| 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 
 | 



 
 
The information presented here has been built up & pieced together through years of talking to people, forum posts, PMs, emails, articles, etc. bits may well be wrong, some details might be educated guesses, and some names have been deliberately left out. Do not take this information as hard fact!


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.



How were the shorts first released/leaked?

The standard bootleg compilation of a number of the shorts is generally known as the 'Sam Raimi Super-8 Shorts', this isn't really a reflection on who directed or was involved with each short, but simply provides an easy moniker. Statistically a more accurate single name title would be the 'Scott Spiegel Super-8 Shorts'. Attack Of The Helping Hand, The Blind Waiter, Stryker's War, Torro, Torro, Torro!, & Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter were actually directed by one, other or both Josh Becker & Scott Spiegel, and Six Months To Live by Sam Raimi & Scott Spiegel. Only Within The Woods and The Sappy Sap were directed solely by Sam Raimi.


A Sam Raimi Early Short Films & Trailers VHS tape bought from eBay by US fan DeusExMachina in 2002

Just to add a little context, over the last twenty or so years, there has been an increasing resurgence in the Evil Dead trilogy, with a plethora of media releases, merchandising, and progressively more cast & crew members from the trilogy appearing at conventions in the US and around the world. Pre-2000, the situation was quite different. The first DVD version of The Evil Dead was only released in March 1999, there weren't any documentaries devoted to the trilogy (apart from the odd Laserdisc featurette), and the first book on the subject; The Evil Dead Companion wasn't released until 2001. Beyond Sam Raimi & Bruce Campbell, the remaining cast & crew were far less well known than they are today, and some had been out of touch with others for years. Within The Woods had been mentioned here & there in passing in various magazines since the early 1980's, but was probably most heavily featured in Cinefantastique Magazine (Vol.23 No.1) in August 1992, with photos and a full page story. Beyond that there really wasn't much else out there, until Anchor Bay widely publicized Within The Woods inclusion on their forthcoming Book Of The Dead DVD in late 2001, and it became far more well known.

Back in the late 1990's, Tom Sullivan lent his Super-8 short films tape to Scott Spiegel. Scott was having a party and showed it to some friends, but his VCR started to eat the tape. The chewed tape had three screen 'drop-outs' all during Within The Woods; at the beginning, then when Bruce is found dead in the woods and when Ellen is searching for a weapon to attack Bruce. Every bootleg version out there comes via one route or another, from that source tape and has those three drop-outs.

In 2002, following the exclusion of Within The Woods from Anchor Bay's Book Of The Dead DVD, three forum users from the USA & Canada; DeusExMachina, RXFiend & Charliesheen, went on a hunt to try and track down their own copy. DeusExMachina managed to get in in touch with Tom Sullivan's assistant Patrick, who made a copy of Tom's tape behind his back for his help in re-connecting them with Ellen Sandweiss (thanks to Daniel; a fan in Brazil), along with some Evil Dead stills & copies of a few pages from the Book Of The Dead DVD. The tape was two hours long and was of good enough quality that you could see the film grain. By that copy it was 3rd/4th generation, but it still looked good. This is the running order of that VHS tape:

Within The Woods (00:30:39)
Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter (00:09:04)
Torro, Torro, Torro! (00:06:46)
The Blind Waiter (00:18:21)
Book Of The Dead Trailer (00:03:36)
The Evil Dead Trailer (00:02:05)
Stryker's War (00:48:08)
PM Magazine Detroit (00:03:39)

DeusExMachina created & traded his own shorts VHS compilation using Patrick's tape, along with the clamshell case tape shown above, which was bought off eBay (eBay was like a bootleg paradise back then).

DeusExMachina's Super-8 Shorts VHS tape from Patrick





The Sam Raimi Super-8 Shorts compilation DVD menu

His compilation tape was recorded from scratch each time using a list of timecodes to preserve the VHS generation. You can see the index listing for those two source tapes below. RXFiend used this copy to make VCDs of the shorts which he traded out, He also uploaded & shared a Within The Woods MPEG1 VCD encode to Kazaa, which has found it's way onto subsequent P2P & BitTorrent networks.


The running order of DeusExMachina's Super-8 Shorts VHS tape from Patrick

Sam Raimi Early Short Films & Trailers VHS

RXFiend also made a Within The Woods & Book Of The Dead trailer DVD later on, although the quality of this DVD is not the best generally available today. As an aside, RXFiend later traded away the sources tapes he'd got from DeusExMachina to US forum user eKent as he'd lost interest in Sam Raimi. I tracked down eKent in 2009 and got copies of his VHS to DVD transfers, but again, the quality is not the best now available.

Then US fan Demonovation posted on a forum in January 2008 that he had been sent two VHS tapes of material via a different route to the above, following an interview he did over AOL instant messenger for 'Ash's Evil Dead Page' (to later become Deadites.net) back in late 1999. His two tapes ran as follows;

Tape 1
Within the Woods (00:30:38)
Book of the Dead Trailer (00:03:37)
Strykers War (00:48:05)
Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter (00:09:02)
Torro, Torro, Torro! (00:06:45)
The Blind Waiter (00:18:22)

Tape 2
The Evil Dead Trailer (00:02:02)
PM Magazine Detroit (00:07:29)
William Shakespeare - The Movie (00:01:51)
Attack of the Helping Hand! (00:05:56)
Holding It (00:18:05)
Shemp Eats the Moon (00:45:26)
Evil Dead on Siskle & Ebert (00:02:32)
Another Evil Dead review (00:01:02)
Tom Sullivan Interview (00:05:52)
Evil Dead II trailer (00:01:31)
Evil Dead II - Behind the Screams (00:26:57)

Demonovation's source tapes, borrowed & transferred to DVD personally

A friend of mine; DJSmokingJam, was contacted out of the blue by Demonovation in September 2009 regarding an Evil Dead DVD project he was working on. He arranged for me to borrow and transfer both VHS tapes to DVD personally. Then in January of 2018, I borrowed those tapes for a second time, to re-transfer them on better equipment. As of 2018 those DVD transfers of PM Magazine Detroit, Shemp Eats the Moon, and the Evil Dead reviews from Demonovation's source tapes, are still the best quality transfers in my personal collection. That's not to say they're actually good quality, just the best available.

In March 2018, I borrowed & transferred DeusExMachina's source VHS tape. He got in touch after seeing his name on this specific page. It was from this tape that my current best quality versions of Within The Woods & Book of the Dead Trailer were transferred. My VHS capture rig has evolved over the years, via some steep learning curves. This tape was digitised using my most recent and best setup; a US NTSC JVC HR-S9500U VCR (powered by a Goldsource ST-1500 1500w 240v/110v voltage converter), through a DataVideo TBC-1000 Time Base Corrector using S-Video cables, to a PC with a Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro PCIe Capture Card. Adobe Premiere & Encore were used to create the final DVD, along with doing a little restoration work to the VHS breakups in the opening credits. All the screenshots on the Within The Woods - Stills page page are taken from this transfer.


A US NTSC JVC HR-S9500U VCR (powered by a Goldsource ST-1500 1500w 240v/110v voltage converter), through a DataVideo
TBC-1000 Time Base Corrector using S-Video cables, to a PC with a Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro PCIe Capture Card.

Demonovation recalls seeing a Sam Raimi Short Films VHS tape even before he received the two above tapes in 1999, so at least some of the shorts were available on VHS bootlegs as early as the late 1990's. I personally bought a Sam Raimi Short Films VHS tape from a US website in January 2000, which as memory serves, was pretty much the same as the copy DeusExMachina bought from eBay in 2002. Another two other shorts; It's Murder & Clockwork are also out there being traded, but the ultimate source for these is unknown. I got them through a friend; Sean from New York in 2006, who in turn bought them from a guy called Andrew from Long Island. Andrew originally bought them off eBay in 2000, but can't recall any further details. Both It's Murder & Clockwork have only ever been personally seen as MPEG1 VCD files, never or VHS or DVD.

If you're able to provide any more information on the origins of the original pre-1999 Sam Raimi Super-8 Shorts Tape VHS, or anything else above, then please get in touch at .






Ok, so exactly which of the shorts are available to get?

There have been rumours of various other shorts either having been available as bootlegs in the past, or to be released on retail DVDs at some point in the future (see next question). The following covers all the shorts we know to be available to fans at this point in time, both released on legally licensed retail DVDs, or as leaked bootlegs, although even then some of them may still be very difficult to find.


Inspector Clutz Saves the Day (1969)
Retail DVD Only

Public Enemy Revisited (1971)
Retail DVD Only

Pies & Guys (1971)
Retail DVD Only
 

Corny Casanovas (1971)
Retail DVD Only

Oedipus Rex (1972)
Retail DVD Only

Super Student (1972)
Retail DVD Only
 

Piece of Mind (1973)
Retail DVD Only

For Crymin' Out Loud (1973)
Retail DVD Only

A Night in a Sanitarium (1973)
Retail DVD Only
 

Loose Loot (1973)
Retail DVD Only

Three Smart Saps (1973)
Retail DVD Only

Three Pests in a Mess (1974)
Retail DVD Only
 

Booby Bartenders (1974)
Retail DVD Only

Curse of the Werewolf Teaser (1974)
Retail DVD Only

Half-Wits-Holiday (1974)
Retail DVD Only
 

All The Worlds A Stooge (1974)
Retail DVD Only

No Dough Boys (1974)
Retail DVD Only

The Singing Nutzs (1974)
Retail DVD Only
 

Iíll Never Heil Again (1975)
Retail DVD Only

The James Hoffa Story (1975)
Retail DVD Only

James Bombed In 'Here Today... Gun Tomorrow' (1976)
Retail DVD Only
 

The Case of the Topanga Pearl (1976)
Retail DVD Only

Six Months To Live (1977)
Bootleg Only

The Final Round (1977)
Retail DVD Only
 

Acting And Reacting (1978)
Retail DVD Only

Holding It (1978)
Retail DVD & Bootleg

Shemp Eats the Moon (1978)
Bootleg Only
 

It's Murder (1978)
Bootleg Only

William Shakespeare - The Movie (1979)
Bootleg Only

Clockwork (1979)
Bootleg Only
 

Attack Of The Helping Hand! (1979)
Retail DVD Only

Within The Woods (1979)
Retail DVD & Bootleg

Nightcrew - Raw Footage (1979)
Retail DVD Only
 

The Blind Waiter (1980)
Retail DVD Only

Stryker's War (1980)
Retail DVD & Bootleg

Torro, Torro, Torro! (1981)
Retail DVD Only
 

Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter (1982)
Retail DVD & Bootleg

The Sappy Sap (1985)
Bootleg Only
 






Have any of the shorts been released on legal retail DVDs?

Yes, there have been a number of rumours & releases, but as the copyright for each Super-8 short resides with it's director, any form of official release is entirely at their discretion. You can see the 'DVD' page for more information on the various releases which are legally available to buy online or in stores.





I remember seeing good quality clips on a Television show on TV/VHS/DVD?

Yes, there have been a number of TV shows over the years which have featured clips from various Super-8 shorts, some which have not actually been released either as bootlegs, or on retail DVDs, so at the moment, this is the only place you can see clips from of them. I have listed all the known shows below, although more than this may well exist.



Clips from two shorts; Within The Woods and The Happy Valley Kid were shown on a US TV program; PM Magazine Detroit, with a spot on Renaissance Pictures around 1982. This was broadcast after The Evil Dead had been screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and while the guys were still trying to find a distributor to get a theatrical US release. A VHS transfer from a tape recorded at the time, can normally be found on the standard 'Sam Raimi Super-8 shorts' compilation DVD, although it only usually has around a 3m 41s section, not the full show, and additionally the quality is quite poor. A separate DVD containing the full section is also available running at 7m 28s, although this is much harder to track down.



Brief excerpts from two of the Super-8 shorts; Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter and Torro! Torro! Torro! appeared on Domonic Moirís 1986 film excerpt & trailer compilation Film House Fever released in 1986. This compilation is otherwise notable for being co-hosted by a pre-fame Steve Buscemi.

Evil Dead director of photography Tim Philo provided the lighting for Film House Fever, so this would appear to be the likely connection that led to the inclusion of the two shorts. This show was released on VHS at the time, but has been long since deleted. Both the shorts featured are available in full in either similar, or better quality.



The Incredibly Strange Film Show special on Evil Dead hosted by Jonathan Ross, as it was originally broadcast on UK television on the 2nd of September 1988, included clips from Six Months To Live & Attack Of The Pillsbury Doughboy. Also shown were clips from Within The Woods, although the music cue taken from On Her Majesty's Secret Service was removed, likely because they were unable to clear the rights for TV. Anchor Bay UK included this show on their 2004 UK Evil Dead trilogy boxset, but all these clips were edited out for some reason. The unedited broadcast version of the show can normally be found on one of the various incarnations of the 'Sam Raimi Super-8 shorts' compilation DVD.
 
 
EMAIL: