Retro Review: ‘Evil Ed’

Ever since the Senate hearings spurred on by Fredric Wertham’s book Seduction of the Innocent, people with onions for brains have accused the horror genre of damaging poor precious minds. Apparently they believe that the genre has the ability to turn sweet innocent simpletons into rage-filled psychopaths. In decades ever since this train of thought has sporadically risen to prominence. This is a stupid idea which was wonderfully lampooned by director/screenwriter Anders Jacobsson and producer/screenwriter Goran Lundstrom in the 1995 Swedish horror film Evil Ed.

Skilled movie editor Eddie Swenson is transferred to the “Splatter and Gore Department” of his company. Apparently they need someone to prepare the violent and disturbing Loose Limbs franchise to be released to the masses, after the last editor was driven insane by the work and ate a grenade. Sent to the producer’s isolated cottage Eddie gets to work. All that he is forced to watch begins to get into the brain of the mild-mannered editor. He soon begins to snap and hallucinate courtesy of the “90 minutes of condensed sex and violence” he is subjecting himself to. Inevitably this brings out a new murderous psychotic side to Eddie and everyone from the studio delivery boy to his own family will suffer because of it.

Any restraint in the making of Evil Ed is seemingly tossed out the window in the loud, violent, brash, and outrageous. This is one of those films that has a certain Sam Raimi-inspired madcap energy that covers any flaws that may arise. As someone who will always take creative practical fx and make-up over CGI, I love that this flick is a showcase for the skills of those who made the gore fx and crafter the monsters Eddie sees while in the throes of madness. They are fittingly grand and ridiculous to fit with the completely bonkers tone of the overall movie. Lead actor Johan Rudebeck shows in his performance that he completely understands what Evil Ed is shooting for, he is the perfect square as Eddie in the film’s first act, but after being corrupted by cinematic horror he completely hams it up and chews up every scene he is in. The fact that the rest of the cast plays it relatively straight making amplifies his gleefully deranged performance.

It is clear from the introduction Goran Lundstrom and Ander Jacobsson recorded for the Arrow Video’s Blu-Ray release that they are quite proud of this film even still. Who can fault them as Evil Ed is an absolute blast of a wild and gratuitous horror flick which is bound to be a treat for genre fans.