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TUESDAY

When Ain’t It Cool News’ portly prognosticator Harry Knowles dished that Evil Dead auteur Sam Raimi had beaten out Home Alone hack Chris Columbus for the chance to helm the long-delayed Spider-Man movie, well, it wasn’t just my Spidey senses that were tingling. A visual madman with a ghoulish funny bone, Raimi isn’t just the best man for the job, he’s the only man—and has been since his directorial debut. While 1987’s Evil Dead II—discussed with religious zeal by the guys in High Fidelity—showcases Raimi at his hellzapoppin’ best, the original flick, filmed on a bag-of-chips budget in 1979, is packed with flashes of young-gun brilliance. With the help of an editor named Joel Coen (just five years away from directing Blood Simple), Raimi displays dizzying amounts of trapezian camera trickery—perfect for revealing Peter Parker’s secret life—to tell the seemingly simple story of college kids trapped in a haunted cabin. Charmingly goofy Bruce Campbell makes his debut as regular-guy-turned-zombie-chopper Ash, but the actor doesn’t develop his trademark ham-stuffed chops until the last 20 minutes. This leaves a cash-poor Raimi with only his own innate thrill-power—and a career-making opportunity to zip his camera around like a blood-soaked pinball. Note to the squeamish: Cover your eyes when the bubbly coeds start messing with a deck of cards; at that point, you have about an hour until the tsunamic waves of comic goo stop crashing. At 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 30, at the Lucky Bar, 1221 Connecticut Ave. NW. $2 (suggested donation). (202) 331-3733. (Sean Daly)