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The Evil Dead (1981)

NC-17 | | Fantasy, Horror | 15 April 1983 (USA)
1:28 | Trailer

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Five friends travel to a cabin in the woods, where they unknowingly release flesh-possessing demons.



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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard DeManincor ...
Scott (as Hal Delrich)
Shelly (as Sarah York)
Philip A. Gillis ...
Fake Shemp (as Phil Gillis)
Dorothy Tapert ...
Cheryl Guttridge ...
Barbara Carey ...
David Horton ...
Wendall Thomas ...
Don Long ...
Stu Smith ...
Kurt Rauf ...


Five college students take time off to spend a peaceful vacation in a remote cabin. A book and audio tape is discovered, and its evil is found to be powerful once the incantations are read out loud. The friends find themselves helpless to stop the evil as it takes them one by one, with only one survivor left with the evil dead and desperately tries to fight to live until morning. Written by Miss Murder

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They got up on the wrong side of the grave. See more »


Fantasy | Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for substantial graphic horror violence and gore | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 April 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Book of the Dead  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (FSK 16)

Sound Mix:

| (re-mastered version)


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During scenes involving the unseen force in the woods watching the characters, Sam Raimi had to run through the woods with the makeshift rig, jumping over logs and stones. This often proved difficult due to mist in the swamp. See more »


When the car is rolling onto the bridge at the beginning of the film, a white car is visible behind the trees on the left, following the car. See more »


[first lines]
Scotty: Hey, Ash, where are we?
Ash: Well we just crossed the Tennessee border...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The swing music from the old Victrola in the cabin's cellar plays during the closing credits, only to wind down and grind to a stop leaving the sound of the wind to accompany the rest of the credits. The final sound heard as the closing credits end is the fly buzzing - the first sound heard in the opening of the film. See more »


Referenced in Viande d'origine française (2009) See more »


Music by James P. Johnson and lyrics by Cecil Mack
Performed by Traditional
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The ultimate in terror
10 July 1999 | by (Toronto, Ontario) – See all my reviews

It's the early 80's, what do you expect? This is a scary scary film. And I think I know why films now a days can't hold a candle to films like Halloween and Evil Dead. And that is because a photo copy is never as good as the original. That is the bottom line. Directors don't care about a lot of the material that they are filming today, especially when it comes to horror films and that is because they don't write their own stories. They do someone elses work. But not Evil Dead. This was Raimi's baby from the outset. When films like the two mentioned were filmed they were filmed by two directors that were complete unknowns. They had no pressure to make a great film and they did it on an incredibly low budget. Halloween was made for $150,000 and Evil Dead for $50 000. So what that meant is that the directors could stick to their visions but they had to find innovative ways to do so. Their budgets didn't allow a heap of special effects so they had to rely on what they knew. And that was, how to create atmosphere using the camera. And Evil Dead is one of the best at doing that. There is one scene in this film that I will never forget and that is one of the early scenes where the cast arrives at the cabin. Here we see a long shot of the cabin and it has very eerie music playing. This shows the cabin as being menacing. It lets you know that there is evil in that cabin. And that we are in for a hell of a ride.

Sam Raimi made a masterpiece here that I believe stands the test of time. You can put this film up against any of today's so called horror films and I guarantee you this scares you more. Raimi cares about his movie and he does everything to make you feel the terror that the cabin people feel. We are scared and disgusted at what happens when one of the women goes outside alone at night and meets a tree that does unspeakable things. And when the book is first introduced.... that is horror movie history there. What a brilliant concept. A book that is evil. I have often wondered about such books. We hear about them all the time in movies about ancient Egypt and ancient times. But here we have a book that has weird incantations from another world and another language, and you just know that as soon as some idiot utters the words that they are not supposed to say, well they won't be around much longer.

The Evil Dead is a miracle. It was made on a rock bottom budget yet it is scarier than any Hollywood movie that is made for 20 million could ever hope to be. If you want to truly experience a frightening experience, rent this film, it knows what it wants to say. And it knows how to make you afraid. So be afraid. Be very afraid. You may never look at the forest the same again.

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