An Evil Dead Double Feature!
The Evil Dead
A New Line Cinema Release
Original Theatrical Release Date: October 15th, 1981
The first Evil Dead long stayed with me for many years. I remember catching it for the first time and being utterly terrified by it at some points. That scene where the pencil gets stabbed into someones ankle especially shook me up.
The Evil Dead started shooting in 1979, the filmmakers ran into financing issues and then shot it over time for about 2 years before it finally made it's debut in 1981 (where Stephen King's subsequent endorsement really helped get the film noticed). Sam Raimi spent a long time with this movie, and the hard work really paid off. He has come a long way since this film, but he hasn't made another anywhere near as terrifying. It was a tough act to follow, but in 1987, he managed to top himself in a different way...
Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn
A DEG/Rosebud Releasing Corporation Film
Original Theatrical Release Date: March 13th, 1987
What Evil Dead 2 lacks in genuine scares really makes up for it with a distinct ingenuity that forever changed the Horror Film landscape. Countless films and filmmakers to this day have been inspired by the madness of Sam Raimi's work here, and you can totally understand why. It's high comedy mixed with pitch black darkness and the tone somehow really works for the film. Evil Dead 2 is sometimes considered a cult movie, though it had some success at the box office. But that term is absolutely right for a film like this.
Although some of the effects may now seem a tad dated (ah, the late 80's to early 90's obsession with latex!) there's no denying that this movie show, with the genius of Bruce Campbell's go-for-broke nuttiness at the forefront, is a completely fun ride that you can take over and over.