Richard DeManincor (as Hal Delrich)
Theresa Tilly (as Sarah York)
The ultimate experience in gruelling terror.
Trivia On the tape, in which the demon resurrection passages are read aloud, some of the words spoken (which sound like genuine Latin) sound like 'Sam and Rob, Das ist Hikers Dan dee Roadsa' actually mean 'Sam and Rob are the Hikers on the road' as it was actually Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert who play the fisherman that wave to the car as it passes them near the start of the film.
There are tonnes more nuggets of trivia available on imdb.com.
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The Evil Dead (1981)
30th Nov 05
A group of college kids take a ride to a cabin in the woods where they find a tape recording left by some mysteriously long gone professor of something or other very creepy.
They play the tape, of course, and to their horror it turns out to be an ancient demon summoning incantation, rousing the dark forces in the forest. Before long the demons attack; one by one the youngsters are possessed by the evil spirits and they turn against one another. Naturally, the only way to kill the possessed is to fully dismember them, which happens quite a lot until only one man is left standing, sort of, and the credits roll.
Review (Part of Anchor Bay's Box of the Banned)
Back in 1979, a group of college students from Detroit had a dream. That dream was to make movies. They had a little experience shooting Super 8 shorts for fun and had even shown a couple at the local cinema before the features; they figured it wouldn't be too great a leap to make the real deal. So, after raising around $80,000 from local businessmen, mainly dentists of all people, they headed off into the woods to make The Evil Dead and, in the process, wrote their own entry into the movie folklore history book.
Watching the film, and especially considering the movie’s age, it’s clear to see there is a lot of talent at work here. Maybe Bruce Campbell had yet to blossom into the B-movie legend that we all know and love today, but the directing is first class, with each frame meticulously poured over to add to the creepy feel. Cameras whoosh around the place (literally making ‘whoosh’ sounds, particularly if they cross over wooden beams), POV shots are used liberally (the opening shot of the thing from the woods navigating the lake is actually Bruce pushing Sam in his dingy) and the editing is frantic, partly due to the famous Coen Brothers getting involved in the post-production phase.
Similarly, the use of sound effects to heighten the tension is almost legendary and completes the package, elevating The Evil Dead to the classic it is today. It’s amazing actually when you think to back to that winter of 1979 what they managed to achieve on such a small budget and on such a troubled shoot (cast and crew dropping out, borrowed equipment having to be returned while it was still needed, etc, etc). In fact, reading Bruce Campbell’s autobiography, If Chins Could Kill, it’s lucky they lived to make another movie.
Either way, The Evil Dead was and still is good clean gory scary fun, and although it did only mild trade in it's country of origin, it was a massive hit in Japan and Europe, mainly due to the growing popularity of video. The biggest impact the film had anywhere, though, was in the UK, where it was the first and consequently last film ever to be released on both the big screen and the small screen at the same time. It was also given a huge boost of publicity by the fact that the British Board of Film Classification tried to ban it and failed miserably mainly because, even though it was very gory, they missed the real point. The Evil Dead, you see, never took itself seriously; the tongue was always firmly in the cheek, and for the first time in years, audiences mixed laughter in amongst their screams.
Versions Oh my, The Evil Dead has been re-issued more times than I've had hot dinners. The best versions available though are the R1 Book of the Dead edition which comes with a history of The Evil Dead on video, and the R2 Anchor Bay box set edition, which includes the original full-screen version.