Retro Review: The Evil Dead (1981)

I am back!  It has been a few weeks since I have been able to write, family business.

Today, I want to look back at a horror classic, The Evil Dead.  A couple of weeks ago, I had the chance to do a Double Feature Friday on Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness.  I ended up watching the entire series, including the remake and the first season of Ash Vs Evil Dead, which was pretty awesome.

I look at The Evil Dead as a stand alone horror movie, of course it has spawned everything I just mentioned.  But I can explain why it is standalone, well I will try.  The events of Evil Dead are somewhat glazed over when it comes to Evil Dead 2.  I always felt like Evil Dead 2 was Sam Raimi’s vision for The Evil Dead with a bigger budget.  Evil Dead 2 does not ignore the first movie or the events that happened.  But, as I said in the Double Feature Friday, it is not a necessary film to see when watching the other two movies.  But, The Evil Dead is one of those ground breaking horror movies that is a complete and utter classic.  It is the best of the series, not my favorite, but it is still scary and gory.

Wait, I need to go ahead and put this in my Blu Ray player, it is always good to watch The Evil Dead.

The Evil Dead is about 5 friends who are going to “party” in a remote cabin the woods.  When the cellar door opens, Ash(Bruce Campbell) and Scottie go down to investigate.  They find the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, The Book of the Dead and it is filled with all kinds of horrific images, inked in blood.  They also find a tape recorded when played, it awakens the deadites.  Ash of course has to fight back as all of his friends become these demonic deadites.

Sam Raimi had a small budget to get this movie filmed, which was over 350,000 dollars.  That seems oddly high for a low budget movie back in 1979.  But the movie has that low budget feel, which always made it creepier for me.  The VHS I originally saw the movie on, was kind blurry and grainy.  The BLU RAY I am watching has taken that feeling away a little, but if you need a good version, that still gives off that vibe…The Anchor Bay DVD release is for you, or the Book of the Dead version is great as well.  I would tell anyone who wants to see The Evil Dead, watch an old grainy version of the movie, it adds to the effect.

I don’t need to sit here and write all day about the Evil Dead, if you’re a horror fan, you’ve seen it.  If you have not and call yourself a horror fan, you are a poser.  This movie is truly a classic and it deserves its place among the Top 100 Horror movies lists, Top 25 even.  I would like to mention my favorite scene in the film.  A lot of people love the scene, Cheryl is then attacked and raped by demonically possessed trees.  Sick fucks…no, no.  My favorite scene is when Cheryl succumbs to the entity and attacks the others, stabbing Linda in the ankle with a pencil.  The sequence of events is amazing, Cheryl is the standout in the film, when she is in the cellar taunting everyone, it is magical.

The finale alone gets your hear pumping, that is where I am now.  I did watch it with my son, who is 7 and loves it.  He loves Evil Dead 2 and his favorite is Army of Darkness.  I was 16 when I first saw this brilliant piece of horror history.

IMDB.com has a rating of 7.6 which is high for a horror movie.

I give The Evil Dead a 8.8

There are many versions of The Evil Dead to buy out there, some are out of print.  The Blu Ray is nice, I suggest going cheap and getting a copy of DVD. Below are some options.  I have the Blu Ray and the DVD version below, I wish I would have gotten the Book of the Dead versions of The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2.

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About Ray Marek III 216 Articles
I am a lifelong horror fan. I have written for a few web sites, Kung-Fu Comrades, Nightfall Unlimited and Rage of Rayzor. Freddy's Revenge was the first Horror Film I watched, I was 5. When my mom found out I liked horror films, she began challenging me. Soon to follow were the likes of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Dawn of the Dead. Horror is in my blood, I want to share that with you...my blood...horror. I write unpublished comics. Lifelong dream is to write comics for a major comic book publisher or build my own comic book company.