Those of you who are just discovering the Starz series Ash vs Evil Dead may be unaware how long the show has been in the making. So travel with me if you will, back in time to see a young group of hungry filmmakers who would stop at nothing to make their dream come true. Something today's generation needs a hard lesson in, am I right, Ash?
High school friends Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert teamed up to make several short films on their 16mm camcorders back in the late '60s and early '70s. They all realized that the only way to break into the industry was to use their collective skills and get a film together themselves. This would become the horror classic we all know and love called The Evil Dead, but to raise the finances for a full feature they decided to make a tester to show the backers. This would explore some of the themes and jump scares that would be evident in their full feature film, thus Within The Woods was born.
Within The Woods
The plot revolves around a bunch of teens going to a cabin for the weekend (sound familiar?), they come across an ancient Indian burial ground and as Campbell (pictured above) gets possessed, the trip turns into a fight for survival. The short is a 30-minute showcase of horror staples and Raimi's unique, stylish approach to film. Unfortunately, Within The Woods has never been officially released by Raimi and co. because of copyright issues with music tracks used within the short. The only copies that are floating around today are 4th generation and definitely don't hold up to Blu-ray quality. Still there's something magical about watching a grainy old movie in the dark.
Sit back, relax and check out the original Evil Dead prototype in all it's grainy quality:
The short bustles with ideas and those lovable Raimi trademarks like the good ole shaky cam ever-present from the Evil Dead trilogy. I hope you enjoyed it, as we need to keep this film alive online and try to get it officially released and remastered in the near future. Anybody got Sam Raimi's personal email?
Oh and don't forget, Season 2 of Ash vs Evil Dead is back on Starz in October! I can't wait.
In keeping with the buckets of blood style that was made popular in the Evil Dead trilogy, check out the gut-wrenching video below:
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