Evil Ed Review (1995)

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Evil Ed Review (1995)

Horrorific content by penguin_pete on August 07th, 2018 | Movie Review | Comedy, Killer, Campy, Madness

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It’s about a film editor who snaps after having to edit too many cheesy horror films.

Evil Ed was directed by Anders Jacobsson  and stars Johan Rudebeck, Per Löfberg and Olof Rhodin.

When His Mind Blows ... Anything Goes!

Evil Ed Review

There are quite a few movies in the horror genre with a drinking game associated with them. Evil Ed has another drinking game to go with it, which I discovered to my dismay. It’s called “Pop a shot of espresso whenever you start to feel sleepy.” By the time the movie was finished with me, adrenalin was squirting out my ears, I could smell sounds, and my brain’s playlist constantly rotated Slipknot songs. I’d also gotten a lot of somber reflection time out of the way as my mind desperately scrabbled to amuse itself.

We’ll get to the particulars in a minute, but first we have to make one thing perfectly clear: Evil Ed is supposed to be a parody of the Evil Dead franchise and by extension the horror genre in general. Is everybody aware of that? Because - go ahead, Google the reviews and be as stunned as I was - not everybody seems to have picked up on that particular angle. It was also allegedly made in protest of Swedish film censorship, which just adds another puzzle to the outcome. Because I’m sure when we all think “oppressive government,” we think of Sweden, right? Be that as it may, aren’t political protests supposed to be a little more passionate?

The Plot in a Greasy Paper Bag:

Good Ed works as an editor (named “Ed” yet) at a film studio and his boss is named "Samuel Campbell.” As in Sam (Raimi) + (Bruce) Campbell, to give you an idea of how hard we’re trying. Samuel transfers Ed to the “Splatter and Gore” film division, where he’s charged with editing horror movies to cut scenes that are too spicy for Swedish censors. We get to see the footage Ed has to work with, so this affords an opportunity to parody numerous horror franchises.

So Ed becomes so whacked out from being exposed to this constant onslaught of blood, guts, and chainsaws that he starts going loony, having hallucinations of a weird critter in his fridge who’s a seeming parody of Gremlins, and eventually he starts lashing out at everybody around him because now he’s Evil Ed! He goes to make a sandwich and thinks he’s slicing a spare arm from Ash’s stock. Evil Ed eventually ends up at a hospital running bonzo, and getting mentored by a Pinhead stand-in, while an army detail has to be called in to contain him. And yeah, there’s an obligatory generic horror reference every few minutes or so. Film posters festoon the walls in every other scene, just to be sure us dumb idiots in the audience know what reference goes with what movie.

The acting throughout all this is just dull and amateur, the budget is a shoestring and shows, and most tellingly enough, the whole movie just runs out of gas with no ideas left. It’s a pity because any one of us horror freaks could have thought of ten great gags we’d love to put in a horror parody, but the creators here don’t even seem to be that enthusiastic about their home genre here.

So What Were They Thinking?

“Low effort and uninspired” sums this movie up perfectly. It could have used a faster pace, funnier bits, better acting, better sets, and just more effort all around. As it is, you have to keep reminding yourself this isn’t the worst season of Saturday Night Live you’re watching.

Don’t get me wrong, there are amusing moments to the film that made me slightly grin for a moment. If you’re careful not to get your expectations too high, a veritable cavalcade of mildly appreciative chuckles punctuated by long, awkward periods of diminishing expectation is headed your way. There's reviews out there heaping praise on this movie, so maybe if you're in a forgiving mood, it's a decent film.

And I want so badly to like this movie. I’ll entertain some excuses for it: Perhaps it’s badly aged, and I’ve been spoiled by talented YouTubers who do it faster and funnier now. Maybe the Swedish are just such nice people that they don’t have it in them for really biting satire. Maybe there’s parts in context that work better if you’re from Sweden.

But the biggest excuse is one I’ll freely grant: It’s tough to parody a franchise that was supposed to be taking the piss in the first place. The Evil Dead is a screwball cartoon, and the sequels ramped it up from there. Ash is a hundred times funnier than anybody involved in Evil Ed, so the film set itself up against a tough target from the get-go.

Better Horror Parodies Are Out There!

For starters, the whole Scary Movie franchise made a career out of horror parody. And I know that series has its detractors, but even the worst of them shine brighter than Evil Ed. Then there’s The Silence of the Hams. And then half the movies by Troma Entertainment. And don’t forget The Cabin in the Woods, which really puts Evil Ed to shame in all regards. And we have the top of the heap, Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein and High Anxiety, his lesser-known, but equally hilarious, parody of Hitchcock thrillers.

Sure, it’s unfair to compare Evil Ed with such stellar competition, but couldn’t they have tried harder and at least come in fifth place or so?

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