Today we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Evil Dead 2.
As most are aware, the Evil Dead franchise actually began in the late ’70s. The Evil Dead was of course released in ’81, but its origins date back to a ’78 short titled Within the Woods. Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Bruce Campbell, the 31-minute short was the direct predecessor to The Evil Dead, serving as a proof-of-concept that allowed for the ’81 film to be made.
But Within the Woods certainly was not the only short film made by Raimi and friends in their early filmmaking days that proved to be hugely influential on the Evil Dead franchise.
Made by the friends in 1979, the Super 8 short film Attack of the Helping Hand! was written and directed by Scott Spiegel, who went on to co-write Evil Dead 2 nearly a decade later. A spoof of the Hamburger Helper commercials that were airing at the time, the 6-minute short centered on a woman being attacked by the product’s mascot: a white glove with a smiley face on it.
Of course, the idea of a disembodied hand would later be to used to great effect in Evil Dead 2; perhaps the film’s most memorable sequence sees Ash cutting off his own hand after it becomes possessed, which then scampers around and torments him. Attack of the Helping Hand! clearly inspired that sequence, right down to the hand humorously flipping the middle finger.
Oh and it starred Sam Raimi as a friendly milkman!
Without Attack of the Helping Hand!, it’s possible that Ash Williams would’ve never cut off his hand in Evil Dead 2. Celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary by watching the ’79 short below.