For other uses, see The Evil Dead (disambiguation).
The Evil Dead
Poster for The Evil Dead
Directed by Sam Raimi
Produced by Sam Raimi
Written by Sam Raimi
Starring Bruce Campbell
Music by Joseph LoDuca
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) October 15, 1981
April 15, 1983
Running time 85 min.
Country United States
Gross revenue $29,400,000 (est.)
(As of July 26, 2006)
Preceded by Within the Woods
Followed by Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn
The Evil Dead (also known as: Evil Dead; The Book of the Dead; Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead; and The Evil Dead, the Ultimate Experience in Grueling Horror) is a 1981 cult classic horror film written and directed by Sam Raimi, starring Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss and Betsy Baker. The film tells the story of five college students vacationing in an isolated cabin in the woods. Their vacation turns into a nightmare when they find an audiotape that is the key to unlocking evil spirits.
The film was extremely controversial for its graphic terror violence and gore, being initially turned down by almost all U.S. film distributors until a European company finally bought it in the Cannes Film Festival marketplace. It was finally released into theaters on October 15, 1981. Although its budget was just $375,000, the film was a moderate success at the box office, grossing a total of $2,400,000 in the U.S. upon its initial release. Despite getting mixed reviews by critics at the time, it is now widely accepted as a classic of the horror genre and has a dedicated worldwide cult following. The film also spawned two sequels entitled: Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness.
When the film was re-submitted for a rating in 1994 the MPAA classified it with an NC-17 rating. When the distribution company Elite Entertainment released the film on DVD in 1999 they retained the NC-17 version. Anchor Bay Entertainment has since acquired the DVD rights to the film, and their subsequent releases have surrendered the rating to allow them to release the film unrated.