If one is going to protest against something, then it is probably best to see it first.
This could certainly be said of the late Mary Whitehouse, who described The Evil Dead as the number one video nasty, despite never having bothered to watch it.
And seeing the movie today, in a world populated with torture porn such as the Saw sequels and The Human Centipede, The Evil Dead, though undoubtedly gory, was unlikely to deprave or corrupt anyone who saw it. Even the notorious “tree rape” scene felt pretty tame and was over in the blink of an eye.
This well-organised presentation to mark the film’s 30th anniversary was followed by a Q&A session with Brighton filmmaker Ben Wheatley, Empire movie critic Chris Hewitt, and British Board Of Film Classification (BBFC) senior examiner Craig Lapper.
Both Wheatley and Hewitt confessed to being fans of the film, but extolled the virtues of its sequel, with Wheatley’s description of how he first saw the movie capturing some of the spirit of the pre-classification video age.
It was Lapper who expertly fielded the intelligent audience questions covering not just the video nasty period but also the role of the BBFC in the modern digital age.
by Duncan Hall