Ed is a nebbish with a way too gorgeous wife. He is content to edit films at the studio where he works, but he does his job too well: When the “Loose Limbs” series produced by the Splatter and Gore Department is slated to be released in the European market, Ed is suddenly assigned to the job of re-editing the films. Ed is decidedly not a horror fan, and it doesn’t take long for him to lose his mind from non-stop days of watching splatter.
But if you think this is a social commentary, think again: “Evil Ed” is a loving, campy, completely over-the-top satire of 1980’s American horror flicks. The film not only takes its title and character names (one is called “Sam Campbell”) from the “Evil Dead” films, it’s also fond of using similar, Demon-Vison ™ styled camera work.
The film has moments that are all its own though: When the Studio Head visits Ed to review his work on “Loose Limbs 5: The Anatomy of Fear” he angrily scolds “Where’s my beaver rape scene? There was no sexually explicit footage in that scene! ”
The acting is atrocious, direction is nil and the effects range from pretty good to only so-so, but as those are the very qualities of the class of films it satirizes, all of that amazingly works in its favor. Fans of the genre (and era) will recognize nods to everything from “Psycho” to “Taxi Driver” to “Night of the Living Dead” to “Gremlins” to “Halloween” to “The Shining” – the list goes on and on. It even features a “Special Voice Appearance” by Chop Top himself, Bill Moseley. Yet just when I had it pegged as a cute, but not scary satire, it made me drop a log in my drawers in a jump scene that came out of nowhere (but was completely fair).
For those who aren’t familiar with how film works, it provides an interesting glimpse inside the job of an editor. It also contains one of the best head shots I’ve ever seen (and, yes, I’m including “Scanners”). Upon seeing it, I did an “Eeww” out loud and then started laughing at how over-the-top it all was, and that pretty much describes my reaction to the film as a whole. “Evil Ed” is simply fun from start to finish.
Pros: Creative gore, funny lines, the entire second half. Also, the “Loose Limbs” clips and trailers are hysterical, and spot-on accurate.
Cons: The first half is interesting, but nothing special. The very first scene (“You’re fired!”) was almost lame enough to make me shut the film off. Thankfully, I didn’t.
Review Rating: 3 out of 5 kinder worlds for the children, and for the little puppies.
“Evil Ed” (1997)
93 Minutes; Sweden
Rated R for sadistic violence and gore, language and some sexuality.
Johan Rudebeck (Edward Swenson)
Per Löfberg (Nick)
Olof Rhodin (Sam Campbell)
Camela Leierth (Mel)
Gert Fylking (SWAT Team Lieutenant)
Cecilia Ljung (Barbara)
Directed by: Anders Jacobsson
Viewing Format: DVD
(Originally published on HorrorWatch)