When Sam Raimi’s cult classic The Evil Dead was first released, it was highly celebrated. It was made with no budget, but with all the heart and gore a good horror movie needs. To this day the movie, its two sequels and even the remake are celebrated by fans of the horror genre.
Not in Germany though. Not yet.
The blood and gore and of course the infamous Tree-Rape scene were too much for Germany. The decision was made and the movie was banned in 1984, only two months after the initial German release.
For years, for decades even, the fans fought to get this movie released, to have it available at ease for everyone. But it was an uphill battle. In Germany, to get a movie off the infamous Index, the list holding the bans, there are many problems. A rights holder can pay to have the movie re-evaluated. But re-evaluation doesn’t mean that it will be released, just that they will give it another shot. So of course someone has to hold the rights and be willing to pay for re-evaluation, which is a risk. This happened a few times, but Evil Dead was shot down every time. The remake, released in 2013, got banned after its theatrical run as well.
Sony Pictures, the rights holder, tried again in 2016 and finally succeeded. The movie is free. To celebrate this timeless classic, theatres in 80 cities all over Germany are now showing the movie again, complete and uncut, for audiences aged 16 and above. This will be followed by the first official Blu-Ray release later this month.
What did the movie to finally pass? We can only speculate. Maybe it was the success of Ash vs Evil Dead. But since then, a few other horror movies followed. Friday the 13th Part IV is free, and just today Battle Royale got an R-Rating and is officially free to be released to German audiences.
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