Horror Movies You Gotta See: The Evil Dead
“One by one we will take you!”
The Evil Dead…. With the new one around the corner I figure I would talk about the original. Yes I am looking forward to the new film too. I will cover that one when I see it.
This is a film I still rather enjoy flaws and all. It’s just as much fun learning all the behind the scenes stuff as it is to just watch the film.
It’s also held up well. I would highly suggest getting the latest Blu-Ray and watching it on a big screen and in surround sound. The best way to enjoy the film. Netflix Instant is currently streaming it in HD. Hell even on the latest DVD in surround is enjoyable. The new 5.1 mix they did for the film really helps bring you in the atmosphere of it all.
Let me start with my experience first seeing The Evil Dead. Back in the early 00′s. I kept hearing about The Evil Dead Trilogy. So every year I’d throw a Halloween party and one of them we went with an Evil Dead Marathon on VHS.
So while watching The Evil Dead I knew very little about it. This was back when I was on dial-up and videos about a film were hard to find and such. I knew very little about these films. Which was a good, no great thing! No real spoilers.
So while we watched The Evil Dead it was a creepy and surreal film with some funny moments. One memory I will not forget as while we were watching The Evil Dead my Mom was in the back room on the Internet. As she is not a big Horror fan. She did come out to join at the part where Cheryl hears the evil voice in the woods say “Join Us!”. My Mom leans forward and asks us “Did it just say Doughnuts?”. We all laughed out loud and well continued to make Doughnut jokes throughout the rest of the series. “Gimmie some Sugar baby!” -Ash in Army Of Darkness. “Yeah so I make some Doughnuts!”. Silly stuff like that.
Fun fact the Evil Dead fan film Return To The Woods has such a scene inspired by that event. In which the characters are all sitting in a circle listening to the tape play while eating Doughnuts. As I had told the film maker / friend of that film the story. Tom Sullivan(Effects Artist of The Evil Dead) even made a prop for it and did a cameo. If I find a link to it I will add it. Don’t expect to be blown away by it or anything. It’s corny but it was made by a bunch of young fans.
Later on I got the films on DVD. Even picked up Bruce Campbells first book: If Chins Could Kill Confessions Of a B-Movie Actor and had it signed when I met him too. As well as his second book.
Before The Evil Dead got investors. They had made an 8mm short called Within The Woods. It was very similar to what Evil Dead would become of course. Except Bruce (Ash) died and Ellen (Cheryl) survived. You can find it online to view. Worth checking out.
So Sam Raimi (Director) secured about $90,000 from investors to make the film. The budget of the film ended up about $350,000(Spider-Man 3′s budget was $350,000,000).
They filmed it in an abandoned cabin in the middle of nowhere in Tennessee in the Winter for 12 weeks. Not only filmed they slept in the cabin too and it had no real heat except the fireplace.
The contact lenses the cast had to use when being candarian demons were made out of thick plastic. Almost like saucer plates and could only be worn for 15 minutes at a time as the eyes could not get air and were blind when using them too. They couldn’t afford proper eye cleaner for the contacts and just used coffee.
Bruce Campbell twisted his ankle during filming and Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert (Producer and Husband of Lucy Lawless) decided to tease Bruce and poke his ankle with a stick. Which is why Bruce limps is some of his scenes.
There is tons more on what all went down behind the scenes.
It was filmed in the Winter of 79 to early 80 and was released in 82 and didn’t become a cult hit till many years later. A sequel came out in 87 after Sam & Bruce’s career were struggling to take off.
What makes Evil Dead work is that is has the perfect blend of over the top, horror and humor.
Yes there is some noticeable mistakes in the film. However when the film picks up you look past it.
If you haven’t seen The Evil Dead then check it out.
I’d really recommend seeing it with the new 5.1 mix they did. The surround sound is really well done.
Next week I will be doing an analysis on the film so spoilers! Not an overly over-analysis. (Maybe in the future) and then my review and thoughts on the new Evil Dead the week after that. Stay tuned.
I was going include my analysis and do part II for next week because being overly long but became kind of a mess. So it will be for next week as I wanted to get something out to everyone. Plus I want this to get people who haven’t seen the Original Evil Dead to check it out. I hope this perks some interests and I hope you enjoyed learning some facts of what went on with the production of this flick. It was not an enjoyable shoot for many involved but I think in a way it helped make the film what it is. As Stephen King calls it:
“The ultimate experience in grueling terror.”