The Evil Dead
10. Was one of the first films to be labeled as a "Video Nasty" in the UK, and was banned because of this.
9. Despite its controversy and many technical goofs, this is considered to be one of the greatest horror films of all time. Many fans claim it is due to its amount of gore and execution of terror, while critics claim it is due to it's constant reliance on visual storytelling and gripping performances.
8. During Ash's fighting scene with the possessed Scott, after gouging out Scott's eyeballs Ash yanks something out of Scott's jeans and blood begins to flow. Many have believed that Ash was yanking out a "reproductive organ" based on its shape and position. However, what Ash pulled out was a small branch gouged into Scott's leg after he was beaten savagely by the trees.
7. The German translation of the movie's title is "Dance of the Devils."
6. Filmed in a real-life abandoned cabin.
5. The themes of the movie have become an iconic favorite among tattoo clientèle.
4. The original script called for all the characters to be smoking marijuana when they are first listening to the tape. The actors decided to try this for real, and the entire scene had to be later re-shot due to their uncontrollable behavior.
3. On the tape in which the demon resurrection passages are read aloud, some of the words spoken (which appear to be Latin) sound like, "Sam and Rob, Das ist Hikers Dan dee Roadsa," which means, "Sam and Rob are the Hikers on the road," as it was actually Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert who play the fishermen that wave to the car as it passes them near the start of the film.
2. In the comic series Marvel Zombies, it is revealed that Ash somehow ends up in a parallel Marvel Universe and ends up being the cause of that universe becoming Zombified.
1. Betsy Baker lost her eye lashes in the process of removing her facial mold.
Sam Raimi showed the film to anyone willing to watch it, booking meetings with distribution agents and anyone with experience in the film industry. Eventually Raimi came across Irvin Shapiro, the man who was responsible for the distribution of Night of the Living Dead (1968) and other famous horror films. Upon first viewing the film, he joked that while it "wasn't Gone with the Wind (1939)", it had commercial potential, and he expressed an interest in distributing it. It was his idea not to use the then-title Book of the Dead, because it made the film sound boring. Raimi brainstormed several ideas, eventually going with The Evil Dead, deemed the "least worst" title. Shapiro also advised distributing the film worldwide to garner a larger income, though it required a further financial investment by Raimi, who managed to scrape together what little money he had.
Sam Raimi said the way they filmed the last shot in the film, where the POV shot of the demon roams across the forest, through the house, and into Ash, they mounted the camera onto a motorcycle, and simply rode it right into Bruce Campbell at 37 mph. Campbell confirmed this story in 2015, admitting his numerous injuries from the experience, and that it was worth it, due to the franchise being critically acclaimed.
This was an early breakthrough for UK producer and distributor Stephen Woolley and his company, Palace Pictures. Previously his company was synonymous with making foreign language films like Fitzcarraldo (1982) more widely available in the UK. The Evil Dead (1981) signified a more commercial direction for the company, compounded by the fact that it was simultaneously released in cinemas and on VHS - a major first in film distribution in the United Kingdom.
Some critics have called the "tree raping" scene where Cheryl is raped by possessed weeds to be misogynistic, and even Sam Raimi regrets putting it in the film. Bruce Campbell admitted to regretting the scene where he repeatedly and violently slaps Linda.
At the end of principal shooting in Tennessee, the crew put together a little time capsule package and buried it inside the fire place of the cabin as a memento of the production to whoever found it. The cabin has since been destroyed, but the time capsule was found by a couple of ardent Evil Dead fans who discovered that the fireplace of the cabin was still intact.
The film was intended to be filmed in Michigan in a cabin, however Sam Raimi and Co. could not find one. They tried the Michigan Tourism guide which was no help, so they came up with the idea of going to Tennessee to shoot. While there they could not find a cabin and the closest they had come was one filled with squatters. At the very last minute, Raimi and crew found the cabin they used in the film which was not far from the house the cast and crew had moved into for the arduous shoot. The cabin had to be renovated from top to bottom as it was in deplorable condition. Rooms were filled with four inches of horse manure and electricity had to be put in along with a working telephone to make it hospitable.
Sam Raimi originally wanted to title this film "Book of the Dead," but producer Irvin Shapiro changed the title to "The Evil Dead" for fear that kids would be turned off seeing a movie with a literary reference.
Director Sam Raimi and star Bruce Campbell were friends from high school, where they made many super-8 films together. They would often collaborate with Sam's brother, Ted Raimi. Campbell became the "actor" of the group, as "he was the one that girls wanted to look at."
Sam Raimi shot a short film called "Within the Woods" to act as a calling card for his feature debut. It did the trick - he was able to raise the $90,000 necessary to make the film.
The film's first cut ran at around 117 minutes, which Bruce Campbell called an impressive achievement in light of the 65-minute length of the screenplay. It was then edited down to a more marketable 85 minutes. The original version would focus on the terror that is present, but also the tragedy of Ash slowly losing his friends, and his guilt for not being able to save them.