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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 refection 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 soley by Sam Raimi.

The story behind the bootleg compilation, which became widely available & traded first on VHS then later on DVD, is that Tom Sullivan lent his super 8 shorts tape to Scott Spiegel. Scott was having a party and showed it to some friends but used Sullivan's original copy, which his VCR started to eat. 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 zombie-Bruce.

Around 2000-2001, three forum users in the USA, went on a hunt to find a copy of Within The Woods. One of them got in touch with Scott Spiegel's assistant Patrick, and he made a copy from Tom Sullivan's tape behind his back for his help in re-connecting Patrick with Ellen Sandweiss. It was around 2-1/2 hours long and was of good enough quality that you could see the super 8 film grain, but by that copy it was 3rd/4th generation, it still looked good.

This is the contents & likely order of that VHS tape:

Attack Of The Helping Hand! (00:06:02)
The Sappy Sap (00:04:26)
WNIC Radio TV Spot (00:00:30)
XYZ Murders Trailer (00:02:14)
Thou Shall Not Kill, Except... Trailer (00:02:03)
Nightcrew B.T.S. Camcorder Footage (00:06:31)
Stryker's War (00:48:08)
PM Detroit TV Spot On Renaissance Pictures (00:03:41)
Cleveland Smith Bounty Hunter (00:09:14)
Torro, Torro, Torro! (00:06:48)
The Blind Waiter (00:17:17)
Evil Dead Trailer (00:02:05)
Book Of The Dead Trailer (00:03:37)
Within The Woods (00:30:29)
Six Months To Live (00:13:46)

(Running time = 2hrs 36mins 46secs)

Sam Raimi Super-8 Shorts compilation DVD menu

One of them used this copy to make VCDs of the shorts which he traded out, along with VHS copies, and a DVD of Within The Woods & the Book Of The Dead trailer later on, although the quality of this DVD is not the best generally available. He also uploaded & shared the Within The Woods MPEG VCD version which has since flooded P2P networks.

Another one of the group apparently sent a copy of his tape of Within The Woods to Anchor Bay at some point as there was talk of it (or some of it) appearing on an Evil Dead DVD release, obviously this never happened.

Another five other shorts; Holding It, Shemp Eats the Moon, It's Murder, William Shakespeare - The Movie, and Clockwork are also available (although some are incredibly rare) but the source for these is unconfirmed. They weren't on that original bootleg tape making a second leak likely.






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

Pies & Guys (1971)
Retail DVD Only

Corny Casanovas (1971)
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

Public Enemy Revisited (1971)
Retail DVD Only
 

Oedipus Rex (1972)
Retail DVD Only

Super Student (1972)
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

Attack Of The Helping Hand! (1979)
Retail DVD & Bootleg

Clockwork (1979)
Bootleg Only
 

Nightcrew - Raw Footage (1979)
Retail DVD Only

Within The Woods (1979)
Retail DVD & Bootleg

The Blind Waiter (1980)
Retail DVD & Bootleg
 

Stryker's War (1980)
Retail DVD & Bootleg

Torro, Torro, Torro! (1981)
Retail DVD & Bootleg

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 seems to reside 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 Moir’s 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.
 
 
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