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This Is How They Made The Gory Noises In The Evil Dead

Gorehound classic "The Evil Dead" (1981) was not an easy shoot, based on the accounts of the cast and crew. Working with a low budget of $375,000, then-20-year-old director Sam Raimi took a small cast and crew, including childhood friend and producer/lead actor Bruce Campbell, to a remote cabin in Tennessee to shoot the film, according to the Book of the Dead website. By all accounts, the shoot was a small disaster, as the inexperienced crew had to live in tight conditions in the dilapidated cabin, and actors were often tormented and hurt in the process of filming. Weather conditions towards the end of production were also so extreme that the cabin dwellers began burning furniture in order to stay warm (via Book of the Dead).

Campbell, who began a legendary career for himself playing swaggering hero Ash Williams, said making "The Evil Dead" wasn't entirely miserable. In his autobiography "If Chins Could Kill," Campbell wrote, "It would be incorrect to portray these twelve weeks as a mirthless exercise in agony." Whatever the production circumstances, he result was a truly wild and entertaining indie horror film, to be topped only by its comedy sequel "Evil Dead II."

But how did they make those hideous, squelching bloody gore noises for certain scenes? This is how the sound design for "The Evil Dead" came about.

The Evil Dead's foley work used dead chickens, among other things

While "The Evil Dead" famously used so much fake blood that Bruce Campbell's shirt fell apart from the heavy mix of Karo, creamer, and red food coloring (via Screen Rant), the foley work for the violence required a different kind of ingenuity. Campbell claimed that the method for capturing the sounds of the various stabbings, dismemberments, and decapitations in the movie involved chicken corpses, in addition to walnuts.

"We had a chicken and we'd take a meat cleaver and wedge into it so you'd get the impact and a bit of the goo ... cracked walnuts work for a neck twist," Campbell told Buzzfeed in an interview.

It's a wild, appropriately DIY solution to the horror movie problem of how to get the sonics of gory violence right on screen, and it shows the kind of creative brilliance that made director Raimi and Campbell a great team. Raimi made two more "Evil Dead" sequels with Campbell reprising his role as Ash, before Raimi went on to "Darkman," "The Quick and the Dead," and the original "Spider-Man" trilogy, all of which have Campbell in smaller roles. Sometimes its just fun to work with old friends.