Directed by Sam Raimi
A couple of nights ago I finally got to see a film that I’ve been wanting to see for… well, about ten years now I guess. Sam Raimi’s “Within The Woods” is the short thirty-minute film that he and (movie star God, sex God, comedy God, God’s God) Bruce Campbell created in order to raise funds to develop the greatest movie of all time, “The Evil Dead”. I remember when DVD’s first started coming out and Anchor Bay would release a new version of “The Evil Dead” each year (many of which I would buy) there would always be talk that in this release “Within the Woods” would finally be added as a bonus feature. Of course, this never came to pass. Not even in “The Ultimate Edition of The Evil Dead” DVD that came out a couple of years ago now. And after finally watching it, I can sort of imagine why.
For one thing, the video and audio quality of the short is shit. This is no one’s fault. It’s what happens to a thirty year old print that was never taken care of in the first place. But it’s so hard to see what is going on that it almost makes the entire film impossible to watch. Of course that doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care if the print was completely unwatchable and the audio indistinguishable, I’d sit through whatever I could make out simply to be able to say that I experienced “Within the Woods”.
The other problem is… well, it’s just not very good. Besides a few well framed shots, almost no aspect of the film reminds you of the creative imagination that is Sam Raimi. Adding even more insult to injury is how little Bruce Campbell is actually in it. He’s in the first five minutes and then appears as the bad guy for the final bit. The reason why “The Evil Dead” is so distinguishable from every other horror film ever, is Bruce Campbell. He’s the only man with the balls (or lack there of) to carry a horror film as the main protagonist. Every other horror film needs an attractive female protagonist, or the target demographic (read: testosterone driven males) gets bored easily. I don’t know what it says about me, but I’ll take Bruce Campbell over a busty chick in a white t-shirt any day. (Okay, I do know what that says about me: A) I have taste in films and B) I am super gay for Bruce Campbell).
Anyway, sorry, I got all lost in my mental images of Bruce Campbell cowering in a corner covered with gore and a sprained ankle, while Sam Raimi laughs and pokes him in the ankle with a stick. God dammit I want to be able to have filmmaking stories like that. I’ll say this right now. If the day ever comes where I fulfill these crazy dreams of mine and make movies to entertain all of you, it’s because of these two crazy guys that made me love filmmaking so much in the first place. So really, I don’t care how disappointing this movie might be, I owe my entire career to the men who made it. That means it’s an A+ in my book.
Here’s a link to it on youtube.