The Evil Dead (1981) is the type of cult classic that you forget just how good it really is until you see it again. It’s impressive how genuinely thrilling and how good some of the effects are even though its considered low budget. The movie was different from the other horrors of its time with movies theatres saturated with slasher films and faired well after the fact. It only made 2.6 million at home and around 20 million internationally. But much later, is when everybody was like OH this is good.
Stephen King saw it at the 1982 Cannes film festival and wrote an article praising it. Now that’s some really top grade bragging rights. Don’t get me wrong, there are parts Evil dead that didn’t have the most exceptional quality but the movie really is scary, and it really makes use of the possession concept, which I find terrifying.
The movie also does pretty good with blood and gore. The story is just enough to give context to what’s going on without taking away from thrilling viewers and causing suspense. The Evil Dead is about 5 young people that decide to spend some time out in a cabin in Tennessee. While there they discover a recording from an archeologist who had stayed there previously and left behind a skin-bound book of the dead. The group plays some of the tapes in which the archeologist chants some of the text from the book, and it awakens an evil entity on the land and within the cabin.
Here are the takeaways from The Evil Dead:
1. Let’s talk about this 5th wheel situation that no one tells you going in. Cheryl is the only non-couple on this trip. Am I the only one that was bothered by that?
2. I love that the evil that lurks within the house isn’t restricted to the cabin. It actually is in the forest that surrounds the cabin including the trees.
3. Speaking of trees, that tree scene with Cheryl was questionable
4. It looks like The Evil Dead passes the test for making the story work in why the characters stay in the cabin. Cheryl heard the voice in the woods that said join us, and after her tree branch experience, she immediately told ASH she was ready to go. The only reason she didn’t leave was that the bridge had gone out. When she got back everyone treated her like she was overreacting, but after Shelly’s face turns and she starts talking in another voice during their card game, everyone was ready to go. There were real obstacles that stopped them from leaving and I mean once one of them was possessed they were pretty much done with.
5. This first one isn’t as funny as the others but I love how the evilness within the people plays games. Both Sheryl and Linda pretend to be back to normal before going back into their deep baritone voice of possession.
6. I need to know the price tag on the amount of blood used in this film. besides the injuries, the cabin guests experienced due to being scratched at by trees and spirit possessed friends, there are buckets of the stuff coming out of pipes and pretty much every time Ash turns his head.
7. The only scene that really screams “we had $120 left in our budget for this part” was when Ash throws the book of the dead into the fireplace and everyone around him starts disintegrating. It looks like they took gummy worms, Halloween skull, and rice pudding for the special effects .Then everything explodes with blood. What they didn’t spend on the rest of the film they invested in buckets of blood.