THE EVIL DEAD (1982)
Director Sam Raimi's first film has achieved legendary status since its 1981 release, and for good reason. Though perhaps not as widely seen as its two sequels, EVIL DEAD 2 and ARMY OF DARKNESS, THE EVIL DEAD is arguably the best of the three. It is the story of five college-age friends who travel to a cabin in rural Tennessee where the stumble upon the Book of the Dead, an ancient tome bound in human flesh and inked in blood. After unwittingly awakening the unspeakable terror told of in the book, each of the friends is transformed into the evil dead, one by one, except for Ash (Bruce Campbell). So, Ash is left with no other way to survive than to dismember the living corpses of his sister, girlfriend, and two of his friends. Shot on a shoestring budget, the film boasts some impressive camera work and extremely over the top gore effects as well as a sense of humor much more subtle than the tongue-in-cheek aesthetic of the two sequels.
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker, Hal Delrich, Sarah York