5. The Evil Dead
Films: The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II (1987), Army of Darkness (1992)
The DIY horror franchise was produced for a total of $17 million, combined. The series was born in the late '70s, when three guys in Michigan—Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Robert Tapert—decided to make a film instead of succumbing to the dull lives they saw ahead of them. Thirty-five years later and we can see exactly how special this project proved to be.
Raimi went on to helm the Spider-Man films. Tapert became a prolific TV producer; his most recent hit Spartacus is a Pop Culture channel favorite. Campbell has remained a cult icon, appearing in quirky projects of all sorts. The success that the trio found shouldn't surprise you, as the fusion of horror and self-conscious slapstick has never been done as well as it was in the Evil Dead films, despite many attempts to replicate that specific magic.