How well do you know 1981's The Evil Dead?


By: Torrance Grey

6 Min Quiz

Image: The Movie DB

About This Quiz

Bruce Campbell arrived on the horror scene with this twist on the "city kids in the middle of nowhere" trope. How much do you remember about this low-budget, high-gore classic? Find out now! (Looking for a quiz on the 2013 remake? You can find that elsewhere on

Which director made The Evil Dead?

Evil Dead was Sam Raimi's first feature film, which he's described as a kind of initiation. His brother, Ted, now an actor, was a stand-in during filming.


What year was Evil Dead released?

Most of the film was made in 1980, when director Raimi was just 20 years old. He's a good example of the "just get started doing what you want to do" school of thought.


In what state does The Evil Dead take place?

Sam Raimi and several colleagues were from Michigan and wanted to film there. However, they couldn't find a suitable cabin and filming location in that state.


Other than Bruce Campbell, which now-famous actor appears?

Campbell was the film's only breakout star. It might not have helped that two of the actors had to use false names in order not to be penalized by the Screen Actors Guild.


What is the name of Bruce Campbell's character?

Ash Williams has become a cult figure. He anchors the Evil Dead franchise, most recently appearing in the Starz series, Ash Vs. Evil Dead.


What's the name of the other man in the group?

While Ash is sensible and sensitive, Scotty's the type who jumps out and yells "Boo!" at tense moments. (There's one in every horror movie.)


Which of the girls is Ash's girlfriend?

Betsy Baker, who played Linda, got the job by answering a newspaper ad. Somewhat suspicious, she insisted on meeting the producers in public.


What foreboding event happens to the five youths on their way to the cabin?

A sign at the bridge claims it will bear three tons, but the car's wheel goes through. The near-miss with the truck came shortly beforehand.


What relationship is Cheryl to Ash?

Cheryl was played by Ellen Sandweiss. She's been active in other Evil Dead franchise productions.


What happens to Cheryl as she's sketching the clock?

Cheryl's hand acts independently of her will, sketching a rough picture of a book with a face. At least, that's what it's supposed to be. To us, it looks like a grocery-bag mask.


What movie poster can be seen in the cellar?

It's popularly believed this was an homage to the Jaws poster visible in The Hills Have Eyes. That was supposedly Craven's way of suggesting his film was scarier than Jaws -- thus this Hills poster was Raimi's way of saying that his film would be more frightening yet.


Who goes down to investigate the noises in the cellar?

Fairly typically, the guys go down while the nervous girls wait in the living room. Of course, Cheryl's going to spend a lot of time in the cellar, a bit later!


What is the name of the book in the cellar?

The Naturom is a version of the Necronomicon, which is a fictional book invented by H.P. Lovecraft. The book has become so notorious that many people believe it is real, requesting it at bookstores.


The guys bring a tape player up to the living room. What's on the tape?

The archeologist has been in "the ruins of Candar" and is now recording his research. Sounds dull, but the kids keep listening anyway.


According to the archaeologist, what was used for ink in the Naturom Demonto?

Not-so-fun fact: Human blood won't really work as ink. It beads, then flakes off when it dries. (We don't know this from personal experience, we swear.)


Who recites the incantation that summons the demons?

Naturally, the boundary-pushing Scotty just has to play the tape, even as the archaeologist starts reciting the forbidden words. Cheryl is upset and wants it turned off, but this happens too late.


What does Ash give Linda at the cabin?

The necklace makes several prominent appearances after the mayhem starts. It's a symbol of Ash's love and his unwillingness to kill his possessed girlfriend.


What happens to Cheryl when she goes into the woods?

The vines wrap around her wrists and ankles, tear off most of her clothes, and then -- well, you get it. This scene caused Raimi the most problems with censors and critics.


Why can't Ash take Cheryl back into town?

The bridge is the last straw. Initially, the car won't start, and the fog is pretty thick -- but neither of those things deter Ash and Cheryl.


What are Linda and Shelly doing just before Cheryl goes demonic?

Shelly is indulging Linda, pretending she's right about the number and suit of the cards when she's not. Then Cheryl begins guessing accurately from across the room -- uh oh!


What does Cheryl stab Linda with?

Linda's injury is the main reason Ash and Scotty don't try to leave the cabin. She can't walk on her injured leg, and there are no drivable routes with the bridge out.


After failing to shoot Linda, how does Ash deal with her possession?

Yes, this will certainly work! It's not like the cabin doesn't have, like, three shattered windows already.


Ash tries to kill his girlfriend, Part 1: What's the first technique he considers?

Ash levels the gun at her and says, "God forgive me." However, he can't pull the trigger.


Ash tries to kill his girlfriend, Part 2: What's the second method he considers?

Ash chains her to a table, then fires up the saw. Why is it that long-unused cabins always have chainsaws with gasoline in the tank, ready to go?


Ash tries to kill his girlfriend, Part 3: What's the third method he considers (and actually tries)?

If all this is starting to sound misogynistic, note that Bruce Campbell has said he felt bad about the scene where he repeatedly hits the possessed Linda, and Raimi later regretted the "vine rape" scene.


Which two characters appear to be cured of their possession?

Linda first appears restored, then Cheryl pleads to be released from the cellar in her normal voice. Of course, it's all a ruse.


How does Ash finally destroy all his possessed friends?

Ash throws the book into the fire. This begins a lengthy sequence in which the possessed bodies fall apart and melt. Raimi had a bit too much fun with stop-motion animation here.


Does Ash survive the events of Evil Dead?

Ash appears to be caught by the evil force at the film's end; at the car, he's rushed by a "monster POV cam." But they had to resurrect him -- otherwise there could be no franchise!


Which now-famous filmmaker helped edit the film?

The film's main editor was Edna Paul. However, Coen was her assistant at the time.


Whose glowing endorsement helped attract a distributor?

King was shown the film before its release. He called it "ferociously original," which went a long way to giving the film legs.


While the sequel was simply called Evil Dead 2, what was the third installment called?

This installment sees Ash sent to the Middle Ages. There, he battles Deadites and woos a medieval lady.


What kind of car do the kids drive?

The Oldsmobile is also seen in both sequels. According to IMDb, it's one of Sam Raimi's "director trademarks."


Sam Raimi and Evil Dead producer Rob Tapert collaborated on what tongue-in-cheek cult TV series?

Tapert married the series star, Lucy Lawless. Bruce Campbell had a recurring role as Autolycus, King of Thieves, and Raimi's brother Ted played series regular Joxer. They're a tight-knit crew!


Which of the following is NOT part of the Evil Dead franchise?

There was also a reboot in 2013. This was a loose remake of the original, directed by Fede Alvarez.


What kind of pendant is on Cheryl's necklace?

Ash's gift has a little magnifying glass at the end. Cheryl declares the necklace "beautiful," which is a little bit of a stretch, objectively speaking.


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