Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)

evil dead 2 dead by dawn poster 1987 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Bruce Campbell makes this movie, interesting visuals

Some bad acting, typical story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn

Studio: Renaissance Pictures

Genre(s): Horror/Comedy

Release Date(s): March 13, 1987

MPAA Rating: R



Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) decides to plan a romantic weekend in the woods with his girlfriend Linda (Denise Bixler).  Ash’s plans turn bad when a recording of Sumerian Book of the Dead is played, and it unleashes evil into the woods.  After Ash is forced to end Linda’s life, Ash discovers the evil doesn’t intend to let him go.  When the owner of the cabin’s daughter Annie Knowby (Sarah Berry) arrives and accuses of Ash of killing her parents, Ash and the would-be rescuers find themselves in the fight of their lives against an evil that knows no bounds!

Directed by Sam Raimi, Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn is a follow-up to the cult low-budget horror film The Evil Dead (1981).  The movie was surprisingly met with critical acclaim and many critics liked Bruce Campbell’s over-the-top performance.

I think Evil Dead 2:  Dead by Dawn was the first film of the Evil Dead movies I saw.  I then believe I went back to the original and then forward to Army of Darkness…and found this film seems to be a happy medium between the two.


So…What are the chances that anyone but Ash make it out alive?

Evil Dead II is a weird movie.  Partially a remake of the Evil Dead, the first 20 minutes or so kind of recap what happened in the first one and explains what happened to Ash at the end of the Evil Dead…sort of.  In the first movie, it was a group of friends going to the cabin and not just Ash and his girlfriend.  It isn’t really a sequel since it doesn’t relate to the first film (unless Ash happened to be dumb enough to go with a new girlfriend to the same cabin that all Hell broke loose in the first movie).

Evil Dead II takes a much more comedic approach to the horror and gore.  It is full of catchphrases, and Bruce Campbell really explodes as Ash in this one by enjoying the insanity of the situation.  The movie is also just crazy (the chainsaw hand is a great example).  It doesn’t take itself seriously, and it works because it doesn’t with a lot of credit to Bruce Campbell for making the movie a fun ride.


Do you use Suave?

Visually, the movie also is over the top.  The blood and gore is cartoonish, but like the first Evil Dead, Evil Dead II also has a lot of innovative camera work.  There are a number of fun tracking shots as the Evil pursues Ash through the forest and house.  It gets by its low budget by stylizing the movie.  Scenes like Ash getting ripped through the trees isn’t the best effect, but it works because it is so crazy looking.

Evil Dead II:  Dead by Dawn (much like the first Evil Dead) ends in a cliffhanger…that doesn’t match up with the sequel Army of Darkness in 1992.  The movie is loaded with crazy eye-popping (quite literally) cheesy effects that still end up working in the context of the story.  The Starz TV series Ash vs Evil Dead appears to pick up the storyline after this film instead of including Army of Darkness.

Related Links:

The Evil Dead (1981)

Army of Darkness (1992)

Evil Dead (2013)

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Ash vs Evil Dead—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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