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Evil Dead

The Evil Dead (other names: "The Book Of The Dead", "Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead", or "The Evil Dead, the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror") is a 1981 horror film directed and written by Sam Raimi, starring Bruce Campbell. It is considered a classic of the genre. more...

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The story is simple: Five college students venture into the Tennessee woods to spend a weekend of fun in an isolated cabin. Instead, the teenagers find the Book of the Dead. They find and play a tape recording of demonic incantations from the Book, and unknowingly open a portal to the netherworld. The characters are then killed off in a somewhat disjointed sequence of scenes of extremely intense, bloody and "realistic"-looking violence, and the film ends with the apparently invisible evil spirit bearing down on the last survivor, Ashley J. Williams better known as "Ash."


  • The movie was filmed in Morristown, Tennessee off of Kidwells Ridge Rd.
  • The budget was somewhere around $375,000.
  • The two fishermen on the side of the road at the beginning are writer/director Sam Raimi and producer Robert Tapert.
  • Shooting began on November 14, 1979. The original cast left after six weeks of filming which was the original shooting completion date. There was still much shooting left to do and the remainder of the film was shot with family and friends dressed like the actor for behind or side shots. This became known as "shemping" and the person as a "Fake shemp" as an homage to the Three Stooges.
  • The "Book of the Dead" is referred to as Naturom Demonto in the film and "Necronomicon Ex Mortis" in the two sequels. Terminology used by the unleashed horrors and professor studying them shows that Raimi's version of the notorious faux-occult book is influenced by H.P. Lovecraft's book that has been often used in the ensuing modern Cthulhu Mythos.
  • The setting's popularity lead to the fan-creation of an Evil Dead RPG. Named Evil Dead: Swallow This!, the game uses the d20 System and is a supplement for the d20 Modern game produced by Wizards of the Coast.
  • When listening to Professor Knoby's recording and recitation of the Book of the Dead you can hear a distorted version of the words, "Sam and Rob are the hikers down the road."
  • Movie series gained a seal of approval from Stephen King.


Because of its graphic violence, the original version of the movie was banned in several countries, including Finland, Iceland, Ireland and Germany. The "tree rape" scene was also objectionable to some and seen as being misogynist.

In Germany, the movie's release was hindered by public authorities for almost 10 years. Original 1982 cinema and video releases of the movie had been seized, making the movie a hit on the black market video circuit, with pirated copies abounding. A heavily edited version was first made available in 1992. Several high-profile horror enthusiasts, among them even author Stephen King, publicly criticized the German ban on the movie. In other German language markets, the movie was never restricted from distribution. The first legal uncut version of the movie entered the German market in 2001, on DVD.


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