On occasion, the internet can be a truly amazing place. This is one small example: I’ve wanted to see Within the Woods since I was around ten years old — reading about the Evil Dead trilogy after you watch them all within a week can breed that urge — and, today, after years of waiting, it’s nothing more than a couple of clicks away. (Beforehand, the only real alternative was buying a bootleg VHS tape [the only form that actually exists] off of eBay. Someone’s gone and cut out the middle man.)
Even those who’ve yet to see the 30-minute short know that Woods was Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell‘s first attempt at the kind of supernatural horror that would only take off a few years later. (In fact, the plot is similar enough that their 1981 classic could almost be deemed an expansion.) Being a (somehow) even more independent production than The Evil Dead, this isn’t so much a film showing its rough edges as it is one comprised entirely of rough edges, but that’s exactly what lends a wholly endearing sense of authenticity. Knowing this low-quality video, made on a less-than-shoestring budget, was the gateway to a film that, over time, would open up the chance for something like the Spider-Man trilogy makes Within the Woods strangely inspiring.
While it may not be on a VHS tape or through a 16mm projector, you can view the work below:
Have you been waiting to see Raimi’s first stab at horror? What were your thoughts?
Welcome to the latest episode of our official podcast, The Film Stage Show. This week, editor Nick Newman, writer Danny King, and I return to discuss the Sony hacks and new trailers. Following that we dive into Jennifer Kent‘s horror feature The Babadook. After that, we take a look at the films coming to theaters and […]
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