‘Evil Ed – Special Ed-ition’ is the latest splatter platter from Arrow videos infamous make over department, and what a banger it is too.
If you are a fan of 80s splatter in the vein of ‘Reanimator’ and the such like, and if you missed ‘Evil-Ed’ first time round (which let’s be honest you could be forgiven for doing so) this is a real treat. If like me, you had the beast on VHS then as you would expect this is more than worth the asking price for the upgrade as not only does it boast far superior visuals and audio, it has a couple of new scenes thrown in for good measure, including more gore!
The premise is the film is as politically motivated as it is utter madness. According that infinite font of knowledge Wikipedia it seems that this movie is not only a jab at heavy handed censorship in but a full-on protest against it, specifically the fall of Swedish Statens biografbyrå. In the movie, after an explosive start, we are introduced to poor Ed. Being a man of refinement and taste it is somewhat to his dismay that he is to be transferred to the splatter and gore department of the film distribution company he works for. Their big horror franchise the ‘Loose Limbs’ series has just gotten worldwide releases and it needs an editor. Whilst to most of us that seems like a dream job, poor Ed, isolated and subjected to all manner of degenerate filth slowly his sanity loosens and he begins his own crusade of carnage.
The plot does well, although predictably it begins to drag a little in the last 15 minutes, there is definitely some padding which could have been trimmed to make for a more frantic journey. Odd really, because there were some great scenes added to the cut which were not in the original release and I am surprise there wasn’t some rejigging of deadtime to compensate in hindsight. Still it more than does the job. The acting, well the acting is about what you would expect of a splatter movie, and again, as I opened with, if you enjoyed Reanimator or any of Jeffery Comb’s exploits then you will feel right at home. There are some enjoyable characters, although Ed himself is a little ‘wet’ for want of a better word, his sleazy boss plays as blinder as does the stoner horror fan persona who delivers the films to Ed. The whole film was recorded silent and so there is extensive dubbing which adds a certain charm to it. To critique it further would be fruitless, as a splatter fan you know what you are getting! I will say this, the whole package, warts and all, has that 80s-slasher aesthetic and vibe absolutely dialled.
More importantly, the film’s mayhem is divided into several different subplots and media. The notes accompanying the film state that it took 5 years to film (indeed the intro movie from the director’s hints at this also), and so the different segments seem to have been filmed in such a way. The main splatter scenes, aside from the finale, are found within the clips of the ‘loose limbs’ sections Ed is editing. These are really funny, and again, if Wikipedia is to be believed these were the first sections to be shot. The influence of 80s horror which is evident in the movies title is also prevalent in these scenes and expect tonnes of blood spray, nudity, slashings and gory explosions. The effects are ‘of that era’ and look great remastered. Aside from the gore scenes Evil Ed also features some more trippy sequences involving a gremlin who lives in the fridge and a weird Devil character that harasses Ed from the shadows and keeps him on the path of violence whenever he feels Ed’s resolve is weakening. These scenes offer something of a comedic distraction in-between gore and exposition. The end sequence is also satisfyingly violent, although there is a bit of patience required to get you there!
Overall, ‘Evil Ed’ whilst clearly paying lip service to the horror titans that came before it is a classic in its own right! Indeed, if it had been US released I’ve no doubt that this movie would have been up in everybody’s grill, especially when you consider the 90s was a bit of a drought for hardcore horror (in comparison to the decade that preceded it anyhow). Arrow really have done a number on this illusive release and you owe it to yourself to pick it up!
Its molesting time…