Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

13 August 2008

Within the Woods, dir. Sam Raimi (1978)

STEVE says:
This is the one everyone talks about as a prequel to The Evil Dead.

It ain't.

Within the Woods was shot in 1978 in an effort to raise money to make a feature, which would turn out to be The Evil Dead. It's basically a show-reel. But for all that, it's still mighty impressive.

Plot-wise, it's not too far off what would eventually become The Evil Dead. Four college students spending a weekend in a cabin in the woods run afoul of the spirit of an Indian Medicine Man. Bruce Campbell gets possessed here, instead of Ellen Sandweiss, wreaking havoc on his pals, and Sandweiss plays the part Campbell would end up playing in the feature; not specifically Ash (the actors all use their real names here), but the role of the "hero".

There are bits and pieces (literally) that would be used later in both The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, and you can see Raimi's directorial style already well-developed. Too bad it's from a crappy 30-year-old VHS tape. If you could actually see what was going on half the time, it might find a cult status all its own.


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