Sunday, November 3, 2019

The MSO’s live performance of ‘The Evil Dead’ was a show for the ages

While the crowds gathered outside Luna Park for their Spooktober night of fun, the real Halloween party was happening next door at the Palais Theatre as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra took to the stage to perform one of the biggest cult horror films ever, The Evil Dead.

For the uninitiated, Sam Raimi’s classic 1981 film tells the story of five college students who head to a cabin in the woods for a weekend away. In the cellar, they find the Necronomicon Ex Mortis (roughly translated, The Book of The Dead) and unleash a hellish string of demonic forces upon themselves and the surrounding woods. Filled with Raimi’s trademark visual style and slapstick humour, it’s the perfect gory Halloween film to be watched with a group of friends on the couch or with a crowd of fans in a massive St Kilda theatre.

Providing an extra treat for fans, conductor Brett Kelly and the talented musicians from the MSO were joined on stage by the film’s original composer, Joe LoDuca, who joined the company on keyboard and guitar. Introducing the film, LoDuca explained how he first got involved with Raimi, producer Rob Tapert and star Bruce Campbell as a student in Michigan in the early ’80s, before breaking down what was in store for the evening. Having nearly 100 credits to his name, LoDuca has returned to his first film score and reimagined it to make it bigger and better.

From the second the film began, the audience was on board. Spontaneous bouts of laughter and cheering erupted from every axe swing and bad line reading. Even the orchestra members were getting into the spirit of it, watching the screen with big smiles on their faces while Ash frantically hacks away at his possessed friends.

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