Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
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
A marvel what some college film students can do on a shoestring budget
The first ever full-on film project by budding filmmakers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert(then called Bobby Tapert)would prove to be a work of endurance and love and also one of the more entertaining horror films made in the eighties.
The plot is painfully simple: Five young adults from Michigan drive off into the woods for a camping vacation,using a seldom-used cabin as their haunt. They uncover a tape recorder and a crusty,dusty and blood-and-flesh-coated "Book of the Dead" or "Necromonicon",inadvertently incant the chant that awakes a limitless supply of malevolent spirits in the woods,and then one by one get picked off until a lone survivor is left to fight to escape. The story isn't much of an accomplishment:it's the whole physical undertaking that's the real accomplishment.
On a small budget that was probably getting smaller as the shoot continued(I don't know the exact amount of time of filming,but it probably lasted at least a year),the filmmakers and stars(all of 'em,most famously budding star Bruce Campbell as the conflicted but can-do Ash)had to make the most of a limited set,claustrophobic settings,gallons of viscous fluids,endless supplies of cakey make-up,a limited amount of lighting(probably NOT an accident,there) and probably a mass-produced amount of fog to create something that has both the feel of a creepily eerie film about the undead and yet had the effects to back up the type of slasher horror pic that the producers were aiming for.
The first of an intriguing trio of horror/comedy films that Raimi,Tapert,Campbell and company would crank out over a period of just under fifteen years(and,after seeing this film in full,I'm not sure if anyone involved originally intended to make any sequels),the atmosphere and noticeably cheap effects may turn-off your pickier horror film snobs,but anyone with a sense of adventure and high tolerance for gore will be reasonably pleased--if not greatly impressed--by this first effort film. A keeper,not a renter,not only for repeated viewing but also for the extras.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this