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.

About Ray Marek III 273 Articles
Who am I? I am a widower now, father of two amazing children. I co-created the website, Nightfall Unlimited with a good friend of mine. Nightfall Unlimited was a great learning experience for me and I learned a lot from so many great people. I had the chance to dip my toes into blogging and even social networking. Now, we are here, the Horror Syndicate is nearly a year old and we are having fun! There is so much more about me. I hate this phrase, but I am an aspiring comic book writer. Problems with finding artists and getting published have held me back. Writing comics has been a dream for, well as long as I can remember. Now I am writing with a great team, Apogee Comics and hopefully we will make some noise in the same way Image comics did in the 1990s. One day, Rage of Rayzor and the Horror Syndicate will lead me to my dream. Support me, by sharing this site, liking and sharing posts, even following me on twitter would help @Rayzor_33. But you want to know about the horror…right? I have been watching horror films since I was 6 years old. The story, one Saturday night, my mom and I were watching movies and she fell asleep on the couch. We had the channel set on HBO and the movie we were watching ended and the next one, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. This was some time in 1986. I watched then entire film, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. When my mom woke, she asked me what just ended and I told her, “Freddy”. That was all I talked about for weeks and finally she broke down and rented more horror films for me. She rented, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre part 2, Re-Animator, Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II. I watched all and fell in love with horror films forever. When my little brother was 2, I was 10, so were talking 1990. He was introduced to Halloween and I made him believe Haddonfield, IL was a real place. We lived in Illinois at the time and this terrified him. After the intial shock, he grew older and more interested in horror films. When he was 8, we went to the local video store and made our way to the horror section. We started with Alien and worked our way through the alphabet of horror. That day we basically started our course in horror. Since then, I have built a nice horror film collection of my own and started a Facebook Horror Group, The Horror Movie Massacre. I wrote for Nightfall and Rage of Rayzor, realized there is a lot of horror content I wanted to put out. So, I drafted some fellow horror fans to make a site, run by fans, for fans and here we are. 5 Horror Films to Watch Inferno (1980) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) The Beyond (1981) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives (1986) Horror of Dracula (1958)