21 July 2024
Evil Dead (1982)
85 min.
Directed by Sam Raimi.
With Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Hal Delrich, Betsy Baker, Sarah York.
Over-the-top zombie fare.

A group of five university students gather at a secluded cabin in the Tennessee woods for the weekend.

But it's not going to be a time of rest and relaxation. First, they discover the creepy Book of the Dead - the Nyturan Demonta, to be exact - which turns out to be a sort of necromonicon.

A dog-eared copy of a Jackie Collins novel this ain't, as the Nyturan supposedly chronicles various rituals of demonology and the undead.

Then, in the basement of the cabin, the group discovers a strange audiotape which they play.

Turns out the tape is an invocation to resurrect Kandarian demons. Oops.

Soon, each of them becomes possessed by one of the demonic spirits they inadvertently summoned, becoming a hideous bloodthirsty zombie.

Only poor Ash (Campbell) seems to escape demonic possession, as he battles for his life against his former friends Scotty, Linda, Cheryl and Shelly, now wild spirits of the undead.

But can Ash make it out of the woods alive? Or will he succumb just like the others?

Made on a budget of just $375,000, Evil Dead is good for its kind, well-done with an unassuming air and enthusiastic makeup FX to recommend it.

It would make genre stars of Bruce Campbell and director Raimi, the latter who would go on to direct three big budget Spiderman films.

Followed by Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (1987), and then Army of Darkness (1993).

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