CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • TBC
  • Horror
  • 1983
  • 85 mins

The Evil Dead

Film4 The Evil Dead

Synopsis

Self-proclaimed as "the ultimate experience in gruelling terror", this was the blood-spurting, flesh-tearing surprise hit of the 1980s that launched Sam Raimi's career and spawned two sequels

About

The Evil Dead spends the first 20 minutes setting up the simple tale of five alarmingly stupid students spending the weekend in an isolated cabin somewhere in the Tennessee woodlands. They discover an old tape recorder in the basement and all sit round to listen to the strange ramblings of a professor who claims to have discovered a 'Book of the Dead'. Unwittingly they are awakening a demonic force within the woods.

A relentless and unforgettable excess of blood and guts erupts as all but one of the group, Ash (Campbell), turn into ooze-dribbling, limb-dismembering, pencil-stabbing monsters.

This low-budget 16mm feature was originally started in 1979 as 'Book Of The Dead' and shot in Tennessee, with additional footage filmed later in Michigan. The film was eventually finished for $90,000.

Raimi and his childhood friend Campbell had been making 8mm films together for years and it was one of these, the horror short 'Within the Woods', that helped to raise finance for The Evil Dead. It was released first in the UK by Palace Pictures and soon found its audience, helped no doubt by Stephen King's promise that it was "the most ferociously original horror film of the year".

A young Joel Coen, the future directing half of the dynamic duo, worked as assistant editor on the film. Raimi followed the original up in 1987 with a bigger budgeted and even bloodier comedy remake Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn, completing the trilogy in 1992 with the more lightweight Army Of Darkness: The Medieval Dead

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Ellen Sandweiss, Bruce Campbell, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Sarah York
  • Director: Sam Raimi
  • Writer: Sam Raimi
  • Producer: Robert G Tapert
  • Photographer: Tim Philo, Joshua M Becker
  • Composer: Joseph LoDuca

In a nutshell

Energetic, original and icky, Raimi's splat-stick debut is a tight little horror classic that deserves its cult reputation, despite the best efforts of the censors.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Night Passage

    Night Passage

    James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws

  • Film4 Raiders From Beneath The Sea

    Raiders From Beneath The Seas

    Scuba-divers plan a bank robbery on Catalina island, but not everything goes to plan when it comes to their underwater escape

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Gearing up for the Glasgow Film Festival 2015

    The Glasgow Film Festival programme is announced and features Film4-backed films Second Coming and Catch Me Daddy plus much, much more, from 18th February to 1st March It¿s almost time once more for

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance

    As Louise Osmond's inspirational documentary about an unlikely group of friends who breed themselves a racehorse is about to premiere at Sundance 2015, Catherine Bray catches up with the director for

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share