My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

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EvilDeadChainsaws
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My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

Post by EvilDeadChainsaws »

Hi all, Rob from BookOfTheDead.ws here. As some of you will already know, I made various forum posts on a trip to the USA at some point either towards the end of 2012 or the beginning of 2013. Well I didn't want to post anything until I had done it, and now I have. So much money, preparation & planning went in to this. So here is a brief account of my trip.

On Wednesday December 5, 2012 I flew out from London Heathrow Airport into Knoxville Airport in Tennessee arriving in the evening and going straight to a local hotel. Then the following day I took a hire car and drove out to former site of The Evil Dead cabin in Morristown around 60 miles away. I decided to break it up into two visits, I'd walk there first, check things out, collect a few souvenirs, then walk back to the car. Then I'd drive up and do the filming. That was because If I did get found by the owners while filming and asked to leave, all the items I'd taken earlier would be safe already in the car. Because I parked at a Gas station way down near the main road, I had to walk around a mile to get to the site. I really didn't know it would be as long a walk as that, it looked much shorter on Google Earth. First visit I took three big chimney rocks, some leaves, a bag of soil from the cellar and bag of soil round the chimney, a bag full of tin roof bits, some tree bark, some twigs, a few twisted vines, and put everything in my backpack and hiked back to the car which was very hard work! I finally got back, then drove up and parked just beyond the cabin entrance, which was out of site of all houses except for anyone driving directly past. I spent about an hour filming the walk down the path, around the cabin, different views up on the hillside, and never saw a soul. While the cabin is no longer there, there is still around half the chimney stack, as well as large sections of the roof and some foundations. I then drove the 30 miles to the Clinch River Road/Riverside Road location, used for the opening Oldsmobile driving shots, then another 20 miles to Old Highway 25E seen where Scott shouts at two waving fishermen, filming footage at each location, before heading to a local Morristown hotel for the evening.

On the Friday I headed back up to the cabin site to film further footage, before driving 30 miles down to the site of the destroyed bridge, some of the remains of which are still there. At around noon that day I finished up in Morristown and drove 260 miles over the Smokey Mountains arriving at the hotel in Wadesboro, North Carolina that evening.

On the Saturday in Wadesboro I toured various Evil Dead II filming locations including the The J. R. Faison Junior High School which was used to house the cabin & cellar interior sets and the crew & admin offices/workshops, the Bonsal Ballast Pits which was the location for the climactic medieval section of the movie and now looks very different, and most importantly the exterior Cabin set which still exists although in a very dilapidated state. It's worth adding that a visit to the cabin was only possible due to the fact that I had become friendly with the original owners of the site months beforehand, who in turn were friendly with the current owners of the site. While I won't mention their names here, I would just reiterate my thanks to them for making this trip so amazing! The cabin site isn't accessible from any public roads, it's not accessible at all actually, it's in the middle of a large privately owned section of working cattle farmland, and the whole site has an electric cattle fence around it. I was escorted from the entrance to the site by car, then driven back to the main road once I'd finished.

While both the current & previous owners of the Evil Dead II cabin site welcomed me with fantastic southern hospitality, they have asked me to inform Evil Dead fans that from this point on they will take legal action against anyone contacting them regarding the property, or attempts access in any way, shape, or form. They have allowed me specifically to shoot footage there so fans around the world can see the cabin in detail as it is today, without going there. The surrounding area is a busy working cattle farm and if the cabin begins to pose even the slightest liability to them, with fans phoning up or wandering into their property, it will simply be levelled. The sole reason it's even still standing is the sheer luck that the area hasn't been used for anything else so far.

Please think carefully, you can see comprehensive footage through my site and that should be enough. Do you want to be personally responsible for the destruction of the cabin?


On Sunday I drove up to the Anson County Airport (which was re-named 'Fairview, TN' on screen), before driving to Charlotte Airport to return the hire car and catch the first of several long flights back home. Due to the fact I'd picked up around 30kg of souvenirs (and even though I took a large virtually-empty suitcase exactly for that propose) I still had to pay extra to get everything on the plane. That extra charge still worked out cheaper than mailing that same weight to myself in the UK via USPS. I arrived back in the UK on Monday December 10. All told the trip cost easily over a thousand UK pounds with flights, hotels and car hire.

I shot around 5 hours of video over the various locations, so I will be adding video and screenshots to the website and editing this into a fanmade DVD over the next few months, so watch my site for more info!



Finally back at home in the UK, and have taken a photo of my treasure trove, I've added numbers next to items, and a list of what they are below;

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(Click image to enlarge)

The Evil Dead

1 - The Cabin Site; twisted vines
2 - The Cabin Site; leaves
3 - The Cabin Site; pieces of the roof
4 - The Cabin Site; an old glass bottle
5 - The Cabin Site; sticks, twigs & leaves
6 - The Cabin Site; 3 big chimney stones and one small one
7 - The Cabin Site; soil from the trapdoor hole
8 - The Cabin Site; tree bark & leaves
9 - The Cabin Site; soil from around the chimney
10 - Clinch River Road/Riverside Road; stone chips from the cliffside
11 - Clinch River Road/Riverside Road; gravel from the road
12 - Clinch River Road/Riverside Road; leaves
13 - The Old/destroyed Bridge; large pieces of concrete from the path leading up
14 - The Old/destroyed Bridge; little pieces of concrete from the path leading up


Evil Dead II

14 - The Cabin Site; pieces of the roof
15 - The Cabin Site; pieces of styrofoam from the tree
16 - The Cabin Site; A log from the firewood pile at back door
17 - The Cabin Site; a misc piece of wood
18 - The Cabin Site; a misc piece of wood
19 - The Cabin Site; little section of window beading
20 - The Cabin Site; a misc piece of wood
21 - The Cabin Site; a misc piece of wood
22 - The Cabin Site; a misc piece of wood
23 - The Cabin Site; a little section of the workshed wall
24 - The Cabin Site; a large section of the workshed wall
25 - The Cabin Site; a complete length of window beading
26 - The Cabin Site; a piece of window frame
27 - The Cabin Site; a piece of an interior door
28 - The Cabin Site; a piece of an interior door
29 - The Cabin Site; 3 pieces of wall
30 - The Cabin Site; a misc piece of wood



Here are some quick screenshots from the hours of footage I have;

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Kyle
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Re: My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

Post by Kyle »

Fantastic mate! Glad it all went well.

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EvilDeadChainsaws
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Re: My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

Post by EvilDeadChainsaws »

Added DVD trailer to the first post.

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Re: My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

Post by EvilDeadChainsaws »

At the Evil Dead II cabin site owner's request, I've revised the warning to fans in my first post (the bit in bold/red). Please please heed it as they are serious about this.

DiamondJoe
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Re: My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

Post by DiamondJoe »

Superb photos, one day I'm going to Morristown.

The Evil Dead II exterior cabin set features extensively in an episode of a show called American Gothic that ran for one season in the mid 90s (at least I'm 99% sure it does - it looks identical). The show was produced by Sam Raimi and Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell guested in at least one episode.

In an episode called 'Learning to Crawl' a couple of characters go on a break to a cabin in the woods where they encounter some bank robbers on the run (including one called Ted, played by...Ted Raimi). Anyway the cabin features heavily throughout the episode.

Elise41
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Re: My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

Post by Elise41 »

That is interesting to learn. I knew about the show but didn't watch this ep. It's interesting because originally in Evil Dead 2, there was a robber subplot.

monochrome
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Re: My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

Post by monochrome »

Amazing trip man... you're a lucky man.

DiamondJoe
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Re: My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

Post by DiamondJoe »

Rob, does the track to the cabin just lead straight back at 90 degrees from the road? In the film it looks as though the car turns onto the track from the left and then drives along in a way that suggests the track runs kind of parallel to the road

Kloga
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Re: My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

Post by Kloga »

It's fantastic! Can't wait to see something more then screenshots.
Also, I'm impressed by souvenirs you had taken - priceless things...

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EvilDeadChainsaws
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Re: My Evil Dead fan-trip of a lifetime!

Post by EvilDeadChainsaws »

DiamondJoe wrote:Rob, does the track to the cabin just lead straight back at 90 degrees from the road? In the film it looks as though the car turns onto the track from the left and then drives along in a way that suggests the track runs kind of parallel to the road
The trail from the main road runs in straight to the trail. There is a side-clearing to the left of where the proper trail starts where the car could have turned in from. If you check the main site page you can see the video footage now.
Kloga wrote:It's fantastic! Can't wait to see something more then screenshots. Also, I'm impressed by souvenirs you had taken - priceless things...
If you check the main site page you can see the video footage now.

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