The Evil Dead (1981, D: Sam Raimi, W: Sam Raimi)
The Evil Dead proves that an entire career and franchise can be built on imagination and ambitious creativity, regardless of budget. Sam Raimi’s “ultimate exercise in grueling horror” was shot in Morristown, Tennessee in a cold, cow-dung-covered cabin. By the time the crew froze out and left, it was only Raimi, producer Rob Tapert and actor/future star Bruce Campbell left to complete filming. And then they shot four days of re-shoots (in Wisconsin, in someone’s aunt’s basement, I believe). Joel Coen edited the film. It had a brief theatrical release, and then nothing. For a while. Until home video, and every teenage boy started to discover it. What we found was the most inventive, thrilling, seat-of-the-pants horror film we’d ever seen. The Evil Dead 2 gets all the love, but the original is still my favorite; it proves you can do pretty much anything as long as you have determination, dogged perseverance and, preferably, lots and lots of stage blood.