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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
Reviews
Popularity
1,216 ( 395)
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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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:

The Ultimate Experience In Grueling Terror 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

The affordable single barrel shotgun was purchased by Bruce Campbell at a Kmart for its specific use in the film. Since the budget was extremely low, and where they where filming was secluded in the woods, live ammunition was used for a couple of scenes. Scenes such as when Ash shoots the window, and also a dummy filled with blood was shot. Most of these scenes are filmed at low angles so the camera would not be hit. For other scenes, Bruce Campbell simply mime-fires the shotgun. At the end of production, star Bruce Campbell and Producer Robert Tapert bought about a hundred shells and shot up every prop used in the cabin. The resulting rubble was then lit into a huge barn fire by director Sam Raimi. See more »

Goofs

When the possessed Cheryl is lying on the floor next to the pencils, the position of the pencils change between shots. See more »

Quotes

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

The opening credit for The Evil Dead shimmers like a ghost. See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released to theaters in Britain, the UK censors removed 49 seconds of footage including an ankle stabbing, Shelley chewing off her own hand, an eye gouging, Shelley's body being dismembered, body blows with a poker and a wooden post, and shots of blood spurts, and it was this version that was released on video originally. Despite the cuts, it became one of the most notorious of the UK video nasties and was subject to many obscenity trials before being withdrawn on video in 1984, when mandatory video censorship was introduced to the UK. It was not until 1990 that the film surfaced on video in the UK again, due to wrangles between the distributors and the BBFC over how much footage should be cut from a legal video release. In the end, a further 1m 6s was removed, in addition to the previous theatrical version cuts. Most of the scenes depicting excessive gore were shortened or removed, with the tree rape scene being particularly targeted for cuts. The fully uncut version was finally released on DVD in 2001. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mark Kermode's Secrets of Cinema: Horror (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Charleston
(uncredited)
Music by James P. Johnson and lyrics by Cecil Mack
Performed by Traditional
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User Reviews

 
The ultimate in terror
10 July 1999 | by baumerSee 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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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:

$2,955,571
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 (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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