SFotD: Sam Raimi’s 1978 ‘Evil Dead’ Prequel ‘Within the Woods’

Why Watch? After all the cultish love and the trivia and the rebooting, isn’t it nice to get back to its roots? Also, The Rebooting is a horror movie I’m writing. Don’t steal the idea.

It’s pretty obvious to see the DNA for The Evil Dead in this short where Bruce Campbell plays himself with terrifying make-up (and a mysteriously deep knowledge of ancient rituals). In fact, it was made specifically to raise money for a feature film called The Book of the Dead that Campbell, Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert were planning on making. It…didn’t succeed. It only played publicly one time — before a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in Detroit — but Raimi and company didn’t have permission to use the music, and the whole thing became a clustercuss that would haunt them all the way through the 2002 special edition release of The Evil Dead.

There are sadly no high quality versions out there, but even through the wavy VHS-friendly lines, you can still make out the abject terror that comes with running a camera as low to the ground as possible in a disgusting forest. And the horror make-up effects! So good. So, so good.

What will it cost? Around 30 minutes.

Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.

A veteran of writing about movies for nearly a decade, Scott Beggs has been the Managing Editor of Film School Rejects since 2009. Despite speculation, he is not actually Walter Mathau's grandson. See? He can't even spell his name right.

Read More from Scott Beggs
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!