Check out where the Evil Dead came from (in Super 8mm)

As a script writer for hire I get all kinds of work coming in from low budget, independent film-makers. Making a low budget short is a great way to start out – but making a low budget feature length film is an even better way to get attention.

One of the great success stories of low budget filmmaking is  Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead from 1981. It spawned two sequels as well as a remake and started the careers of Raimi, Bruce Campbell and producer Robert Tapert.  But did you know it started as 30 minute short, filmed in glorious Super 8mm?

Now, I love horror, love low budget filmmaking, love The Evil Dead and more than anything I adore the Super 8mm format which Kodak is bringing back in 2018 as part of its analogue renascence.

Raimi and co, used the short Super 8mm movie- titled ‘Within the Woods’ to raise money for the feature film which would end up being The Evil Dead. They carried their projector and screen around to the houses of local investors and showed the half hour Super 8mm film as a taster of what they could do.

This was 1978 and the lads were barely out of high school.

Imagine my surprise recently when I came across ‘Within the Woods’ on YouTube. The Super8mm to video transfer isn’t brilliant (it’s full of VHS tape rolls for those who remember them – GRAB THE TRACKING!).

The film does have a number of sequences that made it into the eventual feature film The Evil Dead.

I realise this might not have much interest to many readers, but for fans of horror, independent filmmaking, Super 8mm film and The Evil Dead this was a massive find to me!

So, you want to see how The Evil Dead started out? ‘Within the Woods’ is below.

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He’s also a leading UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on or hire him on Peopleperhour