- Evil Dead II is a continuation/rebirth of the original Evil Dead film, reincorporating the events of the first film and continuing the storyline to explain what happened to Ash after he seemingly banished demons from a secluded cabin in the middle of the Tennessee backwoods.
Ash has a dream that he and his new girlfriend Linda are on their way to a cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway. As Linda is changing in the bedroom, Ash finds the tape recorder and plays the tape recorded by Professor Knowby, causing a dormant demonic spirit in the forest to reawaken and attack Linda. When Ash goes outside to find her, she appears to him possessed, and Ash is forced to decapitate and bury her.he wakes up revealing the movie is taking place right after the 1st movie After this, the spirit launches him into the trees (first film ends, second begins) Carried a good distance by the demon, Ash is slammed hard against a tree and falls in a puddle of water. From here he becomes possessed but is exorcised by the coming dawn, only to pass out. Ash regains consciousness moments before sunset. He races in his car to the bridge, but finds it hopelessly destroyed. As the sun quickly sets, the demonic force starts climbing up the cliff, and Ash hops into his car, driving away as fast as he can and as a result, crashing right into a tree stump, sending him flying through the windshield. With the evil close behind him, he runs into the cabin and through it trying to hide, and ducks into the trapdoor, waiting until the evil force leaves. After it does, Ash comes out and barricades the cabin for another night with the spirits of the Evil Dead yet again. After a dream in which Linda's severed torso dances outside, her severed head lands in Ash's lap, and then proceeds to bite hard into his right hand. After Linda's final death, Ash goes inside to console himself, when his right hand begins to shake and tremble uncontrollably; his hand is now possessed. After a brief struggle, Ash cuts off the hand with the chainsaw. Meanwhile, Annie Knowbly, her boyfriend Eddie, Jake, one of the locals, and Bobby Jo, Jake's girlfriend, have arrived at the cabin via an alternate trail. Unfortunately, Ash has been fighting to keep his sanity, having even had the entire cabin laugh at him maniacally. He is ambushed by the group when he accidentally fires on them, whom they believe he murdered the Professor and his wife, and lock him in the cellar. But Ash's able to convince them when the demonized Henrietta, the Professors wife, rises from the ground. Time goes on, and Ed, Jake, and Bobby Jo are possessed or killed, leaving only Ash and Annie. The two team up to fight the spirit, modifying the chainsaw and shotgun to turn him into a fighting machine. After saying the first of the passages and Ash's battle with Henrietta, the Evil comes, having taken a physical form. When Annie tries to read the second passage, Ash's possessed hand ( having survived ) stabs her with the dagger, but manages to finish the passage with her dying breath, saving Ash from being killed by the spirit. However, the portal fails to close, pulling Ash in. Ash and the Evil are sucked into 1300 A.D. and after he kills a deadite, Ash is named 'He who comes from the skies to deliver us from the terror of the Deadites'. As the knights chant, Ash breaks down screaming 'No!', setting up for the next film, Army of Darkness.Edit
The concept of a sequel to The Evil Dead was discussed during the location shooting on the first film. Sam Raimi wanted to toss his hero, Ash, through a time portal, back into the Middle Ages. That notion eventually led to the third installment, Army of Darkness.
After the release of the first film, Raimi moved on to Crimewave, a cross between a crime film and a comedy produced by Raimi and Joel and Ethan Coen. Irvin Shapiro, a publicist who was primarily responsible for the mainstream release of The Evil Dead, suggested that they next work on an sequel. Raimi scoffed at the idea, expecting Crimewave to be a hit, but Shapiro put out ads announcing the sequel regardless.
After Crimewave was released to little audience or critical acclaim, Raimi and Tapert, knowing that another flop would further stall their already lagging careers, took Shapiro up on his offer. Around the same time, they met Italian movie producer Dino De Laurentiis, the owner of production and distribution company DEG. He had asked Raimi if he would direct a theatrical adaptation of the Stephen King (written under his Richard Bachman pseudonym) novel Thinner. Raimi turned down the offer, but De Laurentiis continued to be interested in the young filmmaker.
The Thinner adaptation was part of a deal between De Laurentiis and King to produce several adaptations of King's successful horror fiction. At the time, King was directing the first such adaptation, Maximum Overdrive, based on his short story "Trucks". He had dinner with a crewmember who had been interviewed about the Evil Dead sequel, and told King that the film was having trouble attracting funding. Upon hearing this, King, who had written a glowing review of the first film that helped it become an audience favorite at Cannes, called De Laurentiis and asked him to fund the film.
Though initially skeptical, De Laurentiis agreed after being presented with the extremely high Italian grosses for the first film. Raimi and Tapert had desired $4 million for the production, they were allotted only $3.6 million. As such, the planned medieval storyline had to be scrapped.
Script/Pre-Production Though they had only recently received the funding necessary to produce the film, the script had been written for some time, having been composed largely during the production of Crimewave. Raimi contacted his old friend Scott Spiegel, who had collaborated with Campbell and others on the Super-8 films they had produced during their childhood in Michigan. Most of these films had been comedies, and Spiegel felt that Evil Dead II should be less straight horror than the first. Initially, the opening sequence included all five characters from the original film, but, in an effort to save time and money, all but Ash and Linda were cut from the final draft. This argues against the "remake" theory (see above), because it makes clear that the events of the first film are meant to take place within the timeframe of the beginning of the sequel, and that everything that happens after Ash is hit by the invisible force is new.
Spiegel and Raimi wrote most of the film in their house in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California, where they were living with the aforementioned Coen brothers, as well as actors Frances McDormand, Kathy Bates and Holly Hunter (Hunter was the primary inspiration for the Bobby Jo character). Due both to the distractions of their house guests and the films they were involved with, Crimewave and Josh Becker's Thou Shalt Not Kill. Except, the script took an inordinately long time to finish.
Among the many inspirations for the film include The Three Stooges and other slapstick comedy films; Ash's fights with his disembodied hand come from a film made by Spiegel as a teenager, entitled Attack of the Helping Hand, which was itself inspired by television commercials advertising Hamburger Helper. The "laughing room" scene, where all the objects in the room seemingly come to life and begin to cackle maniacally along with Ash, came about after Spiegel jokingly used a gooseneck lamp to visually demonstrate a Popeye-esque laugh. Scott Spiegel's humorous influence can be seen throughout the film, perhaps most prominently in certain visual jokes; for instance, when Ash traps his rogue hand under a pile of books, on top is A Farewell to Arms.
With the script completed, and a production company secured, filming could begin. The production commenced in Wadesboro, North Carolina, not far from De Laurentiis' offices in Wilmington. De Laurentiis had wanted them to film in his elaborate Wilmington studio, but the production team felt uneasy being so close to the producer, so they moved to Wadesboro, approximately three hours away. Steven Spielberg had previously filmed The Color Purple in Wadesboro, and the large white farmhouse used as an exterior location in that film became the production office for Evil Dead II. Most of the film was shot in the woods near that farmhouse, or J.R. Faison Junior High School, which is where the interior cabin set was located.
The film's production was not nearly as chaotic or strange as the production of the original, largely because of Raimi, Tapert and Campbell's additional film making experience. However, there are nevertheless numerous stories about the strange happenings on the set. For instance, the rat seen in the cellar was nicknamed "Señor Cojones" by the crew. "Cojones" is Spanish slang for "testicles".
Even so, there were hardships, mostly involving Ted Raimi's costume. Ted, director Sam's younger brother, had been involved in the first film briefly, acting as a fake Shemp, but in Evil Dead II he gets the larger role of the historian's demon-possessed wife, Henrietta. Raimi was forced to wear a full-body, latex costume, crouch in a small hole in the floor acting as a "cellar", or on one day, both. Raimi became extremely overheated, to the point that his costume was literally filled with liters of sweat; Special effects artist Gregory Nicotero describes pouring the fluid into several Dixie cups so as to get it out of the costume. The sweat is also visible on-screen, dripping out of the costume's ear, in the scene where Henrietta spins around over Annie's head.
The crew also sneaked various in-jokes into the film itself, such as the clawed glove of Freddy Krueger, the primary antagonist of the A Nightmare on Elm Street series of slasher films, which hangs in the cabin's basement and toolshed. This was, at least partially, a reference to a scene in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street where Johnny Depp's character watches the original Evil Dead on a television set in his room. In turn, that scene was a reference to the torn The Hills Have Eyes poster seen in the original Evil Dead film, which was itself a reference to a torn Jaws poster in The Hills Have Eyes.
At the film's wrap party, the crew held a talent contest, where Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell sang The Byrds' "Eight Miles High", with Nicotero on guitar.