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The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | | Horror | 15 April 1983 (USA)
Trailer
1:28 | Trailer
Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.

Director:

Sam Raimi

Writer:

Sam Raimi
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Popularity
1,298 ( 23)
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Campbell ... Ashley 'Ash' J. Williams
Ellen Sandweiss ... Cheryl
Richard DeManincor Richard DeManincor ... Scott (as Hal Delrich)
Betsy Baker ... Linda
Theresa Tilly ... Shelly (as Sarah York)
Philip A. Gillis Philip A. Gillis ... Fake Shemp (as Phil Gillis)
Dorothy Tapert Dorothy Tapert ... Fake Shemp
Cheryl Guttridge Cheryl Guttridge ... Fake Shemp
Barbara Carey Barbara Carey ... Fake Shemp
David Horton David Horton ... Fake Shemp
Wendall Thomas Wendall Thomas ... Fake Shemp
Don Long Don Long ... Fake Shemp
Stu Smith Stu Smith ... Fake Shemp
Kurt Rauf Kurt Rauf ... Fake Shemp
Ted Raimi ... Fake Shemp
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Storyline

Five college students take time off to spend a peaceful vacation in a remote cabin. A book and audio tape is discovered, and its evil is found to be powerful once the incantations are read out loud. The friends find themselves helpless to stop the evil as it takes them one by one, with only one survivor left with the evil dead and desperately tries to fight to live until morning. Written by Miss Murder

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They got up on the wrong side of the grave. See more »

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the car scene, Scotty has a glass of moonshine in his hand and Ash makes a funny face. Originally, they were all supposed to be drinking moonshine - and Ash's expression was a reaction to the drink, but the scene was cut. See more »

Goofs

When the car was going across the bridge, the rear passenger side tire broke through, but when they drove it out the rear driver side of the car came up and the front passenger side dropped down. This is what would happen if the rear driver side tire had fallen through. In their case, the rear passenger side should have come up and the front driver side should have come down. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The Evil Dead, the ultimate experience in gruelling horror, was filmed in Morristown, Tennessee, and in Detroit, U.S.A. See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1999 US Elite DVD release is missing a brief shot of lightning hitting a tree that was removed at the behest of the director, as he thought it looked too fake to retain. However, the 2002 Anchor Bay DVD release restores the shot and has remained ever since. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Reflections on the Living Dead (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Westminster Quarters
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Marvelously putrid.
16 August 2004 | by ManthorpeSee all my reviews

What more can be said of Raimi's legendary cult-classic that hasn't already been beaten to death like a puss-oozing zombie that crosses paths with Ash? Possibly nothing, but I'll try.

Before Spiderman and before the countless spin-offs of this movie were made or even conceived, Raimi and friends decided to make a low budget zombie flick mainly for fun, and surprisingly it has become a masterpiece of shock and horror. Possibly a perfect example of how to make an entertaining film on a shoe-string budget, The Evil Dead delivers what it promises, the ultimate in grueling horror. Even with it's mild budget and sometimes shaky acting, TED shocks and spooks the audience through chilling atmosphere and some of the most violent effects ever put on film. Those who are squeamish need not apply. As a matter of fact, just run for your girly life.

There are several reasons this film succeeds. First, Raimi's camera work is truly masterful. By using fast camera work and aggressive shots, Raimi has created an eerie world that is sometimes hard to look at but too entertaining to turn away from. His style from behind the camera is absolutely unmistakable. This is perfectly exemplified in the beginning of the film, where the camera alone creates enough atmosphere to leave you biting your nails in suspense of what's to come. You feel at any moment someone is going to get their neck chomped on by some zombie hiding just out of view. One of the most impressive openings I can think of, perfection in pacing and atmosphere. It gets even better once the action starts. Some shots hold for a seeming eternity, and part of you wishes for it to stop for it's unrestrained gore and violence...but the other part of you is getting a sick kick out of it. One of the most impressive shots is where the darkness from the trees begins to chase people, knocking any tree or obstacle down that happens to be in it's way. Truly magnificent technique, however they did it.

TED also succeeds because it's self-aware of the fact that it's a simple zombie movie and never takes itself too seriously, and doesn't expect the audience to do so either. It's meant to be campy, cheesy, revolting and chilling at the same time. There are moments in the film where it seems to be making fun of itself and the genre in general. For this fact alone, one cannot hold certain things against it such as sometimes questionable acting from the supporting cast and sometimes the downright implausibility of certain situations. If you can accept this and you're not put off by mannequin ultra-violence, then you should find yourself on the supporter's side of the fence. I think some don't like it because it can be ridiculous and cheesy in parts, although it was meant to be. Even with the fact that it's sometimes cheesy, there are some downright chilling moments in this film that most horror films nowadays cannot begin to muster. Case in point, the zombie screaming from the cellar door. The zombie growls and howls themselves are enough to send shivers up one's spine. And let's not forget the unforgettable tree love scene, ridiculous and hilarious simultaneously.

Last but certainly not least: Bruce Campbell as Ash, the badass of all zombie films. Campbell is Ash, period, and always will be.

In my opinion, this is by far the best of the trilogy, and although there could have been more of the chainsaw, this is the definitive zombie film and probably always will be. I feel it succeeds over it's sequels due to it's increased violence and lack of humor in comparison. It's blood, gore, camera work, and shock factor are still formidable even today and are what make this such a cult classic. If you've ever liked any horror film, this is an absolute must-see.

Love or hate it, there it is.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 April 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead See more »

Filming Locations:

Michigan, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,400,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,893,091
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Renaissance Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FSK 16)

Sound Mix:

Mono | DTS (re-mastered version)| Dolby (5.1)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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