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This list draws together information from various sources, but draws heavily from three books; The Evil Dead Companion by Bill Warren, If Chins Could Kill by Bruce Campbell, and Rushes by Josh Becker, to give as complete a list of Super-8 short films as possible. All these books are a must for any Evil Dead fan, and I would highly recommend buying all three of them. It includes titles directed by Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Rob Tapert, Scott Spiegel, Josh Becker, Bill Ward, Matt DeWan, and John Cameron, and are listed in chronological order, with screenshots & photos included where available. Further notes have also been added on some of the earliest shorts thanks to Scott Spiegel.


Interested in buying the Super-8 Short films that started it all? They're available for the first time officially on DVD, only at Super8Shorts.com. Follow the Super8Shorts.com Facebook Page to keep up with updates.



01. Inspector Klutz Saves the Day
1969

Directed by Bill Ward, Matt DeWan and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Ward, DeWan and Spiegel.





This was shot in April and September 1969 at Bill Ward's house. At first Bill & Scotty were going to chip in and buy the famous Lon Chaney 1925 Phantom Of The Opera unmasking scene on Super-8 from the Captain Company in the back pages of 'Famous Monsters magazine'. Then Bill mentioned he had a Super-8 Camera and Inspector Clutz was born.

The very first thing you see is the black & white A Hammer Film Production credits, taken from the Super-8 black & white silent edition of Taste The Blood Of Dracula (1970). You can also see Christopher Lee's fall from the same movie edited into the climax of their later movie A Night In A Sanitarium (1973). The 'Mad magazine' Bill is reading in the first scene is issue #131 dated December of 1969, which came out around late September or early October 1969, making this one of their last shots to shoot. In a way Inspector Clutz was inspired by 'Mad magazine' right down to the word "klutz" which the magazine practically invented. Bill's moth eaten socks, sucking his thumb, reading 'Mad magazine', and tripping over the ottoman really sums up the movie. You can see co-star Matt Dewan's face for a brief moment about a minute and a half in, when he lowers the credits blackboard he is holding. It's the only time you see Matt's face without the Mummy mask, except for a glimpse of him in the brief outtakes at the very end of the film.

Scotty's mom bought both the monster masks featured in Inspector Clutz at Eaton Drug store in Birmingham Michigan around Halloween 1968. the 'Zombie' mask was way too big for him, and the 'Mummy' mask looks to be a Don Post 800 line mask. Scotty hated that in order to visually talk on screen as the zombie, Ygor, he had to grab the lips of the mask and move them up and down. Scotty also had matching 'Monster Claws' too. Also interesting to note is Bill's original 1964 Aurora Hunchback of Notre Dame model on the table in the lab.

During the scene where Dr Finkenstein finds Ygor in the road outside, you can see their Sub-2 Beach Clubhouse in the background, and behind that is Walnut lake. You can also see snow on the ground, even though it was April. Scotty's coat changes mid-way through the movie, he had one coat on when shooting In April and a different coat in September. His favorite all time gag is when the 'Monster' (Matt Dewan wearing the 'Mummy' mask) awakens and gently touches Dr Finkenstein (Bill Ward), who goes flying across the room! He always regretted that you couldn't see Anne Ward (credited as 'The Little girl in window') due to the lack of light. When the 'Monster' attacks 'Inspector Clutz' in the living room at the climax, a re-run of The Dick Van Dyke show is playing on TV in the background.

During the end credits, you can see Paul Ward pointing at his end credit on the black board; 'B.A.E.' (stands for Best at everything). After that, you can see some outtake footage with Matt Dewan without the 'Mummy' mask, as well as cameraman Jeff Reid horsing around. There was hardly any editing in the film and most of what was shot was in-camera. Soon after the short was completed, Scotty recorded Vic Mizzy's scary haunted organ music off of a TV showing of Ghost & Mr. Chicken (1966) and then later played back the music at showings of Inspector Clutz.



02. Public Enemy Revisited
1971

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Becker.





It is the story of a fellow, played by Josh, who has just finished watching James Cagney's movie Public Enemy, and now feels inspired to call a girl and make a date, which he does. So he calls another girl and makes a date for the next night, then the next, and the next. Everything looks great until the girls all call back and one by one they all reschedule for that same night. Now he has one date at 7:00, one at 8:00, one at 9:00, etc. The resolution was seeing Josh going into various houses, then coming out, supposedly an hour later, each time wearier and wearier, ostensibly from having had sex with all of these girls. He finally collapses, crawls to the camera, and says just like James Cagney riddled with bullets at the end of Public Enemy, "I ain't so tough," then dies.

Shot when Josh was 13 years old, his 8th grade English class the teacher suggested that if anyone had any Super-8 movies to bring them in and they'd all watch them. The teacher showed some of Josh's home movies, including Public Enemy Revisited, lacking its soundtrack and needing to be narrated, and received a rather tepid response.



03. Pies and Guys
1971

Directed by Bill Ward and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Spiegel, Ward and Matt Taylor.





This was shot in June 1971 at Scotty Spiegel's house. It was their first Three Stooges style comedy; opening with the "Hello, hello, hello" audio credits used in the Three Stooges Joe Besser shorts from 1957-1959. You can see Scotty's red house in the background, which also appeared in Stryker's War (1980), and in the feature version Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except (1987). All the wilderness you can see in the background is gone now, it's full of big expensive homes today. The family Collie; Rex can be seen eating the pie on the ground, and Scotty's five year old little brother Stevie can be seen darting out of a scene or two, and way in the background you have his two-year-old old niece Aimee.

They filmed without a script, just rehearsing a few times and going for it once the pies started flying. They were so low budget that they could only afford two full Banquet cream pies (each pie cost 38 cents back then) so they loaded up buying the Hostess Fruit Pies at 15 cents each. Scotty accidentally slipped on a pie and at one point and fell to the ground, which got the biggest laugh in the movie, totally by accident! Look out for Bill doing some of Curly Howard's classic snapping the fingers shtick. Scotty's friend & neighbour Jeff Reid shot this, he remembers him saying to all look at the camera near the end of the film just so he could get a good shot of all three of their pie covered faces. His mom and sister were standing by with the hose to clean everything up when they finished; pie was everywhere!

When Bill & Scotty had the premičre at their beach Club House later that summer, all the people from the neighbourhood were there, and everyone was laughing and having a good time. A few of the adults collected money there on the spot from the audience encouraging them to buy a 'splicer'. They took the money and never looked back. Ironically their next film was Corny Casanova’s, shot virtually entirely in-camera and in sequence with only one or two edits. They tagged the end of the film with 'The End Of A Mess' written in chalk on the backboard before Scotty replaced it with a Castle Films, 'The End'.



04. Corny Casanovas
1971

Directed by Bill Ward and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Spiegel, Bill Ward, Matt Taylor, Lisa Reid.





This was shot in July of 1971. The first half was shot at Bill Ward's house, the second at Matt Taylor's house. It's a loose re-make of the Three Stooges classic Corny Casanova’s (1952) which was incidentally remade by the Three Stooges themselves as Rusty Romeo’s in 1957.

At the start you'll see Scotty perform a minor stunt, he put a piece of cardboard in his pants and actually sat down on some tacks! The soundtrack is around 25% their actual voices, and the remainder Three Stooges voices; mostly an angry Moe yelling at everybody. Scotty was Moe, Matt was Larry and Bill was Shemp. They had their first in-camera special effect in the split screen they did when Matt (Larry) calls up Belle (Lisa Reid) and she answers the phone, which Scotty recalls could have worked better if they put the camera on a tripod.

The movie picks up pace in the second half, and the sound effects sync up a little better. The hallway Where Matt & Scotty are pacing back and forth in was way too small, and it's hilarious as they pretend not to notice each other even though they are almost in each others faces. This entire movie was shot in sequence and almost entirely in-camera. There is an added cut-away of an Evil Dead style Pendulum clock from the Jerry Lewis classic The Nutty Professor (1963) which was added in the mid 1990's as a transition. It replaced a shot of the wobbling black board with Bill replying "That's funny. I always drink coffee" written in chalk which Bill already says on the soundtrack, so Scotty replaced it with the clock shot. They really learned a lot about plot structure and film making in general from the Three Stooges, they were better than any film school.

Their friend, neighbour & classmate; Lisa Reid is the female co-star and her brother Jeff did the lighting & shot it. Scotty recalls "Lisa was a great sport for taking that pie in the face – those were her own clothes!". They were so low budget, that instead of a cake they could only afford a 38 cent pie; lucky that their pie hit was much better than the stooges cake hit in the original short. This was the final film in which they used the dialog blackboard, although they still used it for later opening/closing credits. The end title card is a black & white ending taken from a silent Super-8 Three Stooges called Hold That Lion (1947). They edited Corny Casanova’s on the back of a plastic Super-8 reel cover that contained the movie, using a double-sided razor blade. When finished, they showed it at the Walnut lake beach clubhouse again and all around the neighbourhood, and getting big laughs.



05. Out West
1972

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Raimi, Chris Cornetta, Bill Ritter, Liz Larsen, and others.

This was Sam's first Super-8 movie, and features neighbourhood children of several ages goofing around in what looks like someone's basement rec room. Everyone seems to be having a great time, and nothing makes any sense. There's a gunfight of sorts, with everyone making up at the end.

Sam remembers the movie as running two minutes, "It was an adorable little thing," says Sam. Out West is only really identifiable as a Western, because a couple of the boys are wearing cowboy hats and cap pistols; otherwise, everyone is dressed in street clothes. Seventh-grade Sam is prominent on screen, often grinning into the camera, sometimes waving; there are a lot of bystanders, but whether they're supposed to be characters in the film, or just happened to be in the basement at the time, it's impossible to say. Once completed, Sam didn't return to movie-making for several years.



06. Oedipus Rex
1972

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Becker, Bruce Campbell, Scott Spiegel.





Josh, Bruce & Scott's ninth grade English classes joined together for a special project on ancient Greece. Everybody had to choose their own final project, which would be for your whole grade for this special event. Josh chose to make Super-8 adaptation of the play; Oedipus Rex.

Josh cast friends in the various parts, the requirement being that they had to bring a sheet to wear as a toga. Bruce Campbell was Cast in the pivotal role of King Creon, and actually arrived in a real purple toga with gold trim, borrowed from Bruce's theatre group; St Dunstains. Bruce recalls "I think Josh was impressed, not with my acting abilities, but because I brought my own embroidered toga."

Josh cast himself in the lead, and cast a girl He's always had a crush on, Ann Debenham, as Queen Jocasta, although Ann burst managed out laughing in every single shot she's in. Bruce's good buddy Mike Ditz photographed the film.

Scott remembers the highlight of the film was "Oedipus turning his back on the camera and tearing his eyes out. It then cut 180-degrees to reveal my hands and face covered with fake blood."

When he was about to show the finished film to the two combined classes, then realized that the reel would not fit onto the projector. The two teachers and two entire classes sat and watched while he panicked. He finally put a pencil through the reel and just held it as it un-spooled.

Josh had written excepts of text from the play on the blackboard and photograph them as title cards between the action, just like an old silent movie, although upon this first screening he realised that no one could read any of the titles because the writing was too small and the focus was a little soft. His teacher, Miss Cutler, blithely suggested, "Just tell us what it says," but unfortunately he couldn't read it either, and hadn't memorized the play, and so was stuck.

"My classmate Jane Gordon baked baklava for her project, I made a motion picture" Josh remembered, "She got an 'A' and I got a 'C'. Admittedly, it was good baklava and it was a bad movie, although I'm still not convinced they even had such a thing in ancient Greece."



07. Super Student
1972

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Kevin Corcoran





Following Oedipus Rex, Josh's next production, Super Student, was much more ambitious. During movie class Josh suggested they make a film, and his teacher, Mr Buck, agreed. Mr Buck brought in his own Kodak Super-8 camera and simply let Josh take over although Mr. Buck cut the film together.

This film was completely based on the gag of making things disappear by shooting, stopping the camera, removing something from frame, then shooting again. The super student was played by Josh's friend Kevin Corcoran, could point at anything and make it disappear. First it was other students, then teachers, then the principal, and finally the school itself. To pull this off, he got permission to film all over the school and even got teachers to play themselves. "I came up with a concept and shot it and everyone just went along with me." says Josh, "It was really a wonderful situation now that I think about it."

The finished product was screened for the entire school in the auditorium. Each person the super student made disappear brought louder laughter and applause. When it got to the principal, whom we first see scolding the super student, who then looked at the lens, winked, then made the principal disappear, it brought the house down. Then the super student then went outside and made the entire school disappear was simply more than they could have possibly dreamed, and the audience went wild. At the audience's loud demand they had to immediately show the film again, and the second time it got an even bigger response.

"That was a great movie," Sam noted. "The audience cheered because he made the assistant principal disappear, and then he made the whole school disappear. He was the Steven Spielberg of the year." Bruce also saw the short; "I remember thinking-that rat bastard! - I was making stop-motion stuff with Mike Ditz and was lucky if my parents would watch. This guy got the whole school to see his movie."

Bruce, Scott & Sam were all in this audience. Later Bruce asked Josh later "...why he hadn't cast him in the film? Was he unhappy with his performance as King Creon in Oedipus Rex?" Josh replied, "Why weren't you in the [movie] class?" Bruce had taken the history of sports class instead. Sam, meanwhile, can be seen in the background of a hallway scene wearing his then trademark deerstalker cap.



08. Imp of the Perverse
1973

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Unknown

The next year, and following on from his success with Super Student, Josh made another Super-8 short for a college film class. The first was an adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe story called Imp of the Perverse. He finally got past his synchronized sound difficulties by shooting the film silent, then sending the edited film to Kodak and having them put a sound stripe on it. He then read Poe's story as narration. "I got enough footage and it all went together," says Josh "I even had a few bits of visually interesting lighting, and a couple of cool dissolves."



09. The Magnificent Severed
1973

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Unknown

Shortly after Imp of the Perverse, he made another Super-8 short for a college film class. This was a horror story entitled The Magnificent Severed "a title I thought very witty at the time." Josh recalls, "It starred my mother, who was killed, but then came back from the dead. It was shot silent, had no narration or title cards and was entirely understandable. This was a cinematic breakthrough for me."



10. The Long Walk
1973

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Unknown

The film was a gangster story shot in back-and-white. it was Josh's first 16mm short, which was made at the local community college where they had a roomful of old 16mm film equipment.

The film was shot on a huge old Auriconi with an electric motor that had to be plugged into the wall "Unfortunately, I was technically overwhelmed." regrets Josh, "The guy who had stepped forward to run the camera, said he knew how to run it. He walked around with a light meter, and to all appearances seemed like he knew what he was doing." When the footage came back from processing, every single shot had been improperly exposed. "I was utterly horrified, and completely screwed. It meant a total reshoot, and I had neither the money nor the time, so the film was never finished."



11. Supa' Bad
1973

Directed by Bruce Campbell.
Cast: Don Campbell, Scott Tyler, Bruce Campbell, Roger Bick.



12. D-Day
1973

Directed by Bruce Campbell.
Cast: Don Campbell, Scott Tyler, Bruce Campbell, Roger Bick.

Bruce and his little group made a number of similar war movies, "just little scenes," as he puts it. "I was playing Hitler, Violence was a big thing, for some reason; lots of carnage and mayhem in my early movies. But it was just trickery very primitive and simple; we used dummies a lot, because dummies were cool. You could do a hidden cut and throw a dummy in. It was a good, cool hobby".



13. Day of Violence
1973

Directed by Bruce Campbell.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Scott Tyler, Roger Bick, Don Campbell, Steve Davis.



14. Son of Hitler
1973

Directed by Bruce Campbell.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Don Campbell, Scott Tyler, Roger Bick.

Hitler, goose-stepping around suburban Michigan, is too young to drive, so his mother chauffeurs him around town in a station wagon. Many of Bruce's films made around this time tended to be fairly serious in tone, before joining creative forces with Spiegel and turning more to slapstick.



15. Piece of Mind
1973

Directed by Bill Ward and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Ward, Spiegel, Matt Taylor, Scott Taylor, Mike Coatney Jim Lossia.





This was shot in March and April 1973 at Walnut Lake market & Bill Ward's house. It was inspired by a joke on the classic 'Laugh-in' show at that time (in its final season in 1973), in which Ruth Buzzi says "When I dated that brain surgeon all he wanted was sex so I finally had to give him a piece of my mind", That, and the idea of Dr Frankenstein-like brain transplants. They tried to do an 'original' within the Three Stooges framework, borrowing the 'who threw those pies?' routine and a few other Three Stooges gags.

It shows them growing as filmmakers, again very little editing, and shot mostly in sequence. All the scenes shot at the store were shot at one time, and edited in later. The guy playing their boss; Jim Lossia, really was their boss in real life. Bill, Matt and Scotty (and later Bruce Campbell) all worked for him. This was Mike Coatney's first film with them, and he steals the show as the mad doctor! Matt's brother; Scott Taylor, makes his first appearance as Ygor, the mad doctor's goon assistant. The mad doctor's house was actually Bill Ward's house. Scotty recalls " Watch when the doctor comes out, Bill hits Matt in the face with a shovel full of snow! It cracks me up when Matt grabs Bill by the hair and pulls him inside saying 'Come on you'."

Matt Taylor's cries of terror when he's on the operating table are really something. They left in Matt's screw-up; when they rescued him from the operating table, Matt was supposed to say "Thanks fellas. If it wasn't for you I would have had to give that doctor a piece of my mind" but instead he flubs the line and you can hear Scotty immediately start laughing. Near the end you see a Topstone green 'Ghoul' mask on the monster, along with Imagineering 'Bloodshot Evil Eyes' to complete the effect. It's Matt Taylor that slams the 'Ghoul' in the face with a pie. The 'Bulldogs' you can see on the back of Matt's jacket was the Hockey team he played for at the time.

'The End' title shot, with the floating skeleton and bat hanging in the background is from the tinted 3D Super-8 Three Stooges short called Spooks (1953), purchased from the back pages of 'Famous Monsters magazine' back in 1973. Scotty still has the $7.53 money order receipt made out to the Captain company.



16. For Crimin Out Loud
1973

Directed by Bill Ward and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Ward, Spiegel, Arn Rosen, Greg Kosrin.





This was shot in January 1973 at Arn Rosen's house. The year before, Bill and Scotty were in the school play Fiddler On The Roof (Bill was the star). Arn Rosen also featured, and he filled in for Matt Taylor as the third stooge in this film. Arn was the class clown at West Maple Junior High. His big claim to fame was that he did a hilarious rendition of the 'Big Fig Newton' song & dance "Ooey, gooey rich and chewy inside, golden flaky tender cakey outside, you wrap the inside in the outside and you're good darn tootin' you've got the big Fig Newton!"

It's a re-imagining of the classic Three Stooges short Shivering Sherlocks (1948). It was shot all on a Sunday, all in one day. Scotty added the 'Wide Awake Detective School' shot just after the opening credits later on. The role of the goon was portrayed by fellow classmate Greg Kosrin. He played it with blue netting over his face and he made it all work in a very weird but effective way. Cameraman Jeff Reid makes a rare, brief appearance at the beginning as the goon's first victim. Scotty recalls "Some of the timing of the scare routines works better than it should, Bill's funny when he realizes he let the goon in the room – Hey! – that should have been the title - 'Goon In The Room'. Now I think of it, or even 'Goon In A Room', or 'Goon On The Roof', or even 'Goon With The Wind'!". Scotty added a stock shot of the goon falling into the ocean, as well as stock shots of them all falling off the roof and into the fountain at the end.



17. A Night in a Sanitarium
1973

Directed by Bill Ward and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Ward, Spiegel, Mike Coatriey Carol Sahakian, Dave Souder, Chuck Baker.





This was shot in June and July of 1973 at Carol Sahakian's house and Mike Coatney's house. It was their biggest production up to that point. Matt Taylor was away for the summer playing hockey, so the team was down to just Bill & Scott. Much of the rest of the cast had previously worked together in the 1972 school play Fiddler On The Roof, so it was a re-union of sorts. That play also gave them the idea to build sets in Mike Coatney's basement. You can see the flimsy set walls flutter when they have their big chase scene at the end. The female lead; Carol Sahakian was Bill's girlfriend at the time and we shot some scenes at her house, but most of the film was shot at Mike Coatney's house. Mike co-stars once again, this time as Count Dracula. Dave Souder portrays the Wolfman and Chuck Baker is Dr. U. R. Loose. Scotty recalls "I love the concept of the credits painted on glass, but it's all too dark and we really needed to have it shot on a tripod.".

Lots of the sanatorium patients are wearing 'Topstone' masks. There is a scary 'Burman Hunchback Mask' which makes a quick shock appearance courtesy of a quick shot from the 1965 film Tickle Me. Scotty recalls "When Bill is shaving we should have started close in on his reflection in the mirror and then pulled back to reveal the shaving cream on his reflection in the mirror, and the toothpaste Ben Gay gag doesn't come off, that bathroom was just too small to do anything in." They re-used a Son Of Dracula (1943) skit, where Dracula is named Count Alucard (Alucard is Dracula spelled backward). In order to pull off the werewolf make-up, they used 'Stein's Stage Blood' from their local costume and make-up shop called 'Van Beau Costumes' in Royal Oak Michigan. They actually got a lot of other stuff there, like crepe hair for the Wolfman, grease paint, and derma wax. Bill Ward created the Wolfman make-up. Dave Souder popped a pair of Imagineering's Glow In The Dark 'Evil Teeth' in his mouth and took a gulp of water for the 'drool' oozing out his mouth.

Scotty later added the stock lightning shots, and an exterior 'Croaker's Sanatorium' sign, as well as a soundtrack dialogue taken from Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), and some of the music from Son Of Dracula (1943) and a Themes From Horror Movies album by Dick Jacobs and his orchestra. The two cues used for the chase and climax of the movie were The Deadly Mantis (1957) and The Horror Of Dracula (1958). They used the same The Deadly Mantis track in Within The Woods (1978). The black & white moon is cut in from the Super-8 version of Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman (1943, and Dracula falling to his death is from the Super-8 black & white silent edition of Taste The Blood Of Dracula (1970). Finally, 'The End' ending shot with the skeleton & bat hanging in the background is from the tinted 3D film Tails Of Horror (actually that's what Columbia titled it, it was actually scenes from the 3D Three Stooges short Spooks (1953).

The monster chase scene and the final battle between Dracula and the Wolfman were the best things Bill & Scotty had done at this point and shows them growing as filmmakers. At the time they screened it, people reacted wildly. After they'd made Loose Loot (1973), Scotty showed Bruce Campbell some of their movies and he was so impressed with the monster chase and end fight scene in this short, that he agreed to co-star in their next film; Three Smart Saps (1973).



18. Loose Loot
1973

Directed by Bill Ward and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Ward, Spiegel, Matt Taylor, Mike Lewis, Scott Taylor.





This was filmed in September 1973. This was a much simpler film than A Night At The Sanitarium, with a small cast shooting in one location over one day. Originally it was intended that the short be set in a 'Tyre Store', with a sign saying 'Big Blowout Sale!', but the lack of a budget forced them to settle on Matt Taylor's garage. Matt Taylor had taken a puck to the mouth playing hockey so they had to limit the rough stuff with him; a bucket of water in the face and a rubber hammer on top of his head and away from his swollen mouth. Scotty made all of the prop rubber hammers, pipes & shovels. New comer Mike Lewis and veteran Scott Taylor appear as the slick crooks, and it's Scotty's voice you can hear on the radio describing the crooks. Matt's brother John and his mom shot the movie.

It gets a little dark as the fight breaks out, because they lost the sun and didn't really have enough light inside with the garage doors shut. The original Loose Loot title got chewed up in their projector a long time ago so a quick clip of the Three Stooges short, also titled Loose Loot, was edited in there as a replacement. The 'Ye Olde Furniture Shoppe - Antiques Made While U Wait' shot was also spliced in later, as was the cut away of the police car, which is a stock shot from the TV classic ADAM-12.



19. Three Smart Saps
1973

Directed by Bill Ward and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Ward, Spiegel, Bruce Campbell, Matt Taylor, Scott Taylor, Mike Coatney





This was filmed in September, October and December of 1973 at Matt Taylor's house. It was Bruce Campbell's first co-starring film, and he blew them away, arriving prepared with his own costume & make-up kit! He really made them step up their game. Mike Coatney co-stars as Claude; Mike's first 'normal' role, dressed as he did in real life. No Dracula cape, no mad scientist coat, just 1970s plaid polyester bell bottom pants. This was Scott Taylor's last appearance in any of their films for some reason. Maybe he was fed up with being typecast as a 'goon' one too many times. "I always thought Scott was a solid addition to our stock company of actors - plus he was always a hard worker behind the scenes and in those days it was very hard to find committed people to work on the movies." recalls Scotty.

The first half of this movie is a little like the Three Stooges short Pardon My Clutch (1947), with Claude selling the saps a piece of crap car. The car in question was Mike Coatney's 1965 Plymouth Belvedere, which had seen one too many Michigan winters. The car stalled constantly. When the car takes off down the road and Scotty goes running after it, it stalls and Scotty had to suddenly stop in order not to catch it up, and in doing so he almost twisted his ankle! The black & white shots of the feet on the brakes crashing through the floorboards and the engine dropping out, were edited in from a Castle Films W.C. Fields Super-8 movie. The second half of the movie dips into the Three Stooges short Shivering Sherlocks (1948). They copied the "Angel. Strangers in the house" skit with Bruce. During the later fight scene in the basement, Matt told Bruce to slap him very lightly because Matt still had that swollen mouth from his hockey accident. You can tell Bruce is being way too gentle when he's fake slapping Matt.

A few shots were chewed up in the projector back way back, so remain missing here. They showed Bill dispatching the goon at the other end of the basement. He takes a metal spike and jams in the goon's butt causing the goon to hit his head on the wall, knocking him out. Bill looks at the once-straight metal spike in his hand and it is now all 'coiled up' like a pig's tail and Bill says "That guy must have iron in his blood". The laundry room phone near where Scotty clobbers Mike Ditz (Bruce's sidekick) with the iron, is where Scotty called Larry Fine of the Three Stooges in December 1973, around about the same time as they shot those scenes actually. They were writing letters to Larry & Moe and getting handwritten replies and autographed pictures back. Matt and his mom set it all up, and Matt was on the other phone upstairs. It was expensive back then to call long distance, and the first time Scotty had ever spoke to a celebrity. He still has that phone recording of the conversation on cassette tape to this day. A few months later Matt and even Bruce Campbell called Larry; so everyone got a chance to talk to a stooge.



20. Three Pests in a Mess
1974

Directed by Bill Ward and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Ward, Spiegel, Matt Taylor, Bruce Campbell, Mike Coatney, Mike Ditz.





This was shot in January 1974 in Mike Coatney's basement and at the Walnut Lake Elementary School. It was the final Spiegel, Taylor and Ward film. It co-starred Bruce Campbell, Mike Coatney and Mike Ditz. That's Bruce's Mom's 1966 Chevy station wagon that drives by in the beginning nearly hitting them, with Bruce's mom driving. In the 'unpaid bill' scene at the counter, Scotty added some Three Stooges dialogue from a routine in the short; Shivering Sherlocks (1948). Listen and you'll hear Bruce speak a line or two in the voice of Christine McIntyre, Bill becomes Moe, Scotty speaks in Shemp's voice and Matt speaks in Larry's voice. They jump around using stooges voices and their own voices. "I love it when Bill pokes his hand on the pointed spindle, hilarious when I set the burning cake on Matt's back. Bruce is the brunt of all of our stupidity. Matt sleeping standing up, his elbow on the top of the broom handle is a classic." recalls Scotty.

Bruce plays their Boss, Mr. I. Fleecem, and Mike Coatney takes a funny fall on his ass when being seated. When Scotty answers the phone, you can tell he calls out the name "Mr. Fleecem". Bruce was tormented in the scene where he takes his hat off and throws it on the floor and then has to take an awkward big step forward to stomp on it because he missed his mark. He really wanted another take so that when he slammed his hat down it would go straight down on the floor so all he had to do was stomp on it instead of having to take a big step over to stomp on it because he tosses it too far over.

This was their first pie fight featuring actual full size pies (not the little Hostess fruit pies they used in Pies & Guys). The pie fight is choppy as some of the shots were eaten by their projector. They shot the pie fight outside Walnut Lake Elementary School where Bill, Matt and Scotty all went to school when they were kids. Scotty was so disappointed with the outcome of the pie fight in this movie, that he made another film two months later called Half Wits Holiday and that had a pie fight to end all pie fights (right up until they even beat that one with their classic pie fight from Hoffa Part II (1976) which Scotty still says is one of the funniest pie fights he's ever seen.



21. Booby Bartenders
1974

Directed by Bill Ward and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ward, Spiegel, Mike Coatney





This was filmed in January 1974 in Mike Coatney's basement, and co-starred Bruce Campbell and Mike Coatney. They didn't have a budget, a crew, lights or Matt Taylor for this one (Hockey again) so Bill and Scotty are working as a duo. This was the last film Bill and Scotty did in collaboration. He did come back a few years later and help Sam Raimi and Scotty on It's Murder (1978) though.

It's all a very dark affair, and not even Scotty knows what's happening on that opening wide shot, but once it cuts to a medium shot, thing become a little clearer. They are supposed to be making some 'Buddy Love Potion Number 9'; an elixir to turn nerds into hunks. Bruce and Mike are hilarious and they get to feature their favourite mask at the time; the Don Post classic 'Tor Johnson' mask. "On weekends we used to go to movie theatres & restaurants and put that mask on and dress up like an old man and pretend to fall over and fake heart attacks scaring some people, and making some others laugh. It was so much more innocent back then." recalls Scotty. The great Henry Mancini supplied the music, and they end up with pies in the face of course. Watch out for the bit towards the end when Bill takes off his pie covered glasses!



22. Curse of the Werewolf
1974

Directed by Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Spiegel, Bruce Campbell, Matt Taylor.





This was filmed July 1974 near Bruce Campbell's house, in the same area they shot Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter (1982) years later. They intended to make the full Curse Of The Werewolf short, but other films got in the way so it remained as a 'teaser'. Bruce Campbell played the hunter; the werewolf's first victim. Although Scotty never discussed this with Sam Raimi, he always thought that "the shot opening over the arm of the werewolf, was very similar to the over the arm shot of possessed Bruce when he goes to choke Ellen and pin her back against the Monopoly game in 'Within The Woods' (1979)".

The awkward credits should include 'Directed by Scott Spiegel', but he ran out of block letters so had to get very creative and come up with 'stage works'. At least the chalk written credits on a black board finally came to an end. It only took five years! That black board was always by the phone in the Ward family kitchen, used to write down names & numbers of callers.

Tim Quill came along shortly thereafter and filled in for Bill. Bruce joined them again when they re-made, word for word, the Three Stooges classic Half Wits Holiday (1947). Spiegel, Taylor and Quill continued as a team until 1975 and continued to work together in various movies well into the eighties, Scott and Matt Taylor were in Sam Raimi's Crimewave (1985) and Matt helped out on Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except (1987) which co-starred Tim Quill. Once Scotty moved out to Hollywood California in 1987 that was the last time he worked with Matt. Tim came out to Hollywood and snagged a beefy role in Sam Raimi's Army Of Darkness (1992), and they've been working together ever since.



23. Three on a Couch
1974

Directed by Scott Spiegel and Bruce Campbell.
Cast: Tim Quill, Matt Taylor, Spiegel, Campbell.



24. Half-Wits' Holiday
1974

Directed by Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Spiegel, Matt Taylor, Tim Quill, Bruce Campbell, Tom Williams, Sue Diezel, Dave Sedustrum.



25. Manhunt
1974

Directed by Bruce Campbell.
Cast: Campbell, Matt Taylor, Scott Spiegel.

The group alternated directing & acting between themselves. The shorts Bruce directed often featured his brother Don and his friends Scott Tyler and Roger Bick. This was the first short in which Scott Spiegel acted and Bruce directed. The story was inspired by Richard Connell's often-imitated The Most Dangerous Game. It also featured Scott's frequent co-star Matt Taylor.



26. All the Worlds a Stooge
1974

Directed by Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Matt Taylor, Tim Quill, Spiegel, Bruce Campbell, Mike Ditz.



27. No Dough Boys
1974

Directed by Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Spiegel, Matt Taylor, Tim Quill, Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Tom Williams.

This short was a gag fest about wayward delivery boys, and the first to feature Sam Raimi as part of the expanding group. Sam's first role, as was almost always the case, was a thug.



28. You Nazi Spy
1974

Directed by Unknown.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi.



29. The Singing Nuts
1974

Directed by Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Spiegel, Matt Taylor, Tim Quill, Bruce Campbell, Amanda Cote.



30. I'll Never Heil Again
1975

Directed by Scott Spiegel and Bruce Campbell.
Cast: Spiegel, Matt Taylor, Tim Quill, Campbell, Sam Raimi, Doug Sills, Tom Williams.

Campbell's work as an actor at St Dunstains, helped out their Super-8 productions a lot. "We did a film called I'll Never Heil Again," Campbell explains, "and we needed military costumes. So I went over to St Dunstains and borrowed them - for years, in fact, old suits, old military costumes, never inventoried. It was a great resource for all that stuff."



31. The Great Bogus Monkey Pignuts Swindle
1975

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Raimi, Scott Spiegel, Bruce Campbell, Gary Parks, Jim Herrold, Peggy jamison, Laura Locke, Diane Ricoz, joady Broad.

A crime caper in which a scarfaced gangster called Scarface, sporting a colossal cigar, orders a case of monkey pignuts. The pignuts turn out to be bogus.

Sam Fake Shemps as a newsboy. Bruce Gangster and Scarface fight, but stop to adjust each others collars. A very weird short even by their standards. Bruce plays several roles, mostly gangsters, and does a pratfall over a wall into a creek. Eighteen inches below the water, however, his skull met with a slab of discarded concrete. "Nonetheless, my credo remained the same: As long as it was captured on film, it was worth it." says Bruce



32. The James Hoffa Story
1975

Directed by Scott Spiegel and Bruce Campbell.
Cast: Campbell, Spiegel, Sam Raimi, Rudy Bublitz, Tim Quill, Peggy jamison.

Bruce, comes out of a restaurant and hangs around on the sidewalk, knowing he is due to be kidnapped, and wanting to be co-operative about it all, But when the kidnappers arrive, sent by a James Bond villain-type mastermind, they grab the wrong guy and the rest of the film is a lot of slapstick chases and pratfalls. Finally Hoffa is indeed kidnapped and dumped headfirst into a garbage can.

The James Hoffa Story and its sequel are silly slapstick comedies. Bruce played Jimmy Hoffa, Sam and Scott were the kidnappers. "We put flour in Bruce's hair; he was great. Then we did a sequel, The James R. Hoffa Story, Part II." says Spiegel

Detroit is the land of teamsters, so the chance to re-enact the abduction of former boss James Hoffa seemed like a good idea. Filming at the actual restaurant only two weeks after his disappearance was not, however, and it got them kicked off the property in twenty minutes.



33. The James R. Hoffa Story, Part II (aka Home Sweet Homicide)
1976

Directed by Scott Spiegel and Sam Raimi.
Cast: Spiegel, Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Rudy Bublitz, Matt Taylor, Tim Quill, Christie Gritton.

The sequel begins on a beach, and has no discernible plot. A gangster, played by Tim Quill, left over from the first film has comic adventures on a beach, unaware he's now targeted because he knows who dumped Hoffa in the dumpster. Back at the Red Fox restaurant, he is killed and tossed into the same dumpster, but Hoffa is still alive and we learn that he has tricked his kidnappers by remaining upside down in that garbage can for six months. He flees, encountering Sam as a pie salesman in pith helmet and sunglasses. Scott and Sam do a bunch of slapstick takes until Scott throws Sam over a table of pies. Everyone gets one in the face, sooner or later. Bruce, Fake Shemping, does another role as a guy with a goofy grin, among several others.



34. James Bombed in Here Today... Gun Tomorrow
1976

Directed by Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Spiegel, Annette Laduke, Brett Sherran, Bill Aaron, Tim Quill, Rudy Bublitz.

James Bombed is, of course, a 007 spoof crossed with the Three Stooges. Not surprisingly Bruce Campbell plays the secret agent, and there are indeed many boxes sent flying by cars careening down alleys.

Spiegel's job at the Walnut Lake Market in West Bloomfield, Michigan supplied many of their Super-8 staples. Bruce recalls, "Scott could get all the boxes we ever needed. He'd get boxes, pies, any kinds of food, stuff they technically couldn't sell any more, but would look good. We could break eggs, mess around with potato salad, anything we needed. Scott was king of the pies, but the boxes were very important too, because cars could go smashing through them for a spectacular look. The heyday of the boxes was probably during James Bombed in Here Today". Gun Tomorrow, where cars were smashing though boxes for no reason."

Perhaps the most memorable, if that's the word, aspect of this entertaining little movie is Campbell's moustache, which appears and disappears throughout. He was eighteen by this time, and the moustache was a soon discarded attempt to look even older.



35. Attack of the Pillsbury Doughboy
1976

Directed by Scott Spiegel and Sam Raimi.
Cast: Raimi.





Sam eats breakfast, pouring curdled milk onto cereal. He set his finger on fire in a microwave oven, and falls headfirst over a turkey He summons up the Pillsbury Doughboy from the commercials, and immediately attacks it, flattening it out, with jelly pouring out like blood.



36. Uncivil War Birds
1976

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Scott Spiegel, John Cameron, Bill Kirk, George Zania, Dan Nelson, Tom Williams, Matt Taylor, Ted Raimi and a cast of hundreds.



37. Mystery No Mystery
1976

Directed by Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Raimi, Spiegel, Bruce Campbell, Tom Williams, Matt Taylor, Peggy Jamison and Monty the Bulldog.

(a) Super-8 version: Bruce, as an old man, is seen writing: he's murdered. Sam, doing jerry Lewis stuff, is a detective come to investigate, and Scott is the butler. There are some scenes in a graveyard, including a fight, lots of slapstick, some violence, Bruce Fake Shemping as a gardener, and Sam getting thrown off a balcony Scenes at Pasquales Family Restaurant.

(b) 16mm: this stars Scott as the old man and Bruce as the detective, but is only a short scene, not the entire plot, which is featured in the Super-8 version and the later It's Murder! remake.

Scott Spiegel went up to Travers City to visit Bruce Campbell, who was working in a local theatre at the time. They showed an actor Bruce was working with some of their movies: "One of the defining moments of my life was showing Tom Smothers our Super-8 movies. He laughed hysterically as he watched them, which put us in shock." later he sent Campbell and Spiegel a cheque for $500 to help finance more of their cockamamie projects. "We actually used it toward equipment or films," Campbell swears, and the film that benefited most was the Super-8 Mystery No Mystery, made after he returned home in the fall.



38. The Case Of The Topanga Pearl
1976

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Becker, Ellen Sandweiss, Scott Spiegel, Sam Raimi.





This was a detective film Written by Josh Becker and shot in one day at his parents' house. The film starred Josh as detective Victor Temple, Sam Raimi as the Peter Lorre-like bad guy (played entirely on his knees as though he were three feet tall), Ellen Sandweiss as the femme fatale, and Scott Spiegel as the white bearded old man from whom the pearl is initially stolen.

This was Josh's first synchronized sound film, and also the first time he ever worked with Sam, Scott and Ellen. Shortly after shooting had completed, Josh moved to Hollywood. He edited The Case Of The Topanga Pearl in L.A. One he started editing the picture he recalled "I sincerely wished that I had put a lot more time into shooting it. It was okay, but what was there was a bit sloppy. I was also missing a few shots that I could no longer get, and the film wasn't really finished without them."



39. The Choice
1976

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Becker, Rick Sandford.

This was another one-day Josh Becker production. A very short film with the easiest production imaginable.

He found a short-short story called The Choice by W Hilton-Jacobs, with only two characters in one room sitting in chairs speaking. One was played by Josh, the other by Rick Sandford, doing a British accent.

Josh was unhappy with how it turned out; "I managed to do a poor job wrangling the few people and items I needed to the location, then had to rush like mad to get it all shot in the time remaining. I got all the shots I'd planned to get, but again they all turned out kind of sloppy. When I got the footage back and watched it, I had somehow picked up a loud buzzing radio frequency signal in the microphone cable that distorted the sound badly enough to make it worthless. I edited it all together, but since you couldn't decipher the dialogueue it was a big waste of time. Lack of a sound projector kept me from dubbing it."



40. Picnic
1977

Directed by Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Annette Laduke, Raimi, Spiegel.

Bruce, in a Groucho moustache, baseball hat and goofy grin, is having a picnic with a girl. He waves at Scott and Sam, offering them some food. They run toward the two on the blanket, but Sam trips and falls headlong down the hill, landing on all the picnic goodies. More slapstick follows with the remaining food. This short won an award for best stunts from Joe Sasso at Detroit's WXYZ radio.



41. Charlie's Angels
1977

Directed by Scott Spiegel and Sam Raimi.
Cast: Annette Laduke, Pat Jamison, Linda Butler, Spiegel, Raimi.

The soundtrack seems to have been lost for this comic variation on the TV series, featuring lots of scenes of girls running down office building hallways carrying guns. Scott has the David Doyle role. There is no discernible plot because of the lack of a soundtrack. However, there are gags with a bicycle, and a man in a blanket falls down.



42. The Kids' Film
1977

Directed by Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: a whole bunch of little kids from Walnut Lake School.

Sam and Scott taught a class at Walnut Lake School one summer, and this is one of the most charming of their Super-8 movies. It features young children doing more or less the same stuff Sam, Scott and Bruce do in the other movies, including Three Stooges-like slapstick gags, and lots of gangsters (few of whom are twelve yet). There are even some stunts, which must have caused a few parental faces to blanch. Everyone looks like they are having a wonderful time.



43. Six Months to Live
1977

Directed by Sam Raimi and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Raimi, Spiegel, Bruce Campbell, Jane Bultrud, Kathy Stepanian, Matt Taylor, Jon Page, Tim Quill, Rudy Bublitz, Bill Aaron, Ivan Raimi, Bill Kirk, Ted Raimi.
Crew: Mike Ditz, Clay Warnock, Bruce Campbell.





Bruce's doctor tells Sam that he has only six months to live. "I can't die!" Sam wails. "I'm too good looking. I'm not going to die, am I? There's no future in it." "Relax," sneers Bruce, "that's the last thing you're going to do." Sam tries to find a way to have fun in the six months remaining, seeking the help of Scott and others. Its one of the funniest shorts, with Sam's best comedy performance and lots of good sight gags (and Bruce Fake Shemping like mad), and concludes with Sam killing himself.

This short was made with Scott and Bruce and their new 'company', The Metropolitan Film Group (MFG). Not being involved in the production, Josh remembers seeing this for the first time; "I laughed all the way through it. I may have been in Hollywood for the past year, but these guys were making better movies than me; movies you could actually show to people, and that get laughs.

Scott, Raimi & Campbell appeared on a local horror movie programme hosted by 'The Ghoul', Ron Sweed. He invited Spiegel to return on a regular basis. After seeing it, Ron was so impressed he showed Six Months To Live on air. Scott recalls "Not a very scary movie to show on the show, but all of a sudden, Sam and Bruce and I, mostly Bruce and I, ended up guest-starring on his show, with Bruce doing a Close Encounters parody dressed as a woman. It was really cool."



44. The Happy Valley Kid
1977

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Rip Tapert, Ivan Raimi, Scott Spiegel, Bruce Campbell, Raimi, Ruth Taubman, John Cameron, Pierre LaBlanc, josh Becker, John Kata.





As their ambitions grew, so did their budgets. The average film cost of around a hundred bucks soon ballooned to four or five hundred. Bruce recalls "Eventually, a question began to loom: Can we actually make money with these things?"

Bruce had a low-rent apartment in Royal Oak, Michigan. Rob and Sam were in East Lansing, attending Michigan State University where Sam was studying literature and Rob was finishing up an economics degree.

Sam suggested that they all make a movie together, and wrote the script called The Happy Valley Kid. In Sam's words, "He was a student just like you. His roommate abused him, his girlfriend dumped him and his professor hated him. Then, the week before finals, his mind snapped. He became The Happy Valley Kid." Dressed as a cowboy he guns down a few people before being killed himself.

They shot the movie on and off over one wintry school term, and the production was not without its highlights. "There was a massive snow storm," Tapert explains, "and they'd shut down the campus. So we hitch-hiked to Meiers Thrifty Acres (or Meiers Shifty Fakers), which is a big discount place, and bought a ton of film. Then Sam got in line at the liquor store, bought a keg and some cases of beer, threw a party in the hall, and filmed it."

Its a comedy but there are some touches of pathos. Ivan was originally going to play the title role, but didn't have the time, so Sam asked Rob, originally scheduled to play the room-mate, if he would play the lead. He always enjoyed acting, and jumped at the chance. Sam didn't stop tormenting Rob, though; in the credits, he's billed as 'Rip Tapert'.

Sam brought the film up to Michigan State University to finish it during school and he enlisted Rob to help-to the extent that he was soon missing final exams. The film was shot on campus, featuring Sam and Rob's actual professors. Josh, Scott, John and I came up on weekends to fill in the various roles of snotty desk clerks, mean-spirited classmates, security guards, etc.

The Happy Valley Kid was the first movie that Sam had ever done without Bruce and Scott being actively involved, though they're both in it. With Sam being up at State, they came up to do big scenes and post-production only A lot of the shooting was Sam and Ivan and me, or Sam, me and someone else."

The finished Kid cost $700. The film was advertised in The State News, and they showed it on campus, charging $1.50 admission. Word of mouth spread and it became a hit grossing around $5,600. "It got a good reaction, and I had no idea what to expect. None whatsoever," Tapert admits. "The first screening we had was the most nerve-wracking thing I had ever done. I was so nervous I couldn't be inside - a classic story - so I just listened through the doors.

"We cut another five or six minutes after the first screening, and then started running it four times a week, twice on Friday and twice on Saturday up at Michigan State, and people started to go see it. We played to half to two-thirds filled houses. I think we did thirteen or fourteen weekends, then and at the beginning of the next fall, over the life of the movie. We left the following March."

"It was a really weird experience for us," Sam recalled. "Every night the place was packed and every night we'd split this tin of dollar bills-fifty dollars for Ivan (Sam's older brother), fifty dollars for me and fifty dollars for Rob. It was like, 'What the hell's going on here?"'. Eventually, after forty-four screenings, the film began to fall apart. "We finally had to retire it just to preserve what was left of it," Sam explained. "But it was hard to say good-bye to two hundred and fifty dollars a night, I will say."

Rob Tapert mentioned in a Xena online webchat that he has an inch tape and a vhs copy in New Zealand. "The only Super-8 print was virtually destroyed (all the sprocket holes shredded in the projector) in April of 1979 when they we showing the movie to John Cameron, at NYU. That was the night that the US helicopters crashed while trying to go into Iran and get the hostages. Sam still has the film in a bag and is going to restore it one day. Peter Jackson has a special machine in New Zealand that will transfer super eight with bad sprockets to digital. It is the only machine like this in the world. I need to convince Sam to preserve the Happy Valley Kid."



45. Lonely Are the Brave (aka The Drama Movie)
1977

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Bill Kirk, Linda Quiroz, jane Bultrud, Richard Smith, Don Shand, Dan Nelson, Doug Sills, Raimi, Mrs Labatt.

This was made for Groves High, and is really just an introduction to the drama department, with some gags, including some violence. We see parts of a rehearsal for How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.



46. Civil War Part II
1977

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Raimi, Doug Fierberg, Steve Chickeral, Bruce Campbell, Scott Spiegel, Ted Raimi, Dean Casparian.

Sam, in strange, raccoon-like makeup, rushes in to interrupt a ponderous narrator who's been telling us there's no film footage of the Civil War. Sam shows us a lot of leftover footage from his first Civil War movie, only without sound. As in the first, we see people, mostly in 1977 clothing, marching along with modern guns and replicas. This includes some odd angles, smoke and gunfire, and tumbles down hills and into streams.



47. The Final Round
1977

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Becker, Stanley Schwartz, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Bill Aaron, Scott Spiegel, Matt Taylor.





Having moved back from Hollywood to Detroit, Josh wrote a script called The Final Round, a boxing comedy that he wanted Sam to star in. Sam was living in East Lansing going to Michigan State University at this point, and was just starting production on The Happy Valley Kid. Sam said that he was too busy to take the lead part in the film, but he would be happy to take a smaller part.

Josh gave Bruce a call, and they met up at the local hang-out, Howard Johnson's. He gave Bruce his 18-page script for the zany boxing comedy. Bruce read the entire script right there and, never once cracked a smile, let alone actually laugh. When he was done, Bruce looked up and said, "Let's make it." Josh was somewhat aghast. "I guess you didn't think it was funny, huh?" Bruce finally smiled. "It'll be funny when we get out there and make it."

For the next several months the entire Metropolitan Film Group and I worked on The Final Round in their spare time during the week, then they all drove up to East Lansing and worked on The Happy Valley Kid on weekends.

The story revolves around a cowardly geek (Josh Becker) and a rigged boxing match with a former heavyweight boxing champ (Bill Aaron) who appears to have some sort of brain damage. The shady promoters, played by Bruce and Scott, want their champ to have one big last fight, so have to find the most unlikley candidate for him to fight, to be sure he'll win. Other members of the Metropolitan Film Group also played parts, John Cameron as the announcer, and Bill Kirk as the referee.

Josh and Bruce meticulously planned the whole production, Scott recalls "For the first time in my life, I got all the shots I had planned to get and the movie actually cut together in a rational form. Except that it was supposed to be a comedy and it wasn't funny. I should've known when Bruce didn't laugh reading the script."



48. Acting And Reacting
1978

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ruth Taubman, Scott Spiegel, Matt Taylor, Charlie Campbell, Ted Raimi, John Cameron, Pam Becker, Debbie Raucher.





Bruce's and Josh's next short was called Acting And Reacting, written and directed by Josh, and starring and produced by Bruce. Josh says "This was a troubled production from the outset, with those around us loudly proclaiming both before and during the shoot that we were making a stupid artsy-fartsy movie."

This short lacks the basic storyline & narrative found in many of the other shorts. Bruce plays the lead and 'presenter' recounting events through his life, which are then played out as scenes with actors, centred around his accumulated knowledge of acting and reacting as appropriately as he can, to the various situations he finds himself in.

The film subsequently went through some reshoots, photographed by Josh's friend, Sheldon Lettich. But Josh remembers the finished film fondly; "I think Acting And Reacting remains one of the most interesting of the Super-8 films. It's the only film of its day to attempt to capture what we all actually looked and sounded like at the time, and it succeeds to some extent, too. It's also a nice little production with several well-photographed sequences, achieved with helpful lighting assistance from Mike Ditz."



49. Holding It
1978

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Bill Kirk, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, Bill Aaron.





Following Acting and Reacting, Some bad feeling had emerged between Josh and some other members of the Metropolitan Film Group, who felt that Josh had been running the show a little too much. Bruce & Sam were not part of this and agreed to help Josh with his next production, a straightforward, Hitchcock-style thriller entitled Holding It. Because of the 'rift' neither Scott Spegel or John Cameron worked on it, and nor did Mike Ditz help with the lighting.

Josh called Bill Kirk, who he really didn't know very well at the time, and asked where he stood on this rift? With a wonderfully succinct snort Bill dismissed the whole thing, saying it all meant nothing to him, and if I had a part for him he would be happy to play it. Josh offered him the lead and he took it. This was Bill's only lead in any of the Super-8 shorts.

This short uses some interesting pieces of music including among others; 'Supernature' by Cerrone (1977) as the pulsating disco chase music, and 'Hip's Trip' from the The Man With The Golden Gun OST (1974) by John Barry, used as the ominous suspense cue.

Bill Kirk plays the 'wrong man', Bruce plays both the right man, as well as the James Mason-like villan. Sam plays one of the two thugs who abduct the wrong man, then lose him, and end up chasing him for a fair amount of the film. The action culminates in a big bloody shoot-out where everyone gets killed, except Kirk, in hyper slow-motion. In the finale, Bruce has been shot and lies on the steps. Bill kneels down to him and Bruce hands him the gun, which Bill takes. Bruce's character then dies and spits a big mouthful of blood up all over his own face, in slow motion, which always got a huge audience reaction.

The film was shot entirely in the course of one long weekend. While shooting, the slow motion effect was achieved by not only speeding up the film while shooting, but also having everyone act like they were in slow motion, too. We used a mustard bottle connected to a length of rubber hose for the squirting blood effects and it worked great.

The film's electronic disco track made "...A very hip score for 1979." Josh recalls "This was my first fully-functional, completely conventional film, and it basically worked just like it was supposed to. My biggest gripe looking back after all these years later is that is should have been cut faster. It's sixteen minutes and ought to be twelve or thirteen."



50. Shemp Eats the Moon
1978

Directed by John Cameron.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Jane Bultrud, Ellen Sandweiss, Matt Taylor, Bill Kirk, Bill Aaron, Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel, Kelly Pino.





Bruce plays a private detective called Shemp Malone who is hired by Violet Lysol to find her uncle's killer and return the 'moon', a valuable pearl stolen during the crime. Violet's chauffeur Lamarr, who is really working for Sashia 'The Snake' Reptilica, tries to frustrate Shemp at every turn killing each of his potential leads. Due to The Snake's bungling henchmen, Shemp is accidentally given the pearl hidden in a Chinese takeaway which leads The Snake to believe he's eaten it. Running out of leads, Shemp finally finds his way to Potemkin Trucking and to The Snake herself.



51. It's Murder!
1978

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Scott Spiegel, Raimi, Ted Raimi, Richard Smith, Bruce Campbell, Cheryl Guttridge, Bill Aaron, Matt Taylor, Tim Quill, John Cameron and Monty the Bulldog.





The guys figured that if The Happy Valley Kid could be a commercial success, then an even bigger film could do even better. Sam and Scott worked together and wrote their first feature length Super-8 Production, the first of its kind.

By this time they were more systematic about making the films, largely due to the influence of Vern Nobles and the lessons learned during the making of The Happy Valley Kid: "The '77 period began with us getting organised, trying to get people to commit to being in the films, though none of them were professionals - they were still just our friends from school - but we'd tell them we needed them for a whole day on Saturday you can't have a dental appointment" Bruce says.

It's Murder! is a broad comedy with an intricate plot and a lot of characters. Scott plays a stupid detective, investigating the death of a father, and the whereabouts of his will. Both Jane Bradley played by Cheryl, and Uncle Jasper and played by Sam, try to kill the detective at every opportunity to stop the will being found, so they can inherit his estate, while Milton, the son and rightful air, assists the detective. Milton eventually digs up their father's grave and finds the will on the body, only to be attacked by Jasper's henchman. A grand car chase ensues, and good finally triumphs.

Uncle Jasper, played by Sam, is an old man in a wheelchair, who seems to be in some confusion as to whether he has a twin bother or not, and sometimes forgets about the chair. When Scott calls to him from the foot of a spiral staircase, Sam cheerily responds, "I'll be right down!" And tumbles out of the chair to the foot of the stairs. The film is uneven, with some very bright moments, but it's hard to follow and probably too long for what it is. It uses music from a number of scores, but draws most heavily from Hitchcock's Psycho & North By Northwest

During that summer, they did most of the shooting, but then everybody had to go back to school that fall. Bruce wasn't at college and was available and eager to double for any actor who was missing. Scott also did some Fake Shemping where he could, although was working a forty-hour week. The lead bad guy, Matt Taylor, was long gone. Scott and Bruce wound up running around grabbing shots on weekends and sending them to Sam so he could cut them in. "I wore other guys' outfits all the time, and did a lot of Fake Shemping." says Bruce.

This script required plenty of stunts. A climactic car chase ruined Sam's family Ford Grenada. His father tried to trade in the car several months after filming, but he had a hard time. "It's funny, the guy at the dealership said it had a cracked engine block," Mr. Raimi told Sam. "I wonder how that happened?" Another car, a 1962 Cadillac, was purchased so it could be destroyed intentionally. "This was a good news/bad news scenario, because afterwards, we had to get rid of it, and in the end they pushed it off the cliff."

Another important element of what would become The Evil Dead came aboard on It's Murder!, and that was make-up and special effects technician Tom Sullivan. Sullivan also created the It's Murder! poster.

To get a richer look with better sound, they also decided to shoot at twenty-four frames per second, as opposed to the standard eighteen frames. This was a huge decision according to Sam, "it was like going Cinemascope because it required another thirty percent of film stock."

Rob Tapert found himself being drawn further and further into Sam Raimi's filmmaking world: "Sam and I had an apartment together up at Michigan State we were working on It's Murder!. He needed help doing the sound, and I blew off a big test I had to help Sam, but the idea started formulating in my mind. Well, I know a few guys who have money, maybe I could get the money together tot make a full feature film?"

The budget of the film went well over two thousand dollars, and after limping to a halt, It's Murder! was 'released' and shown on the Michigan State University campus that winter, with great fanfare. Expensive ads were run in The State News, "I was killing myself with ads," Sam said. "Two hundred dollars for these big ads and renting the place was one hundred dollars for janitorial services. The whole thing was very expensive. I had to lug the big speakers there in the car and the projector and the sound amplifier and the films, extension cord and the speaker wire. The heavy-gauge speaker wire was like garden hose. It was a lot of stuff to carry and pack up. It was not how you wanted to spend Saturday nights."

All the effort proved to be a fruitless affair. A handful of the cast and crew were on hand that opening night, but they turned out to be the only patrons. The next night, there was only one paying customer. Sam shares his pain: "About thirty minutes in - it wasn't quite halfway and I saw the shadow of a hand come up on the screen, throwing his hands up in the air saying, 'This sucks. I don't even want my money back.' Then, he stood up and the chair went bappity, bappity, bappity and I heard his clump, clump, clump, down the steps, then the door opened and I was left alone in there. I thought, 'I could watch the rest of the movie which is forty more minutes, or I could rewind it which is thirty.' I remember just rewinding it for thirty minutes backwards sitting in the balcony and I was thinking, 'I gotta somehow figure out a way not to be in this position again.'"

Scott Spiegel is still somewhat fond of It's Murder!, and it does have some funny scenes, but the others were dismayed by the audience response to the film. In fact, Bruce says, "It was a bomb, a total flat-out bomb, a two thousand dollar bomb. There was Sam just wallowing in his misery after making a killing off The Happy Valley Kid." Scott counters this by pointing out that later on It's Murder! did play to satisfied audiences at Groves High, and eventually made back all of its money.

But something that happened during the screenings which made them take note. Sam & Scott had decided to include a shock sequence in the otherwise comic film. "We had a scare in the back seat of a car that I picked up from I Saw What You Did, being a big William Castle fan," explains Scott. "It worked so well in the original film that John Carpenter also used it for Halloween; the killer in the back seat." The scare sequence has a preamble, but the shot itself is simple - a menacing figure suddenly rises up in the back seat of a car the driver thought he was alone in. It still works, and if you saw it, you'd jump. Screenings of the film were always met with a lacklustre response, but that scene always delivered-people never failed to jump out of their seats. "It worked great," Sam noted. "When we showed it, that was the one part, the only part of It's Murder! that really worked well." Aside from comedy, "scares" were the only other guarantee of provoking a strong reaction from the audience. "Even though It's Murder! was a financial catastrophe," Rob says, "That moment basically made us think that we could go out and make a feature-length film."

Note for completists: Cheryl Guttridge later turned to writing fiction under the name of Margaret Allison. She specialises in romantic suspense novels, and her books include Promise Me, The Last Curve and Indiscretion.



52. William Shakespeare - The Movie
1979

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Bruce Campbell.





The short starts with a narrator telling us about Shakespeare, holding up programmes and the like, then Bruce and a college actress play out a scene ("Some-times Kate the curs'd..." from The Taming of the Shrew) outdoors in a snowy wood, although the short mainly consists of Bruce getting graphically beaten up.

This short was made for Sam & Rob's respective film courses at Michigan State University, made with Bruce Campbell and an actress from MSU. It's just a few scenes from The Taming of the Shrew.

It's worth noting that for the first time, Sam experiments boldly with a moving camera, and even a bit of gore, but the sound isn't good. It's a handsome, energetic film with lively performances.



53. Attack of the Helping Hand
1979

Directed by Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Linda Quiroz, Sam Raimi.





A short film similar in tone to Attack Of The Pillsbury Doughboy. A woman played by Linda Quiroz is attacked by the hamburger helping hand, a scene reminiscent of the severed hand in Evil Dead II. Sam turns up halfway though as a milkman.



54. Clockwork
1979

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Cheryl Guttridge, Scott Spiegel.





That the 'scare' was the one part of It's Murder! that really worked well. Aside from comedy, 'scares' were the only other guarantee of provoking a strong reaction from the audience.

This prompted Sam to write a short film called Clockwork in early 1979, which was made as part of his film course. It's a short, effective suspense piece about a woman (Cheryl) who begins to suspect that she's not alone in her home. Outside in the snow, a figure (Scott) watches. As she goes to bed, he enters the house waking her up. After playing for suspense, He attacks her, with a bleak ending.

Clockwork is easily the best thing Sam had made up to that point. He was clearly learning the just how powerful audience-manipulating tools, a camera and effective editing could be. There are some elements that don't quite fit but it's perfectly paced, and builds smoothly to a disturbing climax. It's worth mentioning that Tom Sullivan created the titles for Clockwork.

This short has an excellently ominous and suspenseful score, which is actually one long piece of music called 'The Rapist' taken from Michel Polnareff's Lipstick (1976) score.



55. Night Crew
1979

Directed by Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Linda Quiroz, John Cameron, Sam Raimi, Tim Quill, Christie Gritton, Bill Aaron.





This was a Super-8 prototype for Scott's 1989 feature film of the same name, which also had the same basic plot. It was made around the time of Within The Woods and utilised the same group of people. It's partially based around Scott's experiences working at the Walnut Lake Market in Michigan. John starred in the film as a crazed killer in a grocery store, although played more in the mould of Michael Myres from Halloween rather than the character portrayed in the feature. Sam played one of the hapless store employees who gets his head sawn in half on a band-saw. This particular sequence was shot in a different way to the feature; from the opposite side of the head, instead of face on. It did however, use a similar type of rig fixed to a styrofoam head that was packed with goo and guts. You see the top of the head being chopped and then Sam's hands and arms flailing about!

Scott, John & Mike started making this horror short, and once it was in production Scott asked Bruce if he would help him complete the film, and bring his camera along. He agreed, and ran camera and worked on the lighting with Mike Ditz for the final two nights of shooting. Once completed, Bruce stayed on and helped Scott with the sound effects and the scoring. "it all went together pretty well," Bruce recalls "Scott and I both saw that we could actually work together rather harmoniously."

Scott lost his only Super-8 print of the film around 1980, unfortunately. He would take it along to parties with a projector and show it, but it got lost, which made him so mad as you might expect. He does still have some outtakes though.



56. Within the Woods
1979

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Scott Spiegel, Mary Valenti.


PLEASE SEE THE 'WITHIN THE WOODS' SECTION FOR MORE INFORMATION



57. Terror At LuLu's
1979

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Liz Dennison.

A brief horror film set in LuLu's Lingerie, one of a chain of stores owned by Sam's mother. It's about a woman trying on lingerie late at night while being tormented by a mysterious man/thing.

It was used as a test film to check the viability of shooting The Evil Dead in Super-8, then enlarging to 35mm. They used a Boleau; the finest Super-8 camera they could get with the best lenses and a very specific film stock. For the first time they rented professional lights & used particular lighting ratios, and used professional cameraman, Steve Mandell. They wanted to assemble a rough mix of light, dark and in between shots, to see how each exposure would hold up in the blow-up process. The first attempt was ruined due to Steve making a simple mistake with the camera, which resulted in all the footage coming out black, and was further compounded by the fact they'd paid to have this blown up to 35mm.

Everything had to be re-shot. When the 35mm blow-up came back from Interformat Labs in San Fransisco. They screened it at the local Maple 3 theatres in Birmingham. The result was nothing short of disastrous. The image was obscured by enormous globs of grain; it looked like the action was taking place in a hailstorm. This setback nearly derailed The Evil Dead completely.



58. Spring Cleaning
1979

Directed by Bruce Campbell.
Cast: Scott Spiegel, Jane Bultrud, Sam Raimi, Ted Raimi, Campbell.



59. Fish Sticks
1979

Directed by Bruce Campbell.
Cast: Sam Raimi.

A 16mm black & White short, featuring Sam as a hapless fisherman.



60. The Blind Waiter
1980

Directed by Scott Spiegel and Josh Becker.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Spiegel, John Cameron, Jane Violassi, Liz Dennison, Tim Quill.





Josh and Scott discussed the idea of making a Super-8 short together, and began kicking around the idea of a nearsighted waitress. This later evolved into a short script called "The Blind Waitress," that ultimately became the film The Blind Waiter.

Bruce played the visually-challenged lead role, Sam as the stuttering busboy, Rob Tapert was as the deaf manager, Scott Spiegel as the silly chef, and John Cameron as the angry customer. The short is really just a lot of gags & one liners held together within the theme of a blind waiter, without any particular storyline to speak of. As Bruce puts it, "it's quite a funny little film. Sixteen minutes of non-stop slapstick and verbal gags."

Scott Spiegel and Bruce wrote, produced, and directed together. Bruce photographed and edited the film, with lighting help from Mike Ditz, as well as Tim Philo, with Scott as the art director.

Bruce recalls the production wasn't without its difficulties, "The co-directing concept, in my opinion, immediately didn't work. I had suggested a number of times to Scott that we get together and storyboard the film together, or at least do a shot list, but Scott kept putting me off and it never happened. So, the night before we shot, in something of a panic, I sat up late and storyboarded the entire film. Since I was also the cameraman, I simply followed my storyboards and everything went very smoothly. Scott basically kept everybody entertained while they awaited their turn to shoot, then I shot all the scenes. It seemed to me that what I was doing was directing (and shooting) the film, while what Scott was doing, along with being an actor, was producing, but not directing."



61. Stryker's War
1980

Directed by Josh Becker.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Cheryl Guttridge, Charlie Campbell, Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel, David Goodman, Don Campbell, Richard DeManincor, Tim Philo, Jane Bultrud, Bill Kirk, Ted Raimi, Nancy Karpowitz.





The idea for this short started before production on The Evil Dead began. Josh came up with an idea, "I began thinking about bad guys. Why must everybody use Nazis or terrorists as the bad guys in their stories? Aren’t there any other bad guys in the world?"

Josh thought about the Manson family "So, who fights them? The cops? They’d just arrest them, as they did. But who would really fight them?" The Manson murders took place in 1969, along with the Vietnam War. This lead to the thought "What if some soldiers got back from Vietnam, battle-hardened and trained to kill, and they fought the Manson family?"

Josh put the idea to his friend, Sheldon, and they spent the next couple of months working on the story and writing the script. The end result was Bloodbath, a 185-page script that was very, very serious. Josh was displeased with it, put it to one side, and started work on The Evil Dead down in Tennessee.

Josh mentions discussing and developing the idea in his Evil Dead journal, "I am tentatively considering just not going back to Detroit. I'd like to meet Sheldon somewhere between here and L.A. and figuring out what we can do with Bloodbath. I'll call him. I would like to rewrite it myself first". He also thought about turning the feature written in to a compact half hour Super-8 film.

Later in The Evil Dead's production, Josh had a conversation with Sam. "He decided to let me in on how to make it in the directorial world - "make a ten-minute gem." This is to show everyone that I can direct. He said that he and Rob and Bruce would gladly help me."

Once principal photogaphy had finished on The Evil Dead, Bruce and Josh drove the rental truck back to Detroit together. They spent most of the drive completely reworking the story. They stopped at a restaurant and Josh wrote out the whole outline on the back of several placemats.

Josh's intention was to write a short script that he could potentially shoot in Super-8 making a 30-45 minute pilot film to use as an investment tool to help raise money for a feature. After several weeks of work, he had a 38-page script. Wanting to differentiate this version from the last one, I renamed it Stryker's War (Stryker is John Wayne’s name in The Sands of Iwo Jima).

The reception for the script was good and he put together $5,000 dollars to make it. Bruce and Josh meticulously planned the whole production. Principal photography began on August 25th 1980. The basic premise of the story remained the same from first conception. A group of Manson like characters lead by Sam, abduct Sally the pretty-girl-in-distress, played Cheryl Gutteridge, and kill her father. Bruce, the embittered Marine veteran Jack Stryker, comes to her aid with his Marine buddies played by Scott, Don & David Goodman. This results in an almighty gun battle in the woods.

Stryker's War was 45-minutes long, shot at 24 frames per second (for better picture and sound quality and easier video transfer capabilities). It was shot over the course of eight hot, beautiful summer days, and everything went very smoothly.

While shooting the biggest scene in the movie, where the Marines come to free the hostages at the Manson-held campground, it began to rain, with thunder and lightning. A bolt of lightning struck a tree about 100 from the location. Scott Spiegel, playing one of the Marines and wearing his uniform, ran 50 yards to his car, started the engine, burned rubber screeching away up the road and disappeared as 30 people watched. The storm blew over and about 20 minutes later Scott returned, his whole body visibly trembling. Scott said, "I panicked."

All except their first attempt at shooting the Vietnam scenes in the woods had to be reshot because they came out too dark since Josh had mistakenly used ASA 40 Film stock, which was too slow to expose in the dark woods. The reshoots on ASA 160 turned out particularly well. The day we shot was both rainy and foggy making the forest really look like a jungle. The short uses music from a number of scores, but draws most heavily from the 1970 film Patton directed by Franklin J. Schaffner.

Scott remembers one shot in particular "It's one of the best shots I've ever done, on Super-8 no less," It's the opening shot is of the forest across a green, murky swamp. Between the grainy film stock, the low exposure, and the diffusion of the fog and misty rain the image is literally crawling with movement. It holds on an empty frame for about 10-15 seconds, with this great low, ominous jerry Goldsmith music, then there seems to be a little extra movement in the forest at the center of the shot, and suddenly a platoon of Marines in camouflage uniforms and face paint seem to appear out of nowhere. Josh used jerry Goldsmith's music from Patton to score it. He adds, "the scene is surprisingly effective - for a second you completely forget you're watching a Super-8 movie."

Principal photography finished on September 2nd 1980. Then they shot inserts and pick-ups whenever people were available for the next three weeks. Josh recalls "As Bruce and I were shooting inserts on the front lawn of his parents’ house, Bruce’s older brother Don stood by watching, occasionally poking Bruce in the side with his toe. Bruce told Don to stop it and Don persisted. Suddenly, Bruce turned around and stuck Don in the arm with a screwdriver, embedding the point deep into Don’s flesh. Don went insane, kicking Bruce as hard as he could, then chasing him all over the neighbourhood holding his wounded arm and screaming bloody murder."

It wasn't for another four years that Josh was able to put together the cash to turn this short in to the full feature he originally wanted to make, which was finally titled; Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except.



62. Torro, Torro Torro!
1981

Directed by Scott Spiegel and Josh Becker.
Cast: Spiegel, Bruce Campbell, John Cameron, Bill Kirk, Matt Taylor, Bruce jones, Pam Becker, Rob Tapert.





Having completed Stryker's War, Josh sublet part of the office where Sam, Bruce and Rob were doing the post-production on The Evil Dead. It had once been a dentist's office and was broken into many small cubicles. Josh spent the next year attempting to raise money for a feature version of Striker's War, but was unable to raise any money at all. During this time, Scott suggested that they make another comedy short together; Josh agreed and said that they should shoot it in 16mm.

While trying to come up with ideas, Josh was driving with Scott past the cemetery in Franklin Village, where he grew up. There was a steeply inclined front lawn leading down to Franklin Road, where a guy was vainly trying to mow the grass, except gravity kept pulling him down toward the road and he was in a valiant battle with his lawnmower trying to keep it horizontal. Scott and Josh both burst out laughing, and they came up with the central idea of their next short, the story of a lawnmower gone mad.

They shot the opening sequence in that same exact location at the cemetery, although now with Scott as the poor schmuck lawn maintenance guy. Once the lawnmower goes out of control it doesn't stop wreaking havoc for the next six minutes. The finale was the lawnmower arriving at the Franklin Bake-Off, where there's a twenty-five foot long table of pies, that the lawnmower runs over and spits out at all the guests.

The film involved a whole variety of special effects, like stop-motion, fast-motion, reverse-motion, wires, and dummies. One such sequence involved the gardener (Played by Scott) being pulled along the fence by the errant lawnmower, for which they "simply set up the shot and Bart Pierce, who did the animation effects, moved Scott down the fence, point by point, each time saying when he had Scott in position, "Hold your breath, grit your teeth and shoot it" and I’d fire off a frame." Scott and Josh took the co-credit of 'written, produced and directed by,' but Josh felt that that really wasn't working out. "Torro! has a few good laughs, but was rather sloppy in its execution. This was mainly due, I think, to our inexperience with 16mm, but was also partially due to having two squabbling directors."



63. Cleveland Smith, Bounty Hunter
1982

Directed by Josh Becker and Scott Spiegel.
Cast: Bruce Campbell, Cheryl Guttridge, Sam Raimi and a lot of stock footage.





Their next short production, shot in 1981 and completed in early 1982, was a nine-minute, 16mm, black-and-white Raiders of the Lost Ark parody called Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter, starring Bruce as Cleveland Smith, Sam as the evil Nazi, and Cheryl Gutteridge once again as Sally the-pretty-girl-in-distress.

The film was shot in four days entirely around Josh and Bruce's parents' houses. This time I solely directed, Scott produced, and we both wrote it. Kurt Rauf was the art director, Bart Pierce once again did the effects, and I shot and edited.

Bart and Josh shot all of the special effects in his basement. Bart was in charge and Josh assisted him. They animated a clay dinosaur in front of a rear screen, with a projection of a jungle background that was actually a 35mm slide of the woods behind Josh's parents' house. They also animated a two-inch Indiana Jones toy on fishing line, in front of the rear-screen, jumping off the dinosaur, and falling into the Grand Canyon. They shot the titles and superimposed them over a shot of Bruce lighting a match by using a Bolex camera as an optical printer, and a process called "bi-packing," where you load the camera with a print of the shot you want the titles on, as well as unexposed negative squished right against each other. Scott's sister, Pat, painted the title cards on canvas, with white lettering on a black background.

Josh was happier with how this production turned out; "I believe this is the best of all my short films. I edited the film with rewinds and a viewer on the pool table in the basement of my parents' house. I also cut all of the soundtracks there, too. I did all the post in a fairly leisurely fashion, and I found the process very calming, and I really didn't want it to end. I'd never lavished such attention on each individual cut before, nor have I since."

The short was shot with a Canon Scoopic 16mm camera, borrowed from fellow local filmmaker and Bart's buddy, Rick Merciez, who had a basement full of old movie equipment, both 16mm and 35mm. Luckily Josh was able to score 4,000 feet of black and white, 16mm Tri-X negative film stock for free from a local film teacher, Ron Teachworth, because it was past it's expiration date. Having complete faith in the Eastman Kodak Company that the film would still be good, Josh had Bart, who worked the night shift at one of the local film labs, Producer's Color Service, break the four, 1,000 ft. rolls, down into forty l00 ft. rolls, and that's what I shot the entire movie with. When Bart gave Josh the 40 rolls back he said that there had been a lot of "static-flashing" as he wound the rolls, due to the silver content in black and white film stock that becomes highly-charged with static electricity. Josh asked, "Did it ruin the film?" Bart shrugged, "I don't know. It did something." So I went and shot the whole movie with it anyway. The static-flashing did indeed effect the film-it gave it the look of being an old movie.

A year or so later, Josh showed the film to some friends in New York City. They all laughed at the sophomoric, slapstick humour, which I took as a triumph. Afterward, Steve asked very seriously, and rather impressed, "How did you achieve that great, old-looking, black and white look?" I lied, saying we did the static-flashing thing on purpose, and they all bought it.

Josh did try year and a half in vain to raise money to make a feature version. They knew that they couldn’t produce for a penny less than $600,000. After two gruelling years of hundreds of meetings with prospective investors, they had raised exactly $18,000. On August 17th, Josh's birthday and the day they were supposed to start shooting, it was totally apparent to both Josh and Scott that they had failed.

Rather than giving up, Scott suggested they shoot the feature version of Stryker’s War instead, which was finally titled; Thou Shalt Not Kill... Except.



64. The Sappy Sap
1985

Directed by Sam Raimi.
Cast: Scott Spiegel, Cheryl Guttridge, Rob Tapert, Bruce Jones, and Bruce Campbell as the Goofy Goof.





This is the final Super-8 short. It was made long after The Evil Dead, around the same time as Crimewave. its broad slapstick with a very funny performance by Scott Spiegel in the title role, playing a guy who wants to cross a busy street to make time with a sexy girl in a polka-dot dress, but is thwarted at every attempt. The gags vary from the familiar to the fresh, it's well paced, with good use of music and sound, and it's utterly unafraid of going for the gross-out. Scott does an octuple take at one point.
 
 
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