Over the past weekend, I checked out Darkman from my local library. I’ve always heard of the odd, anti-hero known as Darkman, but what’s the buzz with the 1990 film?
Darkman is one of those roller coaster rides you can’t stop. Sam Raimi, well-known for directing the Evil Dead trilogy, is ALL over this film. From the zany skin-melting montages, to jokes like, “My ex-wife had a broken leg once. Wanna know what I did with it? I broke it off.”
It’s stuff like this that sounds chaotic, but works for Raimi on-screen.
After being enlightened by Darkman, I figured, let’s dive into some of his work.
Evil Dead trilogy
I used to cover my eyes in terror of another jump scare, or some possessed girl sprinting at a defenseless group of adults, but the Evil Dead trilogy seemingly broke the curse. Each film (The Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness) had me giggling, scared, nervous and itching for a bit more Bruce Campbell blasting away an army of deadites.
Raimi directed 14 short films before The Evil Dead and each of ’em had elements of horror included. With this trilogy, we’re treated to not only horror, but slapstick humor that most moviegoers now say, “Hey, this is Raimi-esque.” The 57-year-old director really made a name for himself and his film style with each Evil Dead installment.
And we can’t forget those first-person POV shots where the viewer is taken along with a deadite through the woods.
The budding relationship between actor Bruce Campbell and Raimi helped immortalize these films as some of the best pieces of horror in cinema.
If you’re in South Florida, don’t forget that local cinemas aren’t done basking in Evil Dead films. The Popcorn Frights Film Festival is hosting a 30th anniversary screening of Evil Dead 2 at O Cinema in Wynwood on June 9th.
You can get your tickets here.
As a child, I had nothing but butterflies in my stomach when getting driven to elementary school one morning. On the radio, the deejay announced Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002) began filming in New York City (oh, and Spidey’s costumes were being stolen).
From 2002 to 2007, three Spider-Man films were released, distributed by Sony. Toby Maguire may not be my favorite Peter Parker, but for the first two films, he had me sold. This was it. This is going to be the best superhero trilogy, ain’t it?
Well, Sony got greedy and forced Raimi to include lots of villains (we’ll never see Venom the same).
I’m still groaning, but no scene was as tough to watch as the finger guns sequence, where Pete-
Awe, heck, just watch:
There is plenty of good to come out of the Raimi Spider-Man films, however. Including Dr. Otto Octavius getting what will forever be the greatest representation by actor Alfred Molina.
Some usual Raimi elements were present in these films, most notably the introduction and use of Willem Dafoe as Norman Osbourn. What a fun, zany and horrifying ride during what I figured wouldn’t make young me cover my eyes a bit.
Phew — now that I’ve gone through some of the Raimi masterpieces and his influence on horror films then, now and in the future, you can see for yourself why Sam Raimi is some sort of genius, man.