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The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17  |   |  Horror  |  15 April 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 131,608 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 730 user | 314 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.



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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard DeManincor ...
Scott (as Hal Delrich)
Shelly (as Sarah York)
Philip A. Gillis ...
Fake Shemp (as Phil Gillis)
Dorothy Tapert ...
Cheryl Guttridge ...
Barbara Carey ...
David Horton ...
Wendall Thomas ...
Don Long ...
Stu Smith ...
Kurt Rauf ...


As a vacation, five friends travel to a small cabin in a deserted jungle. When their first target has been to reach peace, they should fight restlessly as they find themselves surrounded by an evil force that turns its victims into heartless monsters. Written by J. S. Golden

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Ultimate Experience In Grueling Terror See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for substantial graphic horror violence and gore | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

15 April 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Book of the Dead  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$375,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (FSK 16) | (Extended Version)

Sound Mix:

| (re-mastered version)


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because of the low budget, contact lenses as thick as glass had to be applied to the actors to achieve the "demonic eyes" effect. The lenses took ten minutes to apply, and could only be left on for about fifteen minutes because eyes could not "breathe" with them applied. Bruce Campbell later commented that to get the effect of wearing these lenses, they had to put "Tupperware" over their eyes. See more »


(at around 25 mins) Before Scotty turns the light on in the shed, there is already a bright light coming from the ceiling near the door. See more »


[first lines]
Scotty: Hey, Ash, where are we?
Ash: Well we just crossed the Tennessee border...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The swing music from the old Victrola in the cabin's cellar plays during the closing credits, only to wind down and grind to a stop leaving the sound of the wind to accompany the rest of the credits. The final sound heard as the closing credits end is the fly buzzing - the first sound heard in the opening of the film. See more »


Old Baby Moses And The Thrillers Song
Written by 'Baby Moses and the Thrillers'
Performed by Theresa Tilly and Richard DeManincor
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The ultimate in terror
10 July 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

It's the early 80's, what do you expect? This is a scary scary film. And I think I know why films now a days can't hold a candle to films like Halloween and Evil Dead. And that is because a photo copy is never as good as the original. That is the bottom line. Directors don't care about a lot of the material that they are filming today, especially when it comes to horror films and that is because they don't write their own stories. They do someone elses work. But not Evil Dead. This was Raimi's baby from the outset. When films like the two mentioned were filmed they were filmed by two directors that were complete unknowns. They had no pressure to make a great film and they did it on an incredibly low budget. Halloween was made for $150,000 and Evil Dead for $50 000. So what that meant is that the directors could stick to their visions but they had to find innovative ways to do so. Their budgets didn't allow a heap of special effects so they had to rely on what they knew. And that was, how to create atmosphere using the camera. And Evil Dead is one of the best at doing that. There is one scene in this film that I will never forget and that is one of the early scenes where the cast arrives at the cabin. Here we see a long shot of the cabin and it has very eerie music playing. This shows the cabin as being menacing. It lets you know that there is evil in that cabin. And that we are in for a hell of a ride.

Sam Raimi made a masterpiece here that I believe stands the test of time. You can put this film up against any of today's so called horror films and I guarantee you this scares you more. Raimi cares about his movie and he does everything to make you feel the terror that the cabin people feel. We are scared and disgusted at what happens when one of the women goes outside alone at night and meets a tree that does unspeakable things. And when the book is first introduced.... that is horror movie history there. What a brilliant concept. A book that is evil. I have often wondered about such books. We hear about them all the time in movies about ancient Egypt and ancient times. But here we have a book that has weird incantations from another world and another language, and you just know that as soon as some idiot utters the words that they are not supposed to say, well they won't be around much longer.

The Evil Dead is a miracle. It was made on a rock bottom budget yet it is scarier than any Hollywood movie that is made for 20 million could ever hope to be. If you want to truly experience a frightening experience, rent this film, it knows what it wants to say. And it knows how to make you afraid. So be afraid. Be very afraid. You may never look at the forest the same again.

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