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The Evil Dead (1981) Our Rating: 4/5
Directed by: Sam Raimi Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss and Richard DeManincor
This original cult classic was brought to us by the incredible Sam Raimi at the tender age of 21! A masterpiece that has transcended over time and crossed generations. His unique style of fast camera shots created a movie that was eerie, atmospheric, suspenseful, gory and overall steeped with dark comedic humour. His impressive camera techniques make this film stand out, a low budget horror that gives us viewers first class entertainment. The premise is simple; five college students (Ash, Scotty, Linda, Cheryl and Shelly) visit an isolated cabin in the woods for a vacation where they discover the Book of the Dead and an audiotape left there by the previous visitor an archaeologist who reveals via the recording some sacred incantations, which when played by these youths summon up some nasty hungry demons that live in the woods, what follows is a fight for survival as they try to ward off and stop themselves getting possessed and killing each other. Plenty of gore and equal horror and laughs make this one of the best B movies out there and the beginning to an awesome trilogy that is a must have for any true horror fan. It also introduced us to the legendary Bruce Campbell (Ash) who is just genius in these films.
After completing principal photography in the winter of 1979-1980, most of the actors left the production. However, there was still much of the film to be completed. Most of the second half of the film features Bruce Campbell and various stand-ins (or "Fake Shemps") to replace the actors who left.Creamed corn dyed green was used as zombie guts. Bruce Campbell twisted his ankle on a root while running down a steep hill, and Sam Raimi and Robert G. Tapert decided to tease him by poking his injury with sticks, thus causing Campbell to have an obvious limp in some scenes.The pieces of wood that fall from the bridge at the beginning and the log used to fight off Ash's possessed girlfriend in the woods are made from a foam substance and were recycled props from an early Sam Raimi movie titled It's Murder!. The voice of the professor on the tape recording is that of American Movie Classics host Bob Dorian. Andy Grainger, a friend of Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi, gave them the advice: "Fellas, no matter what you do, keep the blood running down the screen." They included the scene in the finished film where the blood runs down the projector screen as a tribute to him. During the scene when Linda was possessed, the make-up artist actually first wanted to make her look like a snake-like creature, as can be seen when Ash is dragging her outside (filmed before the scene indoors with her singing the creepy song). Her make-up was dark and a little more greenish, but eventually they changed the make-up to an evil doll-face look. During the scene where the possessed Linda attempts to stab Ash with the dagger, Betsy Baker actually had no idea where he was. With her heavy, white contact lenses preventing her from seeing Bruce Campbell, he was literally battling a blind actress. Was one of the first films to be labeled as a "Video Nasty" in the UK. The film ran out of money and only half of it was completed in the Winter of 1980. In order to complete it, Sam Raimi, Robert G. Tapert and Bruce Campbell did everything they could to complete the film. From taking out high interest bank loans, borrowing money from friends and family and even making cold calls to businesses around their hometown state of Michigan. The cold calls worked in that they actually got catering, gasoline and other necessities that the cast and crew needed. The film was shown to Stephen King and it was his glowing endorsement (which was later used on the film's ad's and posters) of the film which really sold the film to the public and was bought by New Line Cinema soon after.
The Evil Dead Movie & Images ©1982 New Line Cinema. Original Content ©2011 Everything80s.co.uk
All Images © of original creators. Original Content ©2011 Everything80s.co.uk