The 30 Greatest Directorial Debuts

21. The Evil Dead (1981)

Director: Sam Raimi

Then-21-year-old filmmaker Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead isn't simply a rollercoaster ride of a movie—it's that flying-off-the-rails coaster from the beginning of Final Destination 3. Out of control from beginning to end, the future Spider-Man franchise director's (who's back in blockbuster form this month with Oz, the Great and Powerful) low-budget first effort is the purveyor of horror's "cabin in the woods" template.

A group of young, likable innocents head to a secluded, wooded crib, find an ancient evil text, and unleash plenty gory slapstick comedy. All, mind you, produced with barely $400,000. The Evil Dead is a glowing testament to the power of imagination over money. —MB

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