This auspicious feature debut from Sam Raimi -- shot on 16mm in the woods of Tennesse for around $350,000 -- secured the young director's cult status as a creative force to be reckoned with. The nominal plot involves five vacationing college kids -- Ash (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), and their classmates Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), Scott (Hal Delrich) and Shelly (Sarah York) -- making an unplanned stopover in an abandoned mountain cabin surrounded by impenetrable woods. Before settling in for the night, they come across an ancient-looking occult tome filled with dense hieroglyphics and macabre illustrations, a dagger fashioned from human bones, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The taped message, dictated by a professor of archaeology, describes the contents of the Sumerian "Book of the Dead," filled with incantations used to bring otherworldly demons to life, giving them license to possess the living. The message goes on to explain that those possessed by these demons can only be stopped by total bodily dismemberment. When played among the group later that evening, the professor's recorded translations of the ritual chants traumatize the strangely prescient Shelly ... and simultaneously release an ominous presence from the depths of the forest. The evil spirits take to their dirty work with gusto, first assuming control of Shelly and transforming her into a cackling, murderous hag with superhuman strength; the others imprison her in the fruit cellar and chain the trapdoor shut. The spirits then begin to possess the other women, including Linda -- who immediately turns on Ash with a barrage of punches and sadistic taunts. Unable to bring himself to chop up his lover's corpse, Ash gives her a more customary burial in the woods -- which proves to be a big mistake. As the others succumb to demonic influence, Ash's horrific predicament becomes increasingly grim until, when all hope seems lost, he stumbles upon a final, desperate solution to the ghoulish onslaught ... well, maybe not. Despite the shoestring production values, Raimi has fashioned a tight, lightning-paced fever dream of a movie, filled with operatic overacting and outrageously gory effects that give the project a comic-book feel. Based on an earlier 8mm short titled Within the Woods, this feature version was fraught with distribution difficulties before finding its first audience overseas. After considerable word of mouth (and a glowing endorsement from horror author Stephen King), the film became a hit on home video, where it achieved further notoriety thanks to its highly-publicized banning in Britain amid the notorious "Video Nasties" censorship campaign. Raimi, along with producer Robert Tapert, writer Scott Spiegel and much of the same crew, cranked up the story's comic aspects several dozen notches for the rollicking semi-remake, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn.~Cavett Binion
Bruce CampbellAshley J. "Ash" Williams
Theodore RaimiFake Shemp
Ivan RaimiFake Shemp
Scott SpiegelFake Shemp
John CameronFake Shemp
Sam RaimiFisherman on side of road
Joseph Lo DucaComposer (Music Score)
Edna Ruth PaulEditor
Bruce CampbellExecutive Producer
Robert TapertExecutive Producer
Sam RaimiExecutive Producer
Bart PierceSpecial Effects
Joel CoenFirst Assistant Editor
Tom SullivanMakeup Special Effects
Haunted House Film,Supernatural Horror
The Evil Dead
Year of Release
Includes Digital Copy, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray
4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray
The Evil Dead [Includes Digital Copy] [4K Ultra HD Blu-ray/Blu-ray] 
Evil Dead is the 1981 original classic Sam Raimi film from the cult favorite Evil Dead and Army of Darkness franchise. This ambitious, creative horror film was produced on a legendarily shoestring budget and is in many ways darker, more twisted and dramatic than the somewhat wittier and more comedic affairs that followed it.
The 4K UHD tenders the original 4:3 aspect ratio the movie first played in. It was shot on 16mm film and this transfer goes straight to the source, which allows it to fully capitalize on the UHD format's maximum resolution. It's never looked more detailed, vivid, rich and authentically filmic at home thanks to a great transfer and new technology.
Highly recommended for any Evil Dead fan and any 4K ready horror fans. You will be surprised at how amazing it looks on a great display.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rating 2 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Great Movie, Missing Features
THE EVIL DEAD is one of the extremely few movies that rightly justify a cinematic place of being both Great as well as being so Bad it's Great.
The acting from a gang of nobody newbies was largely weak, yet the gritty production values and the intensity Sam Raimi brought to the creation of a project that they worked so hard to fund - with more money than any of them had ever seen - makes THE EVIL DEAD a force to be reckoned with. Sam wanted grueling horror and he stopped at nothing to get it.
So why my two stars?
Because I adore this movie so much that I bought it with the full expectation that I would be getting the Bluray extras as advertised on this page.
To make sure I knew what I was getting myself into, I used the friendly help feature to chat with a BestBuy rep who assured me that the Extras, as advertised, would be on the disc.
She was misinformed.
All-New Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Sam Raimi, Producer Robert Tapert and Star Bruce Campbell
You Don't get,
Discovering The Evil Dead
At The Drive-In
The Ladies Of The Evil Dead
Meet Bruce Campbell
Book Of The Dead: The Other Pages
All of that, which is plenty, is missing.
However, you also get a fistful of trailer ads to other movies that you cannot skip (but you can FF through).
This release is the cheapest, most bargain basement Bluray version of THE EVIL DEAD you can buy. If it wasn't for the forced advertising before the movie, I could at least give it a three. But being forced to deal with the ads every time I want to watch this movie is only extra aggravation, and who wants to pay for that?
If you can, buy the three disc Ultimate Edition DVD until someone better than Sony Anchor Bay releases a decent Blu / 4K.
First of all, let me just say top shelf independent horror film from the late 70’s (yes, released in 1983 theatrically, but shooting started in 1979 on and off for the next year or two). And let me say that what has been done here presentation-wise with a very respectable looking 4K HDR scan of a quote aged 16mm negative is amazing. But that’s just it. I have more copies of this film on more formats than I can count. I initially saw it on the original Thorn EMI VHS taken from a well-worn 35mm blow-up print and it was truly scary. The 3-disc LaserDisc box set from Elite Entertainment had the same feel (and was it’s last and best presentation on any analog video source). Then came the numerous DVD and Blu-Ray editions, each time with the film looking more and more pristine, but also opting to matte what was shot as a full-frame film off for modern 1.78:1 sets and the numerous additions and removals of a dubious optical effect. For me, it has lost a lot of the scare factor and played way too heavily on the humorous aspects that would be turned up to 11 in the quasi-remake “Evil Dead II” (which I did see on first theatrical run and due to its bigger budget has had a pretty consistent look and feel on all home video formats), as it has lost a lot of its technical issues (insufficient lighting in some scenes, the grubby look of the 16mm blow-up prints that had already made midnight movie rounds). Don’t let me warn you off from it — it’s still a very influential film in the genre and is essential viewing. But just prepare to be shocked that a film released nearly 40 years ago looks more like one released within the past decade. Whether that affects your suspension of disbelief will be an individual matter.
I would recommend this to a friend
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
A horror movie franchise must own..!
Probably one of my top five favorite horror movies and horror film franchises ever directed by Sam Rami who brought us timeless classics like the original Spiderman trilogy , Darkman , Drag Me To Hell , and the American versions of The Grudge and Grudge 2..!
This 4K Ultra Blu-Ray is a must own for horror film fans and cult movie buffs everywhere..!
The transfer is really good although Lions Gate didn't try and make a widescreen format format like Anchor Bay did with their versions on DVD and Blu-Ray , this version has the original pan-scan format that the director filmed the movie in and the sound and transfer is amazing as well as the sound and I highly recommended it for the true horror film movie collector ..!
I would recommend this to a friend
Rating 5 out of 5 stars with 1 review
Owned for 3 weeks when reviewed.
Great movie. The claymation scene is awesone. Reccommend for horror fans
Plot/Summary,The nominal plot involves five vacationing college kids -- Ash (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), and their classmates Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), Scott (Hal Delrich) and Shelly (Sarah York) -- making an unplanned stopover in an abandoned mountain cabin surrounded by impenetrable woods. Before settling in for the night, they come across an ancient-looking occult tome filled with dense hieroglyphics and macabre illustrations, a dagger fashioned from human bones, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The taped message, dictated by a professor of archaeology, describes the contents of the Sumerian "Book of the Dead," filled with incantations used to bring otherworldly demons to life, giving them license to possess the living.
It has been called many things great,awesome,best horror,best zombie film, original. And all i have to say is that is a classic that both horror fans and non fans should indeed watch. This is a horror film classic and boy am i glad i saw it. This film starts off as any horror film would, in a place where none of the characters of heard about but claim to have found out from a friend,and unleash evil. This is actually not one of my favorite horror films of all time. I put this at number four . This movie stars Bruce Campbell who plays Ash who gives the best performance out of the whole cast but my second favorite actor in this film is Hal Derich as Scott. This movie is so bloody and brutal and great and the atmosphere of this is also pretty amazing. This film is all out fun and a really great horror film but i have one small problem the ending. You get this ending where it's in first person and I'm guessing something's running to Ash and he screams but you don't know what happens it just ends like that,but hey they might explain in the evil dead 2 and despite my one problem i still give it a 5 out of 5.
The Evil Dead, called "The Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror" by it's filmmakers always felt like a bit of a tongue-in-cheek tagline, but it's never been truer than now. I've owned several versions of this movie over the years from VHS to DVD to BluRay - but now it comes to life like never before and truly seems to capture the "experience" the filmmakers were going for after years of struggling with time, location and the budget running out, before getting a few more bucks, shooting a few more scenes, some even in the directors garage - before this classic was completed and ready for the big screen - where it surely never looked as good as now - a super clean and crisp transfer of what was basically a glorified 8mm home horror movie, but it set a precedence for years to come on how to do horror with the mind set that the audience can have as much fun laughing as being scared - and this movie gives you both emotions from a source that has never looked/sounded/felt better before! Treat yourself and enjoy!