“Within the Woods” (1978) IMDb

Categorization

Pilot for a franchise of cliché-heavy horror that gradually picks up comedy and heroic action elements as the budget grows. Here, with a budget near zero, it’s quite serious.

Subject

Two couples. Secluded cabin. Ancient Indian burial ground.

Commentary

Took three days to make and served mainly to secure funding for the remake.

fiction moving picture zombie

Remake:

The Evil Dead (1981) IMDb

Categorization

More money. Still pretty serious. Some black humour.

Subject

Five people. Secluded cabin. The Necronomicon. A chainsaw. Rape by trees.

Commentary

Emblems include Bruce Campbell (cast as Bruce in the pilot, where he’s the first to go, here called Ash), zombies insisting on company (“Join us!”) and director Raimi’s “evil force” camera racing along with ominous sound effects.

References here: Evil Dead II (1987).

fiction moving picture zombie

Sequel:

Evil Dead II (1987) IMDb

Categorization

Comedy horror bordering on slapstick, a bit like “The Beast with Five Fingers” (1919).

Subject

It’s almost a remake of the remake. The first few minutes describe an alternate progression and ending of The Evil Dead (1981), and then some new people arrive to the cabin, on the next day in a “continuing” story.

fiction moving picture zombie

Sequel:

Army of Darkness (1992) IMDb

Categorization

The sequel to the remake of the remake. An action comedy. Ash has completed his transformation from ordinary guy to comically invincible chauvinist.

Subject

Ash travels through time to the middle ages, where he accidentally spawns and fights a legion of the undead with chainsaw, car and shotgun.

Commentary

Lots of cool one-liners but no horror. Check out the ending where he takes a drop too many, if you can find it (there are at least three versions).

fiction moving picture zombie