Cult Screenwriting as seen in the “Evil Dead” Series

There’s nothing more fulfilling for a screenwriter than to have his or her work become timeless. Just like any other artist, a screenwriter wants his or her work to either make a ton of money or be revered for years to come- most want the impossible combination of both. However, sometimes a movie will create a franchise (thus, allowing for financial success) while creating some sort of cult following in return (thus, making his or her work timeless). The “Evil Dead” series is a prime example of this wonderful combination.

The first film, entitled simply Evil Dead, was released in 1981. It followed the typical horror film storyline: a few teenagers go to a cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway, only to find a strange book called “The Book of the Dead” and a haunting tape recorder that revives demons who lay dormant within the trees of the forest. The film was shot down by many U.S. film distributors due to its incredibly violent and gory nature. In 1987 Evil Dead II premiered as a horror comedy, it received better sales and increased popularity. In 1993 the final installment of the franchise, Army of Darkness, was released.

The protagonist of the films, played by Bruce Campbell, threads together the storylines of each movie. Due to the protagonist’s influence in each film, many people have come to identify with franchise. Therefore, his influence widens the cult following even further. Also the strange plotlines, gory visuals, and sometimes hilarious nature of the films provide greater appeal for the cult followers.

Although these films may not seem to be works of art or blockbuster worthy- they are nonetheless entertaining….for some more than others. 

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