Should great celebrities leave their first work in the shadows? They certainly shouldnít be ashamed of them. Giving the public access to films such as Within the Woods should be widespread. This film was destined to be a demo used to acquire the original funding for the masterpiece now known as The Evil Dead.
The actors kept their real names, exception made of Shelly. Bruce wears glasses and, here, heís the demon. Once possessed, he exclaims "Join us" a dozen times, which contrasts the "Iíll swallow your soul" found in the later episodes of The Evil Dead. The cottage isnít the same either. The twisted and floating camera angles that are emblematic of Sam Raimi were already an effective tool in Within the Woods. The special effects, concerning the violence in particular, are very rustic but still extremely interesting considering the productionís limited budget.
The film lasts half an hour. It is still successfully divides its introduction, its turnarounds and its suspense but it drops the character development. Any producer equipped with a micro-budget will follow a certain pattern of budget consumption. They will utilize ad-hoc solutions that wonít escape the viewerís eye: they will film in a family owned or abandoned location, they will use animal flesh bought at the supermarket as mutilated body parts and the film will feature improvised and/or inexperienced actors. The film isnít an exception to the rule but still manages to do a good job with the available budget.
Obviously, these remarks also take into consideration that the movie was made over twenty five years ago. Back then, it was shown in a few theatres and acclaimed for its uniqueness. Today, it remains a veteran that deserves to be known, especially by beginning producers who, just like Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi when they started in the business, have a dream.