Now, I know a lot of Evil Dead fans are up in arms about the Evil Dead remake.
But the thing they don’t remember is that there are three movies in the Evil Dead series and the best, by far, is Evil Dead 2. (Shut up, Army of Darkness lovers. It’s good! It’s just not as good as Evil Dead 2, which is one of the best movies ever.)
So who cares if there’s a completely unnecessary Evil Dead remake? Everything’s got completely unnecessary remakes nowadays. Hell! Even Psycho has a prequel television series, like: Fecking seriously? A Psycho prequel television series? And before Psycho had a wholly unnecessary prequel television series, it had a wholly unnecessary remake that was supposed to be an “homage” to the original Hitchcock film.
The important thing to keep in mind is that the existence of the Evil Dead remake is like the existence of that ridiculously useless The Thing prequel. They’re both stupid and useless and, unless you’re in some sort of hostage situation, no one is forcing you to watch them EVER.
Also, you still need to remember that Evil Dead 2 is the best one, and save your anger for when they remake that.
Lately, I’d been wondering why people were talking so much about the Oz prequel. Actually, I wasn’t wondering so much about people talking as I was about people posting things on the Internet, because I don’t actually know any people. But wondering about the Oz prequel, I was.
And then it turned out it was because the Oz prequel was opening this last weekend! And I went “Oh, right,” and hit myself in the forehead in a slapstick manner.
So the things I know about the Oz prequel:
1. It’s loosely based on L. Frank Baum’s Oz books.
2. Sam Raimi directed it.
3. Which means Bruce Campbell must be in it somewhere.
So there you go. I didn’t see it, and I probably won’t, but that doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop loving Sam Raimi for Evil Dead 2.
So there’s this Christmas commercial airing for some jewelry company, and the dad has the son dress up as Santa and give the mom a box and inside is the godawful ugly bracelet. The mom looks at it and sighs, “Ohhhh, Santa,” like, if the kid was any older, he would be so squicked out because his parents are totally getting laid tonight, but luckily, he just grabs a plate of cookies and wanders off merrily, thoughts of parental fornication completely absent from his innocent head.
And every time I see that ad, I think: “Do women really react like that to godawful ugly bracelets?”
And then I think: “Wait, I guess if someone bought me a box set of the Evil Dead trilogy for Christmas, I would totally sigh ‘Ohhhh, Santa,’ and then we’d probably have sex, except they’d have to wait until after we watched the movies.”
I want a boomwhacker.
It’s no boomstick, but it’ll do.
Was that too much of a stretch for a Star Trek joke? It was, wasn’t it.
Anyway, nerds of a certain age will remember Denise Crosby as the taser-wielding Lt. Tasha Yar from Star Trek: The Next Generation. You younger nerds can get off my lawn.
But what happened to Ms. Crosby after she left ST:TNG for greener pastures? Where did she goooooooo?
Well, according to IMDB, Denise Crosby forms part of the extensive Crosby family dynasty, a dynasty of which I was heretofore unaware. (Did I use heretofore correctly? Will anyone know if I didn’t?) The daughter of entertainer Dennis Crosby (yeah, I’ve never heard of him before now either), her first role was as an uncredited party guest in 10.
A year later, she got a role on Days of Our Lives. In 1982, it was on to a role in Trail of the Pink Panther, which I don’t think you should bother watching because Peter Sellers was dead by then.
The early ’80s also brought loads of fun stuff, like the TV movie Cocaine: One Man’s Seduction, like don’t you feel bad for the people who have to come up with these titles? “Look, Bob, we need to make it clear this is a C-List made-for-TV flick. What’ve ya got?”
Of course, you’ve got 1983′s The Man Who Loved Women, which should have been alternately titled Which is Every Guy Except for the Gay Ones and 1985′s Malice in Wonderland (made for TV movie).
The late ’80s brought a guest role on L.A. Law, which was a pretty big deal at the time, and also a role as the wife in Pet Sematary, which I totally didn’t realize was her.
Also in the late 1980s, she was in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which I already mentioned. She left after 22 episodes, because her character had been kind of pushed to the background, but came back in later years to play her character’s daughter and also alternate reality or time-travel versions of Tasha Yar. I had already stopped watching at that point, so I really don’t remember this at all.
The early ’90s brought a lot of guest roles on TV series I’ve never heard of and don’t feel like listing, except for The Adventures of Brisco County Jr., because it had Bruce Campbell in it.
She was also in the Red Shoe Diaries, just like David Duchovny and Sheryl Lee!
Later, she had a role on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Diagnosis Murder and Baywatch, which is great. In 1998, she had a role in a movie called Divorce: A Contemporary Western, proving that titles are hard no matter what the genre.
Speaking of David Duchovny, she also had a guest part on the X-Files after it had started sucking, so no wonder I never noticed. She was also on JAG and Judging Amy and Crossing Jordan, but I never saw those shows, so I don’t care.
This is getting a little long here, because apparently Denise Crosby has been working steadily for quiet a while, and I just didn’t notice, so we’ll wrap things up by saying she’s had roles on Dexter, Mad Men, Prison Break and most recently Southland, so I guess if I wanted to know what Denise Crosby was up to lately, I would watch more television.
So there you go. Tasha Yar is not only still acting, she is, in fact, flourishing.
The nice thing about movie pirates is the way they totally don’t murder your whole family in front of you and threaten to sodomize your dog, like real pirates. I actually made up that part about what they said they would do to your dog.
Anyway, two of the most famous movie pirates are Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Hook. I don’t feel like I need to give you background on these guys, because they are really, really famous movie pirates. If you do need background, I’d like to congratulate you on rejoining the world after spending all those years in a cave on the moon.
On to the battlefield, where it’s safe for you family and your dog!
Physicality. In a battle of fictional pirates, the pirate who resembles Johnny Depp wins. The pirate who resembles Johnny Depp always wins. Winner? Capt. Jack Sparrow.
Evilisciousness. I was hedging between this as a category title and Evilocity, and then I thought that Evilocity was an insurance company, so evilisciousness it is. Also, let’s see if I can ever spell that word the same way twice. (I guess I should probably have put word in quotes.) Anyway, Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Hook, as movie pirates, are ever so much less evil than real pirates. But which one is more evil than the other, but not more evil than real pirates? Capt. Jack Sparrow, as far as I know after watching the first two movies and not any of the others (there were others, right?), was kind of self-serving and sneaky, but not so evil that he would do something like kill Keira Knightley’s character for Christ’s sake someone should’ve done it. On the other hand, Capt. Hook’s main goal in life was to murder a little boy. Magical little boy or not, that’s pretty evil. Winner? Capt. Hook.
More flamboyant costume? Dressed garishly, as all movie pirates are, the better for audiences to be able to tell that they are movie pirates, both Capt. Jack Sparrow and Capt. Hook have a fondness for giant hats, feathers and button-up coats. Only one of them wears eyeliner. (Hint: It’s the Johnny Depp one.) Winner? Capt. Jack Sparrow.
Has a better sidekick? Capt. Hook’s sidekick is the irrepressible Smee, who is a obese buffoon in the Disney movie, an altogether unsastisfying change from his original incarnation as a ruthless bastard. Still, an obese buffoon is infinitely superior to Keira Knightley and, I hate to admit it because he’s soooo pretty, Orlando Bloom. Winner? Capt. Hook.
Has a hook for a hand? Capt. Hook has a hook for a hand, a fact of which he is either very proud and changed his name to suit, or was rather convenient for him because he was already like, “Hey, my name is Hook!” (It’s the first one.) No one would chop off Johnny Depp’s hands for a movie because he has such nice hands. Although I think I’d love him more if he had a chainsaw hand.
Winner? Capt. Hook.
Is eaten by a creature of the deep? Capt. Jack Sparrow gets eaten by a Kraken or something, I don’t know, did anybody else think the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie was so goddamned boring? Later, he somehow comes back, because Disney and Johnny Depp like to buy nice things. Capt. Hook’s hand was eaten by a crocodile, which also ate a clock, so he could hear his doom approaching him. Although, actually, his doom didn’t approach him until the clock stopped working, so he couldn’t actually hear his doom approaching and so it snuck up on him. Or sneaked up on him. I’m never sure about the past tense of that word. Pressing valiantly on! Hook got et by a crocodile. Winner? Well, since both these guys got eaten by creatures typically found in the dark recesses of the waters, I’m going to go ahead and call this a tossup.
Faces more difficult adversaries? Capt. Hook’s adversaries are a magical boy, a tinker fairy and a bunch of other little kids who aren’t particularly magical, but do wear the skins of dead animals. Capt. Jack Sparrow’s adversaries are the navy (British, I think, but *yawn*, second movie soooo boring) and a squid-faced Davy Jones. Also whoever cast Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean. Winner? Capt. Jack Sparrow.
For the tie-breaker, which of these characters hasn’t been ruined by awful sequels? Ha, ha, I’m just kidding. Of course Peter Pan’s got sequels. I told you Disney likes to buy nice things.
For the real tie-breaker, which of these characters is more masculine? What with his guyliner and all, Capt. Jack Sparrow has a weak hold on the last threads of his heterosexuality. Sure, he tries to get you to think he’s into the ladies by coming on to Keira Knightley, but we all know if he had any taste in women at all, he’d go after the chick who ended up on Undercovers, because she is gorgeous.
Still, he’s good with a sword and grows a magnificent goatee. Capt. Hook doesn’t waste a single minute on trying to convince anyway he’s straight or gay or having sex of any kind at all. He is single-minded in the pursuit of his goal, which is to kill the hell out of a small child. Now that’s a man. (Are you sure?) Whatever, I like Hook better. Winner? Capt. Hook.
Overall winner? Capt. Hook. By a hook.
Once upon a time, there was a good-looking hulk of a man who fought for the gods and defeated evil. That man could be either He-Man or Hercules, because I wasn’t too specific there.
Anyway, He-Man and Hercules have some things in common, but maybe not that many?
Let’s find out in a battle of champions!
(Please tell me you read that like a fight announcer.)
Physicality. As I mentioned previously, Hercules and He-Man are hulks of men. In fact, I’m sure that, if the name Hulk hadn’t already been taken, one of these guys would have gotten it. Probably He-Man, since Hercules originated in the ancient Greek times, and the Incredible Hulk didn’t come about till there was nuclear power. Anyway, the point of this paragraph is that one man is a cartoon and the other occasionally looks like Kevin Sorbo. Winner? Hercules.
Has a really lame alter ego? Hercules is Hercules, no matter what the occasion. Kind of like the rest of us, only awesome. When He-Man isn’t He-Man, he’s Prince Adam of Eternia, a guy who looks exactly like He-Man. He’s got basically the worst disguise in the history of ever. Even worse than those superheroes who just put a mask on over their eyes.
Has a cooler sidekick? Does Hercules have a sidekick? I’m sure in the Disney-ization of his life, he had some sort of wise-cracking sidekick, but just thinking about that makes me crabby. So, even if he did have a sidekick, the sidekick was probably lame. He-Man, on the other hand, has a giant green tiger as a sidekick. Also as a vehicle. That tiger is known as Battle-Cat, which is what I should have named my mean, mean, mean cat. Winner? He-Man.
Pouted like a whiny little crying man-baby when his boy toy was killed? Once, Hercules went on a mission with Jason and the Argonauts. Well, I guess I should say “Once, Hercules started to go on a mission with Jason and the Argonauts, but he never finished it because his boy toy was killed and he had a big fat pouty fit.” I mean, sure, who doesn’t mourn the death of their boy-toy, but we expect more from a hero. He-Man was a children’s cartoon to sell children’s toys. Most children’s parents don’t let them buy boy toy toys. (It makes slightly more sense if you read it aloud; also, people will laugh at you.) Winner? Hercules.
Killed his entire family when he was struck mad by the goddess Hera, who hated him? Er, let’s not even play games here and admit that the winner was Hercules.
Completed 12 tasks of varying degrees of awesome? Hercules completed 12 taks of varying degrees of awesome. He-Man mostly fought weird monsters and taught us important moral lessons like buy He-Man toys already. Winner? Hercules.
Could transform from a wee girly-man into a hulking man of power? Hercules never went through the awkward “wee girly-man” stage. As a matter of fact, neither did He-Man, because he and Prince Adam look exactly alike. Gods, I just can’t get over what a shitty disguise that is. Winner? Nobody.
Gets to hang out with Bruce Campbell? (You knew I had to make this a category, right?) On the television series Hercules, Hercules hangs out with Bruce Campbell. Because he is just that lucky. He-Man gets to hang out with Man-At-Arms who, while awesome, is no Bruce Campbell. Winner? Hercules.
Died a horrible, agonizing death? Hercules, coincidentally, died a horrible, agonizing death. He has no one but himself to blame, because who tells their wife they’re going off to marry a better princess? (This is not the wife he murdered, by the way. This is a different wife. He had at least two, and would have had at least three, were it not for his horrible, agonizing death.) You especially don’t tell your wife whose in possession of a magical cloak that you’re off to wed someone better than she, because she will use that magic cloak. Of course, she thought it was a magic cloak of love, but it turns out it was a magic cloak of horrible, agonizing death, and Hercules’ torment was only ended when he was set upon his own funeral pyre. Like, how painful is your dying agony when burning to death is a release? (The answer is so painful.) He-Man lives on in the hearts and souls of all the children of the ’80s everywhere, except for some of those third-world countries that are only just now getting the cartoon. He! Lives! Winner? Hercules.
Has a better toy line? Does Hercules even have a toy line? If he doesn’t, he should. But even if he does, it couldn’t be as awesome as He-Man’s toy line, which had Castle Greyskull and stuff. Winner? He-Man.
Manlier name? Hercules is the romanized version of the name Heracles, which the boy was given so that the goddess Hera would take mercy on him, being the bastard son of her cheating husband and all. It didn’t particularly work. He-Man, on the other hand, is a combination of the words “he” and “man” with a hyphen in between them, which you already knew because you can read. Anyway, that’s the manliest name that was ever uttered, except maybe for somebody name Guy Dick Manley Mann. Winner? He-Man.
Overall winner? Hercules, because the Greeks had the best heroes of all.
So Bad Ash is like the bad version of Evil Dead Ash, who isn’t really all that good when you think about it. And Bizarro was conceived as the mirror image of Superman, because someone had been reading a lot of Jung at the time.
Which alternate version of a hero will come out on top?
And do you even care?
(Of course you do.)
On to the battle!
Physicality: Bad Ash looks a lot like Bruce Campbell until he gets boomsticked to death and then re-animated by an incorrect reading of the Necronomicon.
(I’m just going to call it Book of the Dead from now on, ’cause screw Latin.) Then he looks more like a zombie. Bizarro looks like if Superman was in a really bad fire and had the world’s worst plastic surgeon try to repair his skin, using the skin of an albino who is also made of glass. Winner? Bad Ash, for at least looking like Bruce Campbell for a few minutes.
Wreaks more havoc? I feel like this is a category in a lot of these things, but I find havoc-wreaking to be an awesome quality in a fictional character. (It’s a much less awesome quality in a politician, but they all seem to possess it to some degree. Ha, ha, political jokes — over.) Bad Ash sends the Deadites to attack the village that Ash is protecting, and I’m not sure why we stopped calling them Candarian demons in Army of Darkness, but whatever. However, his plans are thwarted because Ash has a chainsaw hand. Well, he has some sort of robotic armor hand in Army of Darkness, which is cool, but the chainsaw hand is cooler. Bizarro wreaks all sorts of havoc, whether on purpose or by trying to imitate Superman. Winner? Bizarro, because have you seen what he’s done to grammar??
More evil? Bad Ash is so evil he’s got “Bad” in his name, and not like “Bad” when people mean “good.” More like “just plain mean” bad. Bizarro is just a confused, tragic character who mangles grammar. (I really can’t forgive him for that.) Winner? Bad Ash.
Leads a legion of the undead? Hey, they don’t call it “Army of Darkness” for nothing. Winner? Bad Ash.
Is a more sympathetic character? Bad Ash, evil though he is, is mostly played for laughs because, by Army of Darkness, everyone realized the Evil Dead franchise was actually a comedic series. Bizarro has been created by, like, every Superman villain out there, because when they came up with the concept for Superman, they forgot that having an all-powerful hero makes for some pretty anti-climactic fight scenes, so all the villains are kind of wimptacular next to the world’s biggest boy scout. Thus, Bizarro, who has all of Superman’s powers and none of his good qualities, is born. The poor, sympathetic bastard. He didn’t even ask to be born! No one asked him! Winner? Bizarro.
Dies a more spectacular death? First, Bad Ash gets shot and buried and then resurrected. Then, he gets torched. Then, he gets his hand chopped off. Even more then, he gets catapulted into the air and blown up with a sackful of gunpowder. Explode-y! Bizarro has been offed in a variety of ways, one of which includes a midair collision with Superman. But was there an explosion? Science says no. Winner? Bad Ash.
Is played by Bruce Campbell in a film? Winner? Bad Ash.
The overall winner in this (slightly) (biased) battle? Bad Ash.
It’s a battle of the boy wieners!
(That came out dirtier than I intended.)
Anyway, I’m none too fond of either Spiderman or Robin, but I thought, hey, let’s tally things up and see which one I’m slightly less less fond of. To write that in a manner that has fewer repeated words: Which one do I hate the least?
On to the slapfest!
(C’mon, you know they’re both slappers.)
Physicality. Spiderman is the teenaged/middle-aged/it depends on who’s writing-aged Peter Parker, who was played by Toby Maguire in the films, and Andrew Garfield in the reboot, because why not do a reboot already. Also, who the hell is Andrew Garfield? Anyway, they’re both brunettes who aren’t hideously ugly, but they’re certainly not my cup of tea, so meh. Robin is the teenaged five or six different people, and I can’t ever keep track of them all (because I don’t care), so we’ll go with the Dick Grayson version, who is actually Nightwing now. That name still doesn’t make sense to me. Whatever. Dick Grayson was played by Chris O’Donnell in that abomination unto the Lord, Batman Forever. Chris O’Donnell isn’t bad-looking, I guess. Winner? Andrew Garfield, for not having been in a comic book sequel yet.
Has superpowers for some reason. Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider and, rather than succumbing to cancer like any of the rest of us would, mutated into a superhuman with ridiculous powers like “spider sense.” If spiders are so sensitive, why don’t they cry when I squash their friends, huh? Robin has no superpowers, and would probably just get a rash if a radioactive spider bit him. Winner? Spiderman.
Trained with a much more awesome superhero. A lot of people say Batman shouldn’t be called a “superhero” because he doesn’t have superpowers, but those people are jackasses, because Batman’s superpower is being the goddamned Batman. He trained Robin, because being the Dark Knight gets lonely, and sometimes you need the companionship of a teenage boy. Also, a more visible target.
Spiderman lives in the Marvel Universe, which has never been exposed to the awesome that is Batman, so he missed out. Also, he got superpowers, so he didn’t need to train with anybody. Winner? Robin.
Is in a movie series with cameo appearances by the great, godlike Bruce Campbell? Thanks to Sam Raimi, creator of the Evil Dead franchise, being good buddies with the very excellent Bruce Campbell, the man himself has had a cameo appearance in every Spiderman movie that I’ve ever seen, and possibly also the third one. Robin’s only been in one Batman movie that I’m aware of (So lazy! So apathetic! Refuse to research older Batman movies!), and even Bruce Campbell at his slummingest wouldn’t be involved with that stinkbomb. Winner? Spiderman.
Later became Nightwing? As I mentioned before, Dick Grayson went on to become Nightwing, and dated some hot alien spacechick because being Batman’s apprentice is a total aphrodisiac. Winner? Robin.
Suffered the loss of parents/parental figure(s) as part of a tragic, tragic backstory? What comic book is complete without a tragic backstory? Not even Lone Wolf and Cub, dammit. Spiderman is an orphan being raised by Aunt May and Uncle Ben until he gets bitten by a radioactive spider and decides to become a wrestler because that’s totally logical. Although I guess I do like that he wasn’t immediately: “Hey! I have superpowers! Time to fight crime!” like everybody else except the supervillains. So he’s got that going for him. Anyway, as a result of his wrestling, some guy killed his Uncle Ben. The moral here is to never join the wrestling team. Dick Grayson worked in a traveling carnival as part of a family of acrobats because screw child labor laws, that’s why. His acrobat parents were totally murdered in front of him, just like a young Batman’s (Batboy’s?) parents were before him. It’s so goddamned tragic up in here, you guys, I just can’t stand it. Winner? Spiderman, for losing slightly more relatives to tragic circumstances.
Has a better costume? Spiderman has a red and blue costume so he looks exactly like a spider.
Robin has a red, green and yellow costume because there can only be one dark knight, dammit, so someone has to be the almost-primary-colors knight. Winner? Nobody. Their costumes both suck. Although at least Spiderman’s doesn’t have a ridiculous cape, so maybe … nah. Still stupid.
Has a hotter wife? Well, Peter Parker used to have a hot wife until he sold his marriage to the devil, because … wait, what? This happened? Gods, no wonder I’ve been sticking to small press stuff lately. Jesus. I mean, shit. Who sells their marriage to the devil? And what kind of half-assed devil buys that sort of thing? I don’t think Robin ever married. Well, this category would’ve gone to Spiderman, because redheads are hot, but whatever. Winner? Nobody.
Overall winner, because I’m sick of these two guys already? Spiderman, for causing slightly fewer gay jokes than Robin.
Sooooo … sorry about your girlfriend.
I mean, the way she was possessed by Candarian demons and tried to kill you? That’s really tragic. Also the way you had to behead her? I am so sorry. And the way she crawled out of her grave and did a creepy stop-motion dance? That is more than one man should have to endure.
But I want you to know: I’m here for you.
Actually, Evil Dead 2′s Ash, I want you to know this as well: I love you. I love you as much as any woman can love a man with a chainsaw hand. Which is a lot.
I mean, wow! You have a chainsaw hand!
A chainsaw hand!
A CHAINSAW HAND!
What’s better than a chainsaw hand?
In addition to your chainsaw hand, which is certainly one of your most appealing traits, I appreciate your willingness to slaughter Candarian demons, whether they be possessing your girlfriend’s corpse or not.
I mean, that’s awesome.
Who doesn’t want to date a guy who’s a master of Candarian demon-slaying? I mean, come on! That’s what I look for in every guy I date, which is why none of them will ever live up to you, Evil Dead 2′s Ash. Because you, sir, are the original. You are the master.
I love you.
Also, you grow up to become Sam Axe and hang out with Michael Westen and his Charger, and I could totally get on board with that.