March 5th, 2014: The Evil Dead (1981)

The Evil Dead

Cast and Crew: Ted Raimi

What It’s About:  A group of friends travel to a cabin in the woods where they make the mistake of listening to the tapes they find in its creepy old root cellar.  Soon the group is besieged by evil spirits that possess them and the surrounding environment to attack and divide the friends.  Can anyone survive?

Why Watch it Today?:  Today is Ash Wednesday, and, like many innocent calendar days, it has been seized upon by modern-day nerds (see also May the 4th and Pi Day).  What was once a religious holiday marking the start of Lent for Catholics now celebrates Ash, the character originated in today’s movie by cult favorite Bruce Campbell.  If you’ve only seen the sequels, it’s easy to forget that this first film is mostly a straightforward (and very effective) horror film shot on a shoe string by the soon to be famous Sam Raimi.  You won’t get as many memorable one-liners as you might from Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness, but you will get a very effective horror film (provided you’re willing to overlook some budget and acting issues and a scene that is, at best, in very poor taste).

Other Choices:  Alien features another memorable Ash or you could watch Gone with the Wind with its Klan belonging Ashley, Ashley, Ashely.

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2 comments on “March 5th, 2014: The Evil Dead (1981)

  1. geelw says:

    Heh, I recall lending a copy of the VHS version to some friends who’d only seen Army of Darkness and they were “peeking each other off the ceiling” afterwards because they thought they’d be seeing a funny film like that third installment. The didn’t want to see Evil Dead 2 until I told them it was a basically an extended Three Stooges episode with a bit of gore…

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      I saw then 2, 1, 3. I think 2 is the best mix of horror and comedy (because it does have some horror in there) but this is definitely not a comedy. Watched it the first time in a big empty house in the woods, which really added to the experience.

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