Evil Dead: The Musical (2003)

Well if anything, “Evil Dead: The Musical” is creative. It’s not as funny as it thinks it is, but it has a good time with the material Sam Raimi laid down. It’s kind of odd a musical that features the main character cutting off his hand shies away from the tree rape so blatantly. Not that I am anxious to see a woman violated by tree limbs, but I was wondering why they drew the line at some things and not other.

Rather, the actress who gets violated by trees is simply jumped by a trio of actors in cloth tree costumes, and then she emerges as a deadite. The “Evil Dead” musical version covers mostly parts one and two, and ends on the final scene of part two that leads in to “Army of Darkness.” It’s all a fairly fun and goofy little take on the Raimi film that turns the horror films in to a “Little Shop of Horrors” pop fest. The props are low tech, and the story is very truncated, placing great emphasis on some story elements and no emphasis on the more important ones.

There’s a big musical number about how Ash met his girlfriend in S-Mart, and consistent flashbacks to Ash’s horrific experiences in “Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn” which work to help flesh out the idea of the deadites and the book of the dead. The cast are all fairly entertaining in their roles, especially considering they have to act with the strobes, the spotlights, and the heavy make up consistently splashed on their face whenever they’re not on stage. Ryan Ward pulls off a great job as the inadvertent hero Ash, who is the inept horror character at first and then embraces his inner hero by the time the musical veers right in to the storyline for “Evil Dead 2.” This is a fine little musical production strictly for open minded horror geeks, and hardcore fans of the Raimi horror series. I had a good time with it despite its faults.