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The Tapes of Kandar is a 1999 American Found Footage Slasher Horror film written by John Erick Dowdle & Drew Dowdle. It is a sequel to the Sam Raimi 1981 film The Evil Dead and ignores its' two sequels Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992). It is the first and thusfar only found footage entry in the franchise, inspired by the turn of slasher horror with Kevin Williamson & Wes Craven's 1996 Scream and 1999's worldwide hit The Blair Witch Project.

Sam Raimi serves as an executive producer on the film which features Bruce Campbell reprise his series iconic role of Ash Williams, while featuring Zooey Deschanel, Sam Heughan, Oliver James, Ellie Kemper, Sarah Carter and Simon Helberg.

It was released theatrically on December 11th, 1999.

Plot

Super-8 film shows Professor Raymond Knowby and his colleague Professor Tate Whitman visit the ruins of Kandar in 1978, the last two remaining archaeologists, as the others have abandoned the overall expedition out of superstitious fear. In a castle dungeon Knowby and Whitman uncover a horrific fish skeleton dagger, set of burned tapestries and human skin book.

Whitman with the book and dagger slips away with Knowby still inspecting the dungeon, to escape with his finds. Rushing back to the two's van, he uses tracing paper on the book to uncover hidden Sumerian incantations that releases the Deadite demons mentioned within the book, from the surrounding desert at night to him. Whitman mutilates himself with the dagger in a struggle with the possessing demon.

Knowby returns to the van, a missing Whitman and abandoned book and dagger.

The final amount of Super-8 footage has Knowby arrive with his wife Henrietta at their Tennessee mountain log cabin, where he has secretly brought with him the Kandarian ruin finds. In the cabin cellar with a tape recorder he analyses the book entitled 'Naturom Demonto' the roughly translated Book of the Dead, reciting the incantations that release the Deadites into the surrounding woods. Knowby hears Henrietta screaming upstairs and is attacked by her, now a Deadite. Knowby slays her after many failed attempts via body dismemberment with an axe. Knowby back in the cellar records a final warning before a Deadite manifestation of Whitman appears and Knowby commits suicide by gunshot.

In present day 1999, Tennessee high school media students Lizzie, Mal and Byron assemble Lizzie's ex-boyfriend Wyatt and friends Janey and Beth for a high definition class project film regarding the disappearence of Michigan Institute students Ash Williams, his sister Cheryl, girlfriend Linda, best friend Scott and his girlfriend Shelly. Media teacher Gould guides the group for the insurance of his equipment. They are met by local farm landlord Ray shows the property.

Lizzie finds the Naturom Demonto in the cellar of the Knowby cabin and Knowby's tapes are played, which are in poor condition. The released Deadites possess Ray the landlord who attacks the group and is immolated and run over by the group in defence. Byron is cannibalised by a Deadite Ash in the cellar. Wyatt is fatally wounded by Ash in the cellar and the group flee with a remaining vehicle (minus Gould who being attacked by Ash becomes a Deadite). The bridge bends upward before them, forcing them into the woods. After the car inexplicably breaks down the trees attack (telekinesis controlled by Ash) and shred Mal, Janey gets seperated in the chaos and Beth becomes a Deadite. A mysterious robed and masked cult collect Lizzie and the unconscious Wyatt, bringing them to a witches' sabbath where locals met earlier by the group unmask themselves and summon the Deadite Gould, Ash and Beth to them. Wyatt succumbs to his injuries and with the chanting of the cult a Deadite takes possession of Wyatt's corpse. Lizzie is restrained and prepared for possession herself until Janey stumbles upon the scene.

Lizzie attacks back with a tree branch and the Kandarian dagger, dismembering Gould and Beth with Janey's assistance. The two make it back to the Knowby cabin, where Gould enters and a trap set up by the duo causes Gould to be bloodily crushed. The two prepare to burn down the cabin with the book and tapes inside, a Knowby deadite however arises causing the arriving cult to be spontaneously imploded in front of them. Janey then has her head twisted by Knowby, a bloodied Lizzie escapes the cabin and sets it alight. Ash attacks her and in combat Lizzie burns him to a certain point that releases him of the Deadite. Ash then permits her to escape, taking the camera and proceeding into the burning cabin and destroying an amplified Deadite monster Knowby rushing toward him with his arm chainsaw.

Cast

  • Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams (Shaitan)
  • Zooey Deschanel as Lizzie Boorham
  • Sam Heughan as Wyatt Unic
  • Oliver James as Byron Howard
  • Ellie Kemper as Janey Derham
  • Sarah Carter as Beth Graunder
  • Simon Helberg as Mal Weston
  • Aaron Lustig as Professor Jamieson Gould
  • Peter Syvertsen as Ray
  • Bob Dorian as Knowby (Voice)
  • Scott Spiegel as Professor Knowby
  • Michael Peter Bolus as Professor Tate Whitman
  • Bridget Hoffman as Henrietta Knowby
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