THE EVIL DEAD (1981 U.S.) D/W: SAM RAIMI P: ROBERT G. TAPERT
Originaly Raimi filmed a 16mm featurette with the shooting title of Book Of The Dead in 1979 (see WITHIN THE WOODS review) and got funding by showing it to independent businessmen like dentists and doctors in the Detroit area to expand it to feature length. The resulting picture was a modern comedy horror classic that`s only let down by it`s plasticine finale FX. The plot is simple, five teens (including the iconic Bruce Campbell as Ash, also an executive producer along with Raimi) vacationing at a log cabin in the woods, finding a copy of the Necronomicon and accidentaly rasing evil spirits that possess each of them (and the woods) one-by-one. The only way to cure the infected is through the act of "bodily dismemberment". A wonderful excuse for wild, gory action. The innovative and widely infulential "steadicam" camerawork was made possible by strapping the camera to a piece of wood (!) that they ran around with. Future director Joel Coen (who co-wrote CRIMEWAVE with Ethan Coen and Raimi next) was the assistant editor. See if you can spot Raimi and Tapert, but i doubt you`ll recognise Scott Spiegel and Ted Raimi as "fake shemp" stand-ins. Sequels followed.

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