Director: Sam Raimi
Rating: 5 / 5
Okay, a few things first. If you have not yet seen this movie, DO IT. And, before you judge it too hard, you must know that this movie was made by some college kids on barely any budget. And, considering that, it is great. Even if you don't know that, or don't think about it, this movie is wonderful. So fantastic, in fact, that I think it should be an inspiration to aspiring film-makers who are working on little or no budget. It shows that it can be done, and it can be done well. This movie has become a classic, and Ash an icon.
All right, the story is simple. A group of friends go out to a cabin in Tennessee (I think it's Tennessee), and things start to go awry. Things seem weird from the start, but they ignore it because, well...You know the rule. "In order to be in a horror movie, for the majority of the movie, you must be extremely stupid." Anyways, after a series of creepy but not life-altering events, they finally stumble upon a book in the basement. It is the Necronomicon (which is a real book, used for necromancy). There is a tape recorder with a recording on it. There was a man there before, studying the book. He explains a couple of weird things, and we eventually hear him reciting words from the Necronomicon. The kids should have shut the tape off by now, but they were curious. Well, a couple were at least. The girls were getting scared, but the men of course were not.
Soon after the words were recited, the demons rise. The filming for these parts of the movie are, to me, amazing. It's filmed in first person, in the view of the demons - speeding through the forest straight toward the cabin. And when you see this, you just know that shit's going down. Cheryl (our main character Ash's sister) goes outside and gets raped by trees. There's no other way to say it. She just gets raped by the trees. She goes back inside, freaks out, and eventually becomes a demon. They have to lock her up in the cellar, but she is constantly peeking out, trying to escape - and screaming "Join us!" She's fucked up looking and creepy as hell. Again, it is amazing what Sam Raimi could do on such a small budget.
My favorite demon, though, is Linda, Ash's girlfriend. When she is turned, she doesn't look creepy at all. She is cute as pie. She looks like a porcelain doll. But when she's sitting down on the floor, laughing like the cute little doll she is...it gets creepy fast. And I love it.
There are two remaining characters - Scotty and Shelly. Scotty is Ash's best friend, and Shelly is his girlfriend. Shelly eventually becomes possessed and Scotty has to dismember her. When Scotty is posessed later, Ash must dispose of him. I remember watching this movie as a kid, and when Ash killed Scotty, I thought that all the blood and guts and whatever else came out of him - I thought it looked like ketchup, milk, and grits. Maybe I was hungry. I don't know how they did it. It wasn't great, effects wise, but it's still entertaining to this day.
Ash becomes the last man standing, and he defeats the demons by burning the Necronomicon. Or does he? This movie spawned two sequels (Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, and Army of Darkness), so obviously he didn't do that great of a job here. But he spends the rest of his life keeping humanity safe from The Evil Dead!
I love this movie. As I've said before, the '80s was a magnificent decade for horror movies. It may just be me, because I am completely in love with b-movies. But this is one of my favorites, for sure. So, again, if you haven't seen it, I advise you to do so.