The Evil Dead (1981) is the first movie in the Evil Dead franchise.The first film's story follows a bunch of teens who get together in a cabin in Tennessee and play a tape recorded recitation from a demonic book of the dead (the Necronomicon) — which leads to each of them becoming possessed and attacking the others.
This film provides examples of:
- B-Movie: Definitely among the most famous B Movies ever.
- The Cameo: Hinted at by the tape: "Saman sa'rob dar ees haikar dande roza", this being derived from "Sam [Raimi] and Rob [Tapert] are hitchhikers on the road." Sure enough, if you paid attention five minutes into the film, Scott drove the Olds past a pair of idiotic-looking hitchhikers in fishing gear, both of whom turn to wave as the car sped by.
- Daylight Horror: The ending and few scares at the beginning too.
- Decoy Protagonist: Early on, Scott seems to be the hero while Ash is next to useless. This quickly changes.
- Ending Fatigue: Intentionally invoked in this movie. The book is destroyed, the deadites are disintegrated and Ash is bloodied up, traumatized and exhausted from all the things he went through. The music even crescendos to the point where we think it's all over, but then the unseen evil finally gets to Ash paving the way for Evil Dead 2.
- Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: Inverted. The camera flies at Bruce Campbell at the end.
- The Hyena: Deadite Linda.
- Ironic Echo: Ash flirtatiously peeks at Linda while pretending to be asleep, shutting his eyes when she looks back at him. After she's possessed and apparently killed, her "corpse" does the same thing to him.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: This movie had the added twist of a Decoy Protagonist. Ash was mostly useless throughout the first half of the first movie until he Took a Level in Badass and remained the only one alive. Now that he has become an icon and the other installments of the series are more famous, some viewers might be initially confused by the first flick.
- Late to the Tragedy: Although Ash and his friends don't realize it at first.
- Metafictional Title: Evil Dead was originally named Book of the Dead after the book of the same name, which appears in the movie. The name was changed because the executives didn't want people to think it was a movie about a book.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Twice; jazz music from a possessed record player when Ash is in the cellar where blood starts leaking from everything. Cheerful, big-band music also begins playing over the end credits, and then begins to... slow.
- The "The" Title
- Video Nasties: Probably the best known film bearing this trope.