The Evil Dead (1981)

Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead from 1981 is a film I revisited last week. I hadn’t seen it in a while (indeed, long enough to watch it with pretty fresh eyes).

What first struck me about it was how Raimi used the plot to literally showcase how much he knew about cinema, and how well he could direct, even on such a tiny budget. The film is literally a roller coaster of scares, comedy and balls to the walls gore.

Raimi did get a career out of this film, although he’s never really delivered on the promise shown here. I love A Simple Plan, a genuinely fantastic, adult film. I also enjoyed Darkman, but as for the rest of his oeuvre I don’t have too much to say…

It would have been interesting to see what else Raimi could come up with if he’d stayed as an independent. I’m thinking of the way Peter Jackson built an interesting body of work before going all Hollywood.

The other thing I enjoy about The Evil Dead is the 16mm look of it, it looks very like a film of its time (the 80s, and the golden age of gore). Bruce Campbell is better in this film than I remember, but his story – childhood friend of the filmmakers cast in the lead role has inspired many low budget filmmakers to cast friends in their debut features (nearly always, a massive mistake.)

The Evil Dead is a great fun film for horror fans, it’s aging beautifully and to me, has a nostalgic air to it…

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