What's 'Groovy' About Evil Dead? From Cult Horror To Horror Comedy


A couple guys go into the woods -- director Sam Raimi and actor Bruce Campbell, to be specific -- make a movie called The Evil Dead, then remake that movie years later, and in doing so create a comedy-horror masterpiece. And somehow the punchline to this strange cinematic saga is:


We'll step back. The original 1981 movie, The Evil Dead, sees five friends going to a cabin in the woods for a weekend of fun, but when they find the Necronomicon, a mysterious book bound in human flesh, their world is turned upside down by unspeakable horror. The Evil Dead became a cult classic; its plot was recycled for Evil Dead II (and arguably the movie that followed), again directed by Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell. Evil Dead isn't the biggest horror franchise -- it's not Friday the 13th, Halloween, or Nightmare On Elm Street -- but it's arguably the most interesting because it switches from gruesome horror to slapstick comedy at the drop of a hat, or chainsaw.

The Evil Dead's gestation lies in the 1970s, with a friendship forged in the suburbs of Detroit. Along the way, the Raimi brothers and Bruce Campbell found help from Stephen King and the Coen Brothers before bringing Ash Williams to the masses, remaking their beloved masterpiece into something much more groovy.