Books of the Dead

On Film / Short Takes — Sep 13, 2012

Horror fans might assume that director Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies wrote the book on cursed bibles of the damned. But years earlier, in 1967, The Equinox . . . A Journey into the Supernatural, one of the films in this week’s monster mash Hulu festival, featured a remarkably similar leather-bound tome that opened up a portal to another world (in a scene that was drastically cut down when the film was finally released in 1970). Raimi has said that he didn't see this landmark special-effects treat—whose stop-motion animation was designed by a group of young monster lovers that included future multiple-Oscar-winning effects artist Dennis Muren (Jurassic Park)—before embarking on the Evil Dead films. Nevertheless, the similarities between the movies are delightfully unmistakable in this regard (swirling smoke, spinning books, ominous voice-over, the use of the color red), as you can see in the clips below from The Equinox . . . A Journey into the Supernatural and Evil Dead II.