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All of Sam Raimi’s ‘Evil Dead’ Movies (And the Show) Ranked

This is my boom stick.

I grew up with a love of the Evil Dead movies from Sam Raimi because my brother showed them to me at an incredibly young age. I was (unsurprisingly) in love with Ashley Joanna “Ash” Williams. Played by Bruce Campbell, he brought Ash to life in three pretty distinctly different ways (given how the franchise ended up playing out) and it resulted in three ways to view the franchise as a whole.

Rewatching these movies, I was shocked by how little my opinion has changed on them. What I loved about the franchise—and even the order in which I loved them—has remained the same since childhood. So, here is my official ranking of the Evil Dead movies (and television era) directed by Sam Raimi, ranked from worst to best. You can argue in the comments, but I’m sorry, my ranking is still correct.

4. The Evil Dead

Okay look, I know that this movie started it all. I know that it was a real “horror” movie, and that Raimi ended up doing more of what he wanted to do later on in the subsequent sequels, but it’s just not my favorite out of the franchise. It’s a fun setup that we see again with Evil Dead II, and while it’s more about Ash’s friendships and his sister Cheryl, that kind of gets lost as the series goes on. We see hints of the movie (like Linda’s necklace) in other movies but it’s just one that really set the course for the rest of the series.

So while it is a good movie—and one that I love very much—it’s not my favorite in this franchise as a whole.

3. Evil Dead II

Now Evil Dead II was a bit more of the Ash that I love. It was the start of “Groovy” and his weird catchphrases, and it was a bit funnier than what we had in the first movie. However, it still isn’t fully committed to the hilarious quick-wit that Ash has or his funny moments mixed in with the classic horror moments that the first movie had.

It’s a bit more of what we’re used to now with Ash Williams (and the series as a whole) but it’s still a bit removed from what I would deem the best of the Evil Dead world.

2. Ash Vs. The Evil Dead

It’s a new take on the series (and a new version of Ash) but man is it good. Ash Vs. the Evil Dead kind of marries all the elements from the films into one. It also brings that humor that he has in Army of Darkness and plays into it more—and he’s still a badass.

It’s also fun to see Ash have friends. We’re used to him losing everyone he has ever cared about, but having him have a team who works together, was a change in pace that I didn’t know I needed for the series. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I love it.

ash vs, evil dead cast
(Image: Starz via Entertainment Weekly)

1. Army of Darkness

Come ON—it’s the best one! There’s no competition that Army of Darkness is the best. Like it has a bunch of skeletons marching and using other skulls as drums! It’s fun, it’s weird, and it is still genuinely scary at times. Plus, there are so many quotes from this movie that are engrained in my brain like “I may be bad but I feel good” or “Yo she-bitch”.

Everywhere you turn, there’s another gem from this movie, and it marries horror with fantasy in a way that’s just exciting! And it helped change how so many of us see Ash Williams as a character. To me, it’s brilliant, and I love it a lot. “This is my boom stick.”


There you have it folks, my ranking of the Evil Dead franchise. Do you agree?

(featured image: Sony)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.