The Evil Dead

1981 NR 1h 25m DVD

The Evil Dead

1981 NR 1h 25m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
During an unplanned stop at a remote cabin deep within the woods, a group of teens falls prey to a mysterious supernatural force. As his pals become possessed and turn into flesh-eating zombies, Ash Williams tries to keep his cool and save his skin.
Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly
Sam Raimi
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 17+
Common Sense rating Pause for kids 17 & under
age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that The Evil Dead is a horror masterpiece that upped the ante on gore for the 1980s but also introduced a kind of deadpan silliness to the genre. In 1994, the MPAA gave it its official rating, an NC-17, for "substantial graphic horror violence and gore." The effects are imaginative but dated, and it's unlikely that they will inspire much more than laughter today. The most notable sequence, however, is the one in which a girl is raped by an animated, possessed tree; that one still disturbs. Aside from the extreme gore and violence, there is some drinking, profanity, and brief nudity. The movie is definitely off limits for kids. (Please note: This is not the 2013 remake.)

Sexual Content

There are two college-age couples in a cabin, and so there's kissing, and characters thinking about sex. There is some partial, brief nudity (breasts). There's also the aforementioned "rape" by a possessed tree. (A tree branch thrusts itself under a girl's dress, between her legs.)


In 1983, this movie set a new standard for blood and gore, although movies since then have gone much further. Perhaps the most disturbing scene is the one in which the animated branches of a tree "rape" a woman. There are scary demons (with scary, screeching voices), as well as screaming, stabbing, scratching, fighting, bashing, biting, burning, severed limbs, spraying and/or gushing blood, and the spewing of some unknown white stuff. The hero, Ash, slaps his possessed girlfriend, straps her down to a workbench, and attempts to cut her up with a chainsaw (he can't go through with it). Ash uses a shotgun on the demons and also gouges out some eyes. In the end, the demons' faces melt. All of this stuff is presented in a very goofy, deadpan, tongue-in-cheek manner.


We hear "hell" twice, several uses of "God" and "Jesus Christ," plus "bastard" and "turd."

Social Behavior

The characters here seem like badly-behaved college students, going away for a weekend of drinking, sex, and partying. They blunder into the wrong place at the wrong time and pay dearly. There are no warnings or moral decisions involved; what happens is just pure bad luck.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

The college students drink something from a jar while driving, and then some wine at dinner before all the trouble starts.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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