If you’re a fan of the "Evil Dead" series, you’ll probably want to stop everything that you’re doing right now. Sam Raimi’s 1978 short film “Within the Woods,” the film that inspired “The Evil Dead,” is now available in its entirety via YouTube. Given that all too often the news brings a coal-in-the-stocking present like, well, an "Evil Dead" remake, it’s always a feel-good moment when we are given a gift such as this. While the quality of the short film isn't so hot, fans will get a kick out of seeing Bruce Campbell and Ellen Sandweiss, back when they were teenagers, playing early versions of Ash and Cheryl from the 1981 horror cult classic.
Shot with a $1600 budget, this short film was what Raimi used to get the necessary funds in order to make "The Evil Dead" just a few years later. The film was shot on location in a cabin in the woods and all the effects were done in a very “low budget” way. Also worth noting, one of the characters in the short, Scotty, is played by Scott Spiegel, who later went on to co-write "Evil Dead II" with Sam Raimi a few years later.