Tuesday, August 30

Speaking of Evil Ed (1995)

Anders Jacobsson's Swedish gore export, Evil Ed, is a horror film for horror fans. Now I know that trite phrase has been thrown around ad nauseam, but this horror comedy's premise is rooted in a false notion that has long haunted the genre since its inception. That damned horror filth breeds sadistic killers, dun'cha know?

Ed is a lowly film lab technician who, after the grenade-in-mouth suicide of fellow employee, is tasked to finish the editing of the latest fifth installment of the "Loose Limbs" series of splatter slashers. After days of repeatedly enduring scenes of female choking and chopping long into the night (with maniacal vocals provided by Bill Moseley), Ed gets a bit frazzled and begins to have grisly hallucinations. These disturbances eventually get the best of him and come to a violent head when his asshole producer boss discovers Ed has scorn his film of the goriest segments, including the world's first beaver/woman rape sequence. Jamaican refrigerator goblins, albino Satans, and bloody hospital rampages ensue.

So you could say Evil Ed aims to lampoon and debunk this misconception by showing the sheer lunacy of a reality critics try to pass off as eventual from exposure to gory horror films. It accomplishes this, but more over the filmmakers seem to be having way more fun paying homage to horror they love both directly and through stylistic riffs (chiefly Raimi's Evil Dead 2) than concentrating on pure satire. Usually I hate blatant self-referential nods, like posters of real horror being spotted throughout, but Jacobsson gets a pass considering the period and country of origin. Evil Ed was made years before anyone could obtain prosumer equipment and stink up the place with the now old hat direct winking of an eye at horror standards.

Also being Sweden's first and only(?) gore film, you can't help but feel the celebratory glee of a niche of horror lovers finally being able to express their love and appreciation toward the genre through its native medium. Here's an interesting (if true) tidbit from Wikipedia: "The film is a satire towards the harsh censoring that the Swedish Statens Biografbyrå (Cinema Bureau of the State) ran from 1911 until it was halted in 1996. The bureau was dismissed in 2011, being the oldest film censoring organization in the world. The filmmakers were publicly ridiculed by the head of the Swedish Film Institute on national television." Mission Accomplished.

The real point of this entry was to showcase this video I stumbled across after rewatching the film this past weekend promising some sorta "Special EDition" last year. The picture quality of this video is far superior to the three DVDs I own and to my knowledge no other disc looks nearly as good. I'll also have to check the DFW disc, but I don't remember the b/w "News Today" footage being anywhere in the film or part of the official trailer...

Regarding uncut/cut versions, I have yet to find the "unrated" A-Pix U.S. tape, but their DVD is the heavily-edited R-rated version. The Ardustry Home Entertainment DVD, dubbed "Unrated Director's Cut", appears to be nearly uncut, only missing a short black-and-white dramatic scene of a film Ed is editing just after the opening credits. All the gore appears intact when compared to DFW's fully uncut Dutch PAL-format DVD. Though none of these have the PQ of this video (Ardustry's transfer is especially trash). All three of these discs are out-of-print. Maybe this video was/is advertising another upcoming disc? Would be nice...

(NSFW warning: tatted breasteses...)


Strange Kid said...

Man... I forgot just how awesome this movie is! I don't think anything will ever quite match a random refrigerator goblin, hahaha.

majesta said...

I just read your article on this movie, and just today i just bout the unrated, A-pix entertainment vhs of this. I haven't watched it yet. but being that i am a horror vhs collector and love the genre i can't wait to.

...do you dare tread upon the staircase?

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