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The Walking Dead Season 9, Episode 5 Pulls Elements Directly From Evil Dead

Horror fans have come to expect Easter Eggs referencing their favorite genre in episodes of "The Walking Dead" throughout the show's epic run. Eagle-eyed fans caught a pretty direct reference to the "Evil Dead" series in a Season 9 episode. "The Evil Dead," the 1981 horror movie from "Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi, is a splatter classic that finds five youths terrorized in the woods by a menacing force unleashed from the Book of the Dead, the Necronomicon, that possesses their flesh and swallows their souls one-by-one. 

"Evil Dead 2" is the beloved horror/comedy that remains the gold standard for fans who like their laughs mixed in with a fair helping of blood. Greg Nicotero was one of the lead makeup effects artists delivering the gore in the classic sequel. "Evil Dead 2" marked the first time Nicotero worked in tandem with Robert Kurtzman and Howard Berger, with whom he went on to form the legendary FX team KNB. Nicotero has gone on to do FX work with KNB on everything from "The Chronicles of Narnia," for which he won an Oscar, to Shudder's retro-style "Creepshow" TV series.

As an FX artist working on "The Walking Dead" since the very beginning, the maverick of the macabre Nicotero worked his way up to directing episodes from the long-running series. He couldn't help but reference one of the films that helped start it all for him in a Season 9 episode he directed when one character rides up to a familiar-looking cabin.

The Evil Dead cabin and the Necromonicon appear in the episode

Makeup effects legend and horror director Greg Nicotero helmed "What Comes After," Episode 5 of Season 9 of "The Walking Dead." The episode was a huge one for fans since it featured the last appearance of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) as he seemingly dies, before being airlifted away by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh, also in her final appearance on the show) after trying to outrun hordes of zombies while nursing a severe stomach injury.

Rick reckoned with his legacy throughout the episode and experienced visions of people from his past. These visions saw former regular cast members, including Jon Bernthal (Shane Walsh), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha Williams), and Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene) appear in cameos. Sarah Wayne Callies (Lori Grimes), Emily Kinney (Beth Greene), Michael Cudlitz (Abraham Ford), and Lennie James (Morgan Jones) provided voiceover cameos as well.

While still on the run in the episode, Rick stopped at a cabin modeled after the one seen in "The Evil Dead." He took a seat in the middle of the cabin and looked at the death and devastation around him, noticing corpses on the floor. One corpse is tangled in tree branches (which is seemingly another "Evil Dead" reference) and has both a gun and the Necronomicon itself lying next to it. The first victim in "The Evil Dead" is attacked by tree branches that wrap around her after pages from the Necronomicon are read, conjuring up the demons in the film. Rick also noticed a moose head mounted on the wall that looks a lot like the Moose head that was possessed and laughing at Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) in "Evil Dead 2." Nicotero and the team behind the series made "The Walking Dead" horror's most fun search-and-find on modern television.