CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • TBC
  • Horror
  • 1983
  • 85 mins

The Evil Dead

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

    Just Wright

    Queen Latifah plays a physical therapist falling for Common's recovering basketball pro in this romantic comedy

    On Film4: 1 Aug 5:10PM

  • Film4 Grand Central

    Grand Central

    Gary (Tahar Rahim) falls into both a job and a love-triangle at a nuclear power plant, as he develops a powerful attraction to the fiancee (Léa Seydoux) of his new boss

  • Film4 Mistaken For Strangers

    Mistaken For Strangers on Film4

    Indie rock band The National are followed on their tour by the frontman's brother, an aspiring filmmaker

  • Film4 Betty Blue

    Betty Blue on Film4

    Béatrice Dalle stars as the beautiful and unpredictable Betty Blue in Jean-Jacques Beineix's romantic drama on Film4

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Share