The Evil Dead

The Evil Dead (1981) - IMDb

I’m gonna open this review with a little big of an update. I haven’t had a new post since the last Sunday in August. I had to go to Texas unexpectedly for a funeral and burned myself out while getting posts ready for while I was gone. I wrote five posts in a day, which combined with the trip back made me need a lot more rest than I thought I would need.

The Evil Dead is something a movie that I wasn’t really ready for when I first say it. I think I was about ten or eleven when I first saw it. It took me a while to be able to see the entire movie because the copy of the movie I rented would stop and rewind itself in the middle of the tape recorder scene. I eventually figured out that I had to fast forward through that part of the movie. I also introduced my friends to the movie because I’ve always been adventurous when it comes to movies, especially horror movies. It wasn’t until sometime later that I learned that it was filmed in Morristown, Tennessee.

The Evil Dead was written and directed by Sam Raimi. It starred Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, and Theresa Tilly. This is an interesting watch knowing where the rest of the franchise goes. You get a few hints of the Ash that would come to be. Outside of Ash there are only two characters that do anything, and they are Scotty and Cheryl. Scotty honestly kinda sucks, he doesn’t really do much except be abrasive and unhelpful. Cheryl gets the worst of it. What happens to her is integral to the story.

This synopsis will not be great and will leave big gaps. You should watch the movie. The Evil Dead is centered on a group of five friends. You mostly follow Ash Williams, who is travelling to a cabin in rural Tennessee. He’s travelling with his girlfriend Linda, sister Cheryl, and friends Scotty and Shelly. The night after they arrive the group discovers a trove of miscellaneous items, among them are a tape recorder and shotgun. They decide to listen to the tapes and Cheryl leaves after trying to get them to stop. Cheryl is attacked by the forest and then convinces Ash to take her back to town. The bridge that they  took is out and they have to turn back. Cheryl is possessed by the entity that was awakened by the recorder. Over the course of the night everyone but Ash is possessed. Ash is able to defeat them all by throwing the book that had been translated into the fireplace. The movie ends with Ash being attacked by the entity.

The effects in the movie while old still look pretty good. The stop motion stuff is still a standout. It looks pretty gnarly, even today. The production and set design stand up today. The makeup effects on the actors look pretty rough too, but in a good way. It does look like the contacts they had to wear sucked though. Joe Loduca did the music for The Evil Dead. The score does a really good job of building suspense.

The Evil Dead is a low budget movie that is fun to watch. You really get to see how both Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell grow from this movie. It’s currently streaming on HBO Max. I give The Evil Dead 6.5 evil books out of 10.


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