DVD Review: Evil Ed | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Evil Ed

Studio: Arrow Video

Jun 02, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make fun of the horror movie genre, as these movies are often inherently — and unintentionally — funny. Evil Ed, the 1995 Swedish slasher/splatter parody, upped the game with a low-budget film that has had amazing staying power, even as it serves to mock the Swedish film industry’s notorious censor board. The film tells the story of Ed (Johan Rudebeck), a meek, mild-mannered film editor who is reassigned to the horror film division of the film production company he works for. His boss, Sam (Olof Rhodin), is a man obsessed with his latest film series, Loose Limbs, to the point of forcing his editors to work around the clock editing the bloody, gory, and disgusting films. Ed, who much prefers the quiet dignity of Swedish art films, starts to lose his mind as he edits and re-edits disgusting scenes of mutilation, murder, and sex. He quickly goes insane, and goes on a killing spree, murdering or attempting to kill anyone who crosses his path.

Okay, so that’s really all there is to the story. Like the rest of the slasher film genre, plot becomes secondary, and twenty to thirty minutes in, a promising plotline is abandoned, and it’s all about kill, kill, kill. In the documentary featurette, Rudebeck talks about being offered the part, but doesn’t recall actually reading or looking at anything resembling a script, nor do his coworkers. The film was shot quickly, as its production team of director Anders Jacobsson and producer Göran Lundström wanted to prove that they could make a film with almost no budget that would be worthy of being shown in a theater. It was to their surprise, then, that not only was the film well-received, it was soon picked up by a major distributor, with it being released worldwide in sixty countries, and along the way, becoming a campy horror film classic.

One would be missing the point if they complained about the wasted potential of the plot — after all, little trivial things like plot aren’t really important to exploitation films such as this — but the premise is most certainly an original one, and one that’s still worthy of exploration. Evil Ed came to life to thumb its nose at the conservatism of the Swedish censorship board, but no one expected it to be one of 1995’s top Swedish exports, not even its cast and crew, who in the interview segments all seem slightly bewildered by it all. If anything, it upset the establishment not because of its violence, but because they missed out on the credit and the financial success of the film.

I remember seeing Evil Ed when it was released, and enjoying it for the satirical, dumb fun. This deluxe release offers a cache of goodies, including an alternate cut of the film that’s merely okay, and a documentary that raises the question, “Does the world really need a documentary on a low-budget slasher film that’s over three hours long?” Short answer: not really. Interesting and insightful for the fanatics — and the film certainly does have fans who are just that — but to this reviewer it’s merely a distraction, as Evil Ed is the true star of this set, a hilarious and irreverent parody of one of cinema’s most absurd genres.



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July 20th 2017

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