The Evil Dead Celebrates 40th Anniversary

The Evil Dead has had a significant influence on the genre of Horror.

Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead was released theatrically 40 years ago today. It is widely regarded as a cult classic and has strongly influenced many horror films. Raimi’s best friend Bruce Campbell stars in the movie, which would birth a franchise. Also starring were Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, and Theresa Tilly. Raimi Campbell and Robert Tapert produced the film. Production on the film began in 1979 in Michigan, where they had all grown up. With a budget of only $350,000, they faced numerous challenges during filming, including extreme weather conditions and limited resources.

Despite these obstacles, the filmmakers created a unique and innovative horror film that blended elements of comedy and gore. In addition, the film’s use of “shaky cam” techniques, low-budget special effects, and a fast-paced editing style added to its visceral and unsettling atmosphere. To make this film a reality, a short film called Within the Woods served as a proof of concept. Thanks to Author Stephen King raving about the film, New Line Cinema decided to acquire the distribution rights. Before its wide release, the movie held a screening at the Redford Theater in 1981, followed by debuting at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. It was rated NC-17 for substantial graphic horror, violence, and gore.


Ash (Campbell), his girlfriend, and three pals hike into the woods to a cabin for a fun night away. There they find an old book, the Necronomicon, whose text reawakens the dead when it’s read aloud. The friends inadvertently release a flood of evil and must fight for their lives or become one of the evil dead. Ash watches his friends become possessed and must make a difficult decision. It has until daybreak to save his own life.

Two more films would follow, Evil Dead II in 1987 and Army of Darkness in 1992. Then, a soft reboot in 2013 was released, titled Evil Dead. A television series was also spawned from 2015 to 2018, Ash vs. Evil Dead. An upcoming fifth film, Evil Dead Rise, is being released on April 21st, 2023. Over the years, “The Evil Dead” has become a touchstone of the horror genre and a favorite among fans of cult cinema. Its influence can be seen in countless horror films that followed, including “The Blair Witch Project” and “Cabin in the Woods.”

Finally, don’t forget to watch The Evil Dead in 4K UHD. Read more News on Nerdtropolis. Subscribe to our YouTube.

Sean Tajipour is the Founder and Editor of Nerdtropolis. He is a member of the Critics Choice Association. You can follow on Twitter and Instagram @Seantaj.

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