Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker
“Kill her if you can, loverboy!” (Cheryl, The Evil Dead)
Since a large part of this blog is my quest to watch and review all 72 video nasty films, it makes sense for me to start with arguably the best and inarguably the most famous of the lot. Of course, had the Director of Public Prosecutions not been on the arsehole pills in 1984 I probably wouldn’t be reviewing The Evil Dead as part of this list because, as anyone who’s seen it will agree, there’s no way it should have been considered a notorious and dangerous video nasty. After all, it’s far too silly to be taken seriously.
For those still to enjoy its daft delights, The Evil Dead tells the story of five young chums who decide to spend the weekend in a cabin in the woods (sound clichéd? That’s because this created the cliché). When they get there they find the Book of the Dead, a book that when read can summon sleeping demons to possess the living. The good news is that nobody can read the book, the bad news is they also find a tape recorder with a tape of an old historian reading the book’s contents aloud. As they listen to the tape the demons are summoned and it’s up to the five friends to survive until daylight.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing The Evil Dead yet I urge you to hunt it down, along with its sequels Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn and Army Of Darkness. Ash is one of the greatest heroes in horror history and this film shows the seeds of his creation. I guarantee laughter, I guarantee entertainment and I guarantee you’ll feel smugly satisfied when you tell your mates “I’ve seen a video nasty” while conveniently forgetting to tell them the one you watched was probably the least nasty of the bunch.
HOW NASTY IS IT? – It’s not terribly nasty but the tree rape scene, in which Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss) is violated by some branches, is a little uncomfortable if a little silly in theory. Anyone who watches it though will probably come to the conclusion that it should never really have been banned because it’s far too daft to corrupt.