All posts by Tim Wasson

Is Evil Dead a ripoff of Equinox?

I’m an old-school horror nerd, and am especially obsessed with Evil Dead. I’ve loved Evil Dead for over 20 years, so imagine my surprise when I recently heard, for the very first time, that Evil Dead may be a ripoff of a movie called Equinox. With an open mind, I decided to watch this movie and decide for myself.

There are some definite similarities in imagery and plot. Those similarities cannot be overlooked. Remember how in Evil Dead, the evil was represented by a traveling camera? Well, maybe that wasn’t quite as original as we’d all thought.

equinox camera

Thematically, both movies involve an ancient book that is read from that unleashes evil.

evil dead equinox book

So maybe those things could just be coincidence, right? I mean, how original an idea is unleashing evil from a book anyway?

Oh, but there’s also flying demons that are very similar to the one in Evil Dead 2. There’s a professor who has the book and a group who stumbles upon it accidentally. There’s a necklace that is important to the plot and their salvation. There’s imagery involving clocks and reel-to-reel audio recorders. There’s even an ancient castle similar to the one that makes an appearance in Evil Dead 2.

evil dead equinox castle evil dead equinox clocks evil dead equinox creature evil dead equinox group evil dead equinox necklace evil dead equinox professor evil dead equinox recorder

Outside of some basic themes and imagery, there’s other similarities. Just like Evil Dead, Equinox was produced on a shoestring budget by near-amateurs with ambitious ideas. There is also an element of possession by evil, which leads the friends to lower their defenses and try to help their friends who have turned on them.

There are many differences, too. While Evil Dead is primarily demons and possession, Equinox is more monsters and the devil. Generally speaking, Equinox thinks ‘bigger’, with portals to other dimensions, evil beasts and the devil. Evil Dead keeps it simple with an unseen even force and friends turning on each other.

It’s hard to look at this movie I’ve loved forever and imagine that maybe, just maybe, it’s not as original as I’d thought it was. Overall though, I don’t care much about originality in horror movies. Zombies and slashers are my favorite sub-genres, and both of those sub-genres include very little originality. The most important part to remember is that, if Evil Dead truly did rip off Equinox, they did it in a way that improved the original. It’s lasted longer, has withstood the test of time better, and I still enjoy it even if they did take some cues from this other movie.

In short, even if it is a rip-off, who fucking cares? Evil Dead for life.

Ash vs. Evil Dead – 2×09 “Home Again”

Just when I think I couldn’t love Ash vs. Evil Dead anymore, it turns out I was wrong. There’s always more love for me to give to the series.

I love the buddy/traveling aspect of the show, don’t get me wrong. But there’s nothing better than returning to the cabin and Ash going it alone for a while. So far each season has had a return to the cabin, and I hope this trend continues until the series ends. The cabin is where the story started, and it’s where the story should end.

Throwbacks galore in this episode. Enough for even those filthy casual fans to catch. They perfectly recreated the “Little Ash” scene from Army of Darkness with a new spin on it.

The cabin is so perfectly recreated, and we get another Evil Dead alumni reprising their role. This time it’s Ted Raimi as Henrietta.

One of my favorite aspects of this series is the perfect balance it carries between expanding the mythology but also revisiting old themes and throwbacks. This episode featured a lot of throwbacks, but also traveled back to the past to introduce us to Dr. Knowby, who previously we’d only seen in a few tiny flashbacks.

Next week is the Season 2 finale, so we’ll find out if this time traveling saves Pablo or undoes this evil. Will we see the old crew return to the cabin? Will Pablo come back? I, for one, can’t wait to find out.

Horror Junk

Just a Drunken Zombie begat Geek Nerdery, Horror Junk begat Drunken Zombie. I think I’m using ‘begat’ properly there in that context.

10 years ago, 2 guys in their 20’s sat down, drank too many beers and discussed horror movies in front of a camera. The movie was then shared via YouTube and as a video podcast. It was popular for it’s time and a ton of fun to make.

As part of our 10-year-anniversary, here’s our very first episode.

The audio episodes were almost lost forever, but I managed to find most of them. If you’re feeling a bit nostalgic like myself and want to hear a hybrid of Horror Junk and Drunken Zombie, check out this episode.

For the others that I managed to recover, go ahead and grab them here.

Hold on tight for another Horror Junk surprise, coming soon.

Ash vs. Evil Dead – 2×08 – Ashy Slashy

As usual, this post will contain many spoilers.

Is anyone surprised that Ash isn’t quite as insane as it looks? His strange hunting outfit certainly didn’t fool this fan, although it look like Ba’al was adequately convinced.

Our limited time at the insane asylum looks like it’s coming to an end, and I for one couldn’t be happier because it looks like next week, they’ll be back in the cabin. Where it all started. Where we belong. Not only will we see the return to the cabin, but also the return of the Delta.

I was not sad to see Ba’al go, but he was not the only one to fall this episode. The other death left me a little sad, but excited to see what the loss of a friend has on Ash moving forward.

Let’s have a drink for our fallen Pablo. May he rest in pieces.

I’ll leave you today with a deleted scene of the summoning of Ashy Slashy.

Ash vs. Evil Dead – 2×07 “Delusion”

After last week’s surprise cameo and non-stop action, we take a second to catch our breath and relax. For a second.

Is Ash losing his mind? Was this whole thing just a bad dream? Is he truly insane and imaging it all after killing his friends in the cabin that fateful night? I guess the only ones that know the truth are Ash and his puppet.

While Ash vs. Evil Dead circles across this internet are calling this a boring filler episode, they’re only 1/2 right. This set up Ba’al as a tough mofo and featured Lucy Lawless in a nurse’s outfit. I mean, how bad could that be?

Ash vs. Evil Dead 2×06 “Trapped Inside”

Oh baby, this review will contain spoilers.

I nerded out hardcore at Ash vs. Evil Dead episode 6. It had been spoiled for me that Cheryl would be making her return, so unfortunately I missed the fun of the big reveal. What I did not miss, however, was the amazing attention to detail paid by the amazing AvED writers.

First off, check above for the make up. They paid tribute to the original movie with the forehead bandage and cheek scratches, although maybe goring them out a little bit. After all, 35 years have passed so maybe they’re infected? She should try some antibiotics.

Another nice touch was the art desk in Cheryl’s room. Who could forget Cheryl’s clock masterpiece before the Book of the Dead took over her drawing hand to ruin it?

And I think¬†“I’m gonna make like a tree and fuck you” may be the best quote from anything Evil Dead related. Movies and series combined.

Generally speaking though, I think this episode really encompassed the general feeling and tone I’ve loved from the Evil Dead movie series and continued into the TV series. Throwbacks and references to the original, bizarre and sometimes hacked together continuity, fun and silliness combined with “true” horror.

Cheryl was the original deadite and I, for one, was thrilled to see that same deadite reprise her role. Will we see more from other lost souls from the movie series? I’d love to see Scotty or the original Linda. How about Annie or Bobby Joe? Those may not have the same impact as Ash’s sister, but we fans would love to see them.

I was a bit worried that the TV series would not live up to the original movie series I’ve loved so much, but these last few episodes have put all those remaining worries to rest.

Evil Dead in Videogame

So it looks like Ash will be a character in a new Family Guy mobile game (source). ¬†But this is hardly the first time we’ve seen Ash starring in a video game.

It all started in 1984 if you can believe that. This was in a time before most major consoles, so the game was instead played on Commodore 64. I don’t recommend playing it as it will forever taint your opinion of Evil Dead, but you can at least watch this guy play it.

Ash took some time off after that and didn’t reappear officially until 2000 with Evil Dead: Hail to the King for PlayStation.

Many games use Ash as inspiration for the characters, notably Doom, but it’s good to see the real Ash back in the game.

New Apple MacBooks and more.

It came as a surprise to no one (who was paying attention) that Apple showed off new MacBook Pros with a fancy new touch bar at the top that will give contextual buttons on features you can use depending on what program you’re currently accessing. To do this, Apple had to eliminate the current function row. Time will tell if this was a smart move or not based on your current function row needs and, of course, how effective the new touch bar is.

The addition of touch ID and finger-unlocking is very appealing, because the current implementation of “unlock with Apple Watch” is sometimes not quite as seamless as promised.

The only question I have is if a new Apple Keyboard will be released with the touch bar that can work with older MacBook Pros. I’d be on that in a heartbeat.

The new MacBook Pros also leave behind old USB connectors and instead opt for USB3 and Thunderbolt only. While I think this is a move that needed to come around eventually, I also think it may be a little early. But I guess someone needs to be the driving force to leave behind old tech and move on to the next big thing.

In addition to the new MacBook Pros, Apple also released an update to Apple TV which makes browsing shows and discovering new ones faster, easier, and more seamless. The new search functionality will allow shows and movies to be launched from a single search screen rather than having to navigate the interfaces of several different apps to find content.

Ash vs. Evil Dead

I’ve been an Evil Dead fanboy since the mid-90’s. My friends mocked my obsession with the series and how I quoted Army of Darkness and Evil Dead 2 relentlessly. At the time, I maintained an Army of Darkness website and knew Bruce Campbell’s personal email address. I’d reach out to him occasionally to “interview” him for my site or just tell him I enjoyed watching him in whatever obscure thing I found of his that week.

I attended horror and comic conventions to hunt down the short films Bruce and Sam Raimi made in high school and college, including the short that started it all, Within the Woods. I made friends with fans in other countries who could ship me different versions of the films with small differences from their American counterparts. I bought foreign posters on eBay and hung them around my small apartment in Chicago when I was in college. I dreamed of Evil Dead 4 and the return of Ash, but at some point I had to give up on the dream and realize it’d never happen.

When the series was announced, I felt like a fucking high schooler again. I was just as excited as I would’ve been if they’d have announced Evil Dead 4. Maybe even more excited. Bruce and Sam were involved, and that’s all I needed to know.

The series picked up right where Army of Darkness left off in the sense of tone and pacing. The series makes no mention of AoD of course, but just as the absurdity ramped up through the course of Evil Dead 1-3, the absurdity ramped up an appropriate amount in the series.

While the series takes some missteps (like showing the “force” as it chased Ash’s car through the country), generally speaking I’ve enjoyed the expansion of the mythology and the story of how Ash hasn’t really grown or matured throughout the whole demon-killing process.

Let’s just hope they get back to the cabin soon.