The Evil Dead (also known as: Evil Dead, The Book of the Dead, Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead and The Evil Dead, the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Horror) is a 1981 American horror film written and directed by Sam Raimi, starring Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, and Betsy Baker. The film is a story of five college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in a wooded area. Their vacation becomes gruesome when they find an audiotape that releases evil spirits.
The film was extremely controversial for its graphic terror, violence, and gore, being initially turned down by almost all U.S. film distributors until a Europe company finally bought it in the Cannes Film Festival marketplace. It was finally released into theaters on October 15, 1981. Although its budget was just $375,000, the film was a moderate success at the box office, grossing a total of $2,400,000 in the U.S. upon its initial release. Despite getting mixed reviews by critics at the time, it now has a dedicated cult following. The film has spawned two sequels, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness; work on a script for a further film has started.
Five Michigan State students venture into the hills and mountains of Tennessee to spend a weekend in an isolated cabin. There they find The Book of the Dead (a fictional Aztec/Canaanite text, unrelated to the Egypt Book of the Dead), otherwise known as the Nyturan Demonta. While searching the basement of the cabin, the students find and play a tape recording of demonic incantations from the book, unwittingly resurrecting "Kandarian" Demons. The characters are then possessed one by one, beginning with Cheryl Williams (Ellen Sandweiss), after she is hypnotized by the song of a Demon and lured into the forest at night. Alone and far from the safety of the cabin, the Demon proceeds to possess the trees of the forest, which come to life in a snake-like fashion and brutally rape her. Cheryl escapes the trees and is chased by the Demon all the way back to the cabin, where no one believes her story and assumes that she was attacked by a wild animal. Her brother, Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), decides to drive her into town where she can stay the night. They discover that the only bridge is completely destroyed and the supports are bent into the shape of a claw-like hand.
Soon thereafter, Cheryl, having been infested by a Demon during the rape, dies and becomes a deadite (a corpse that is used as a vessel for the Demon that has possessed it) and stabs Linda (Betsy Baker) in the ankle with a pencil. Scotty beats her with the blunt end of his axe and kicks her in the cellar; he then locks her in the fruit cellar, but afterward Shelly (Theresa Tilly) enters her room and is killed and possessed by a Demon that crashes through the window; now a deadite, she becomes psychotically vicious and attacks Scotty (Hal Delrich), who dismembers her with an axe. Scotty then leaves to find a trail out of the woods.
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Official Site: Renaissance Pictures
Links: Wikipedia IMDB Page Bad Movies (Evil Dead 2)