Five friends head to a remote woodland cabin in the Tennessee mountains for a weekend break. Upon arrival, one of them finds a tape recorder stashed away, with an old book labelled "Necronomicon ex-mortise" (which in English means "Book of the Dead") and decide to see what's on it.
Of course, with this being a horror film, this proves to be not such a good idea. As the recording contains translations from the book, including dead resurrection passages and demon incantations. Playing the tape awakens evil forces within the woods, which converge on the cabin and the group find themseleves fighting for their lives.
One by one, they become possessed and go on the rampage, attacking the others. The only way to stop them being total bodily dismemberment. So we are treated to several lovely scenes of eyes being gouged, heads decapitated, and bodies dismembered with axes and chainsaws.
Made back in 1981 by Sam Raimi, who would go on to direct the 2002 "Spiderman" film, the violence and gore is so ludicrous and over-the-top, and the low budget effects so dated now that, when combined with the unintentional black humour, means that you'll struggle to take any of it seriously. Though the "woodland rape" and "achilles heel" scenes are still fairly effective, which will no doubt still cause most folk to wince.
Most of the humour seemed to be lost on the UK censors however, who cut most of the gore upon its original release in the early 80s. With UK fans having to wait until 2001 before the full uncut version was finally passed. But despite all this, it still proved hugely popular and managed to obtain cult status, along with its subsequent sequels and I would still rate this more highly than the lacklustre remake from 2013.