Some of the finest seat-jumping moments ever put on film are present in this pure, gut-wrenching horror experience that only gets better with age. In an unrelenting roller coaster ride of pure cinema, Sam Raimi splatters across the screen a tale of five college students who unwittingly unleash demons while vacationing at an isolated cabin. Star Bruce Campbell summed it up best when he recalled Evil Dead’s filmmaking credo: Often mistakenly thought to be a Michigan experience (due to Raimi and Campbell’s background), but in reality filmed in the hallowed woods of Tennessee, Evil Dead is a powerhouse of ingenuity and style in the face of inexperience and impossibly low funding. Without this film, not only would we not have Raimi’s hyperkinetic output, but there would also be no Coen Brothers (who grew from being early Raimi collaborators into masters in their own right) — and most likely, way fewer over-the-top Hong Kong fantasy films.
Dir. Sam Raimi, 1981, 35mm, 85 min.