Before Sam Raimi became known as a cult horror icon with his Evil Dead franchise, he made three short films. The last of those early projects is Within The Woods, a direct precursor to the Evil Dead series and the second of many collaborations between the director and actor Bruce Campbell.
Shot over the course of a few days and budgeted at less than two-thousand dollars, the film was originally conceived of as a prototype for generating investor interest in Raimi’s idea for a horror feature. After finally garnering sufficient funds, the filmmaker would go on to successfully realize his feature-length aspirations by remaking Within The Woods as his 1981 breakthrough The Evil Dead (which, for those counting at home, actually makes this year’s upcoming entry in the franchise a remake of a remake).
Despite the video quality of the version available to view online being quite poor, that technical characteristic actually lends the film a nightmarish lo-fi aesthetic that’s perfectly fitting for such a down-and-dirty micro-budget work.