Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead (1981) has been celebrated as a rollercoaster ride of terror and a classic horror hit, a defining exemple of the tongue-in-cheek, excessively gory horror films of the 1980s. It is also the film that introduced the now-iconic character of Ash (played by Bruce Campbell). This study considers the factors that have contributed to the film's evolving cult reputation. It recounts its grueling production, its journey from Cannes to video and DVD, its playful recasting of the genre, and its status, for fans and critics alike, as one of the grungiest, gutsiest, and most inventive horror films in movie history.
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