We’re on a role with our new Cult Watch series, and now we’re turning to one of our all-time favorite horror movies: Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead!
What’s It About?
When five fun loving college students, including the loveable Ashley ‘Ash’ Williams (Bruce Campbell), venture out into the Tennesse Woods for a weekend away, they get more than they bargained for. Playing the recordings of the Naturom Demonto, otherwise known as ‘The Book of Dead’ they unleash a host of demonic spirits, and Ash and his friends find themselves in mortal danger.
What Makes It A Cult Film?
Beginning as a short film to attract investors, The Evil Dead slowly took shape in the early 1980s, and has become infamous as a genuinely terrifying production. On set, director Sam Raimi developed a habit of ‘torturing’ his actors, believing that real terror was the key to compelling horror cinema, and boy was he right!
The lengths that Raimi and his crew went to in order to finish Evil Dead also became legend, especially with the use of his ‘fake shemps’ (family, friends and crew members who stood in for actors who had moved on once principal photography had ended.)
Then there was the ultra-violence. Raimi held nothing back with the gore on The Evil Dead, which lead to mass protest from censors everywhere, as well as cementing its place on the list of ‘video nasties’, alongside the likes of the infamous Cannibal Holocaust and I Spit On Your Grave.
But all of this infamy would only add to the reputation of The Evil Dead, which won over critics everywhere, including veteran horror writer Stephen King. From day one it has had a loyal following of fanatical fans, and its influence in the horror genre is still felt today with modern masters like Edgar Wright and Eli Roth paying homage to it.
Why We Love It
Along with being a genuinely terrifying moviegoing experience, we have a deep respect for The Evil Dead because it introduced us to two of the most compelling voices in modern cinema: Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell.
Thanks to his flair for originality, Sam Raimi has gone on to create some of the coolest movies of all time including Darkman, The Quick and the Dead and the original Spider-Man trilogy. With The Evil Dead , Raimi proved that his was an original voice that had to be heard, and over the course of time his talent has continued to shine. But while he’s one of most respected and most in-demand directors in Hollywood, Raimi has never forgotten where he started, and last year made a stellar return to The Evil Dead with Starz’s television sequel Ash vs The Evil Dead.
The Evil Dead also has a big place in our hearts for introducing us to the man with the chin, Bruce Campbell. A bonafide and proud B-movie legend, Campbell has owned the title of ‘cult star’ since he first shot to fame following Evil Dead. With every passing project his lovable nature and oddball sense of humour has charmed moviegoers, and he continues to be a guaranteed drawcard.
The Evil Dead is one hell of a cinematic experience, and no matter how many times you’ve seen it, you’ll still be screaming your head off.