Early Sam Raimi & Bruce Campbell Films - Evil Dead Week: Day 2

By: Heather Seebach

 Sam Raimi was barely 20 years old when he made the horror classic The Evil Dead, but did you know it was far from his first movie? He directed his first film, an 8mm western called Out West (1972), at 13 years old. He went on to direct/co-direct The Great Bogus Monkey Pignuts Swindle (1975), The James Hoffa Story: Part II (1976), Uncivil War Birds (1976), Mystery No Mystery (1976), Attack of the Pillsbury Doughboy (1976), Picnic (1977), Charlie's Angels (1977) The Kids' Film (1977), Six Months to Live (1977), The Happy Valley Kid (1977), Lonely Are the Brave (1977), Civil War: Part II (1977), It's Murder (1978), William Shakespeare - The Movie (1979), Clockwork (1979), and Within the Woods (1979) - all while still in his teenage years!

He also appeared in the short films of his friends, such as Evil Dead 2 co-writer Scott Spiegel, director and fake shemp Josh Becker, and of course, Bruce Campbell. The latter, being the "handsome" one of the bunch, also played many on-screen roles. Most of these films are lost or not publicly available but thanks to my own obsessive sleuthing - and the help of fellow Raimiphiles - I have a couple of these films to share with you!

First up is a clip from one of the aforementioned Raimi shorts, which stars Sam himself versus an adorable mascot. Take a look at Attack of the Pillsbury Doughboy:

Next up is a Josh Becker short starring Bruce Campbell as an Indiana Jones parody. Sam also appears as the villanous Nazi in Cleveland Smith, Bounty Hunter (1982):

Next is a Becker/Spiegel collaboration called The Blind Waiter, with Bruce in the titular role and guest spots by Sam, Scott, and Rob "Rip" Tapert.

The Blind Waiter Part 2

And here's a 1979 Spiegel comedy, Attack of the Helping Hand, wherein Sam once again squares off with a little food mascot:

Then there are the films that inspired feature productions. Before Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except, there was Stryker's War (both with Sam as the ridiculous cult leader):

And before there was Intruder, there was Night Crew:

And of course, before The Evil Dead, there was Within the Woods

For more early super-8's made by and starring the "Michigan Mafia", be sure to check out my YouTube Channel here. 

This article is part of Evil Dead Week here at VDA! Check back every day for a new Evil Dead-themed article, counting down to the release of Fede Alvarez's Evil Dead!

Monday: Top 10 Deadites from the Evil Dead Trilogy
Tuesday: The Early Films of Raimi and Campbell
Wednesday: Top 10 References to the Evil Dead Films
Thursday: 5 Reasons to see Evil Dead (and 5 Excuses-Not-To That Are Bullshit)
Friday: My review of 'Evil Dead' (updated)

Saturday: Dissecting 'Evil Dead' Analysis Part 1
Sunday: Dissecting 'Evil Dead' Analysis Part 2 

Bonus: Dissecting 'Evil Dead' Part 3 

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