Before They Were Stars: Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell Make “Within the Woods”

You’d think that doing a “Before They Were Stars” for the magical pairing of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell would be impossible since everything started for them with The Evil Dead, but you’d be wrong. In 1978, the two of them made a Super 8 short film called Within the Woods, which they hoped to use to secure funds to eventually make The Evil Dead. You can see how many things in Within the Woods would eventually be reused in the Evil Dead films, as the plot involves four friends renting a cabin in the woods that is possessed by spirits. This time, Bruce Campbell’s character is named Bruce instead of Ash and he actually becomes a demon and gets dismembered! Ellen Sandweiss, who played Cheryl in The Evil Dead, is also in this, and the role of Scotty is played by Scott Spiegel, who would later help co-write Evil Dead 2 and later become a successful writer-director-producer himself. Within the Woods should have been fully restored and included on the deluxe Evil Dead special edition DVD set, but because of royalties issues with some of the music used in the short, it had to be withheld at the last minute. It is currently only available via bootleg, and as a result, the version of it posted on Youtube isn’t exactly the best quality. However, I’m sure hardcore Evil Deadites will definitely want to check this curiousity out.

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