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The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | | Horror | 15 April 1983 (USA)
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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

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

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Details

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Release Date:

15 April 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Book of the Dead  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FSK 16)

Sound Mix:

| (re-mastered version)| (5.1)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The biggest selling VHS release of its year in the UK. See more »

Goofs

The amount of blood on the wall that comes out of the demon's hand after Ash smashes its hand with the shotgun changes from shot to shot. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Featured in Why Horror? (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Charleston
(uncredited)
Music by James P. Johnson and lyrics by Cecil Mack
Performed by Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

You don't need a big budget to make an accomplished film
11 May 2007 | by See all my reviews

Sam Raimi's feature length debut "The Evil Dead" is truly one of the greatest horror films of all time and the start of a magnificently entertaining trilogy of hilarity and some real scares. Made on a budget of only $375,000, the film is surprisingly accomplished on a technical level. The effects, although they do look fake by today's standards, hold up a lot better than you might have expected, and the stop motion sequence at the end, which looks a lot faker than anything else in the movie, was accomplished for its time and budget.

"The Evil Dead" is about a group of young adults who travel to a cabin in the woods and discover a 'book of the dead'. No prizes for guessing what happens next as each character is possessed (except for Ash) and disposed of via an intriguing variety of methods. Considering its budget, unknown director (at the time), and typical slasher plot "The Evil Dead" would almost certainly seem headed towards forgotten B-movie status, and yet it has stood the test of time and remains one of the most widely acclaimed horror films of all time. Why? It's simple. Although "The Evil Dead" is nowhere near as funny as its sequels, it's still a humorous self-satire while also being terrifying despite its age. This odd combination (only perfected in this film's sequels and "Creepshow") works because Raimi crafts a tense and moody environment, puts his characters in there, and then ruthlessly disposes of them, sometimes doing so several times for the same character. What's worse is that there's nowhere to go. Raimi creates a claustrophobic feeling in anyone watching, he wants you to think about being in a situation where you're trapped with nothing but death and destruction surrounding you. For most people, he probably succeeds. As far as acting goes, none of it is really very good but Bruce Campbell is instantly likable as Ash, who just has to be one of the most memorable horror film characters of all time.

Gory, desolate, hopeless, and still funny, "The Evil Dead" is a horror masterpiece that isn't quite the strongest entry in the series, but is shockingly accomplished and entertaining despite its low budget and inexperienced cast and crew. This is a film everyone must see, along with its sequels.

9/10


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