The Story of the Evil Dead

Everyone has stories from past experiences that they keep telling over and over again to new people they meet. This is one of those stories.

It must have been sometime between 1996-1997 when my group of friends of that time and myself were in Kendall at the Rat’s house. For months Rat had been telling us that we just had to see this movie called Evil Dead. He hadn’t seen it yet, but he’d read in some magazine that it was essential. That it was suppose to be an awesome cult classic. The only problem of course was, finding a copy.


Today, 2010, finding a copy of Evil Dead is very easy. Back then not so much. Where now people have the internet in their cellphones, back then I didn’t know anyone who even had it in their home on some gigantic computer. There was no Netflix, no Amazon we could order the movie from. We had to do things the old fashioned way for awhile yet, and that meant calling local video stores.

So one weekend afternoon we set out on a mission. We grabbed Rat’s parents’ copy of the yellow pages, looked up video stores and started calling them up one by one from nearest on until we found one that carried Evil Dead. The store we found was a good 30 minute drive away in the heart of Little Havana and coincidentally 2 blocks from my aunt’s house at a video store I’d been to multiple times renting b-horror movies with my friends from high school.

Armed with an address, we piled into the burgundy van with no air conditioning and drove to Little Havana. Once there Rat started filling out the forms to become a member of this video store while the rest of us rushed to the horror section to find Evil Dead. But it wasn’t there. We looked through the whole section, just in case someone had taken this movie out of the alphabetical order the videos were in, but it simply wasn’t there.

We went up to the counter where Rat was still filling out forms.

“Um, excuse me,” I said to the manager. “We called earlier about this movie Evil Dead and whoever answered the phone said you guys had it.”

Evil Dead?” the guys asks.

“Yeah, Evil Dead,” I said.

“Oh, I thought you guys said Evil Ed. Here I held it for you,” he says.

He turns around to the hold shelf behind the counter and takes down a video tape and hands it to us. There it was, Evil Ed, and there went our hopes and dreams.

Rat stopped filling out forms. We thanked the man and went on our way. I might or might not have said something about how I frequent the video store in order to ease the manager’s mind about lost business.

We went back to Kendall empty handed.

I don’t remember when I finally saw Evil Dead I or II, but once I did Army of Darkness, which I’d already seen, made a whole lot more sense to me.  I hadn’t known it was part three of a series. I do remember that I enjoyed the first two movies and that I wasn’t with the Rat at the time. Had I been I would have mentioned how off his description of Evil Dead II was.

Last night I went to see Evil Dead the Musical. In the show there was a deadite named “Ed”. I laughed at the irony. Over a decade later, Rat didn’t remember the story of Evil Ed, and so I had to tell it to him as we sat in the theater together and waited for the show to start. It was a fun show, and being there to watch it with Rat was the perfect end to my story of the Evil Dead.

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