The Hand (directed by Oliver Stone in 1981) is a tale of a famous cartoonist who loses his appendage and in turn, goes mad. Is it possible that some sequences in this obscure film influenced Evil Dead 2?
Stone would return to the arena of psychological terror with the tale of Jonathan Lansdale, a famous cartoonist (played by Sir Michael Caine) who is involved in a freak accident where he loses his drawing hand. Of course, the loss of his appendage brings with it a descent into madness.
Evil Dead 2 came along six years later and was the sequel or rather “requel” to the 1981 creepy cabin story starring Bruce Campbell. Sam Raimi was behind the camera again for the continuation of the Deadite slayer, Ash Williams’ saga.
Believe it or not, there are many parallels between The Hand and Evil Dead 2.
It is interesting to note that Stone’s film premiered on April 24,1981 in the U.S. Raimi’s original Evil Dead made its debut in Detroit, Michigan on Oct. 15, 1981 but wasn’t widely released until April 15, 1983. So, basically the two works were in production roughly around the same time.
While it is highly doubtful that The Hand had any influence on Raimi’s Evil Dead, we have to ask the question could it have been on Sam’s radar at the time he was making Evil Dead 2? Let’s take a closer look.
Jonathan Lansdale, in a way is fighting demons just like Ash. Although, his are internal. Yes, Ash cuts off his own hand because it becomes possessed but the two men definitely lose their sanity as a result of their traumas.
Michael Caine’s character is committing murders during his blackout periods but it appears that his appendage is actually doing the deeds. There is a sequence where Lansdale happens to trap his hand by impaling it with a knife. Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams does the same exact thing when he is wrestling with his poisoned limb in the kitchen.
Everyone knows about Sam Raimi’s love for The Three Stooges. Yes, their antics definitely lead to his “Splatstick” moments in Evil Dead 2. Their influence is present in Ash’s epic manhandling of himself where he breaks plates over his head culminating in him doing a painful looking front flip onto a wooden floor. However, is it beyond reason to suggest that The Hand might have inspired certain sequences in the film?
Both Jonathan Lansdale and Ash Williams are also in remote cabins when they are dealing with their offending hands. Lansdale’s appendage tries to strangle him in a rather physical encounter in the garage. Both Caine and Campbell chase their elusive meat hooks around in darkly comedic fashions.
We may never know if The Hand officially influenced Evil Dead 2 but it certainly is an interesting premise to consider. You can stream both movies on Google Play, YouTube, Amazon Prime, VUDU and iTunes.
Have you seen The Hand? If so, do you believe that Oliver Stone’s film could have influenced Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2? Let us know in the comments.