape, surrounded by armored knights. Initially mistaken for a threat, he quickly proves his worth by vanquishing a winged demon. The knights recognize him as the prophesied hero who will deliver them from the Deadites. As they chant his praises, Ash, disoriented and horrified by his new reality, screams in despair. The film closes on this poignant note, leaving Ash's fate tantalizingly unresolved.

"Evil Dead II" masterfully blends horror and dark humor, elevating Ash Williams from a hapless survivor to an iconic hero. The film's inventive special effects, relentless pacing, and Raimi's visionary direction ensure its enduring legacy in the pantheon of horror cinema.


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