The Evil Dead (1981-1992 / 2013)

D: Sam Raimi
Palace/Renaissance (Robert G. Tapert)
USA 🇺🇸 1981 (released 1983)
85 mins
W: Sam Raimi
DP: Tim Philo
Ed: Edna Ruth Paul
Mus: Joe LoDuca
Bruce Campbell (Ash Williams), Ellen Sandweiss (Cheryl), Betsy Baker (Linda), Hal Delrich (Scott)
Despite obvious budgetary restraints writer-director Sam Raimi did a quite excellent job bringing this iconic horror film into existence.
A group of friends at a secluded cabin in the middle of the woods find a book in the basement, which awakens evil spirits when they begin to read from it. 
The oft-imitated story of demonic possession in the woods is simply done but atmospherically visualised, even though some of the plasticine-like special effects will probably be derided by modern audiences used to the gory makeup effects used in the Saw films and others.
Considering the financial limitations, it's a marvellously crafted scary movie and has to considered amongst the greatest horror films of all time.

The Evil Dead
The Evil Dead

D: Sam Raimi
Renaissance/DEG (Robert G. Tapert)
USA 🇺🇸 1987
85 mins
W: Sam Raimi & Scott Spiegel
DP: Peter Deming
Ed: Kaye Davis
Mus: Joseph LoDuca
Bruce Campbell (Ash Williams), Sarah Berry (Annie Knowby), Dan Hicks (Jake), Kassie Wesley (Bobby Joe), Ted Raimi (Possessed Henrietta)
Both a sequel and a spoof remake of the original film, following the exact same plot but utilising better visual effects and throwing in some comic book humour.
Perhaps this was the film that Raimi would have made if he had the budget, but, for me, the atmosphere of the original is made even better by the low-budget style.
Where this film excels on the original is with the comedy, as our hero Ash tools himself up with a shotgun and chainsaw to do business with the demonic beasties.
Most prefer this to the original, but I think it's not quite as good, simply because the original was a horror and this is a comedy.
Army Of Darkness: The Medieval Dead followed five years later.
Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn

How can you destroy an army that's already dead?
How can you destroy an army that's already dead?
D: Sam Raimi
Universal/Renaissance/Introvision (Robert Tapert) 
USA 🇺🇸 1992
109 mins


W: Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi
DP: Bill Pope
Ed: Bob Murawski & R.O.C. Sandstorm
Mus: Joseph LoDuca

Bruce Campbell (Ash Williams), Embeth Davidtz (Sheila), Marcus Gilbert (Lord Arthur), Ian Abercrombie (Wise Man), Richard Grove (Duke Henry the Red), Michael Reid (Gold Tooth), Bridget Fonda (Linda)

The third installment of the Evil Dead trilogy sees Ash (Bruce Campbell) thrust back in time to Medeival England where he must battle zombie-like beings.
The gory horror from the first two movies is shed in favour of a more comic-book action style comedy.  It's certainly not for everyone's taste, but fans of the first two movies should enjoy it. Good, unpretentious fun with some hilarious lines of dialogue which ensured it gathered a cult following.

Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness
Bruce Campbell in Army of Darkness


D: Fede Alvarez

Tristar/Ghost House/Film District (Robert Tapert, Sam Raimi & Bruce Campbell)

USA 🇺🇸 2013

92 mins


W: Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues [based on the screenplay by Sam Raimi]

DP: Aaron Morton

Ed: Bryan Shaw

Mus: Roque Baños

Jane Levy (Mia Allen), Shiloh Fernandez (David Allen), Lou Taylor Pucci (Eric), Jessica Lucas (Olivia), Elizabeth Blackmore (Natalie), Jim McLarty (Harold)

There's a few movies made during the 1980's which could have probably done with a modern makeover. Unfortunately, Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead is not one of them. The original film, shot in 1981, may have rudimentary effects and incredibly low budget production values, but the fear factor, horror quotient and suspense still hold up very well, and these are things which cannot be improved merely by throwing money at them.

The plot is practically the same, centring around a group of teenagers who visit a cabin in the woods, discover a book on witchcraft and unleash evil spirits upon themselves, although this version includes backstory for moronic audience members and throws in a subplot about drug addition for absolutely no reason.

The worst thing by far about this is Sam Raimi's involvement as producer. One for the money, at the cost of one's legacy. Poor.


Evil Dead (2013)
Evil Dead (2013)