Sam Raimi is known for his “Spider-Man” trilogy, “Doctor Strange 2” or the remake of “The Amazing World of Oz”. But whether he’s immersed himself in the world of Marvel’s superheroes or in a Disney fairy tale, each of his films is filled with moments in which the cult director celebrates his origins in the horror genre. And so Raimi fans should still be in agreement today: If there is a film that you should definitely have seen, then it is “Tanz der Teufel”.
The film was released uncut in cinemas and on VHS in Germany in 1984, but it soon called the moral guardians into action and as a result even tightened the local youth protection laws. The uncut version of “Tanz der Teufel” not only ended up on the index, but was also confiscated and had a particularly difficult situation in this country for many, many years.
A re-examination finally followed in 2016, with astonishing results: not only was the confiscation and, a little later, the indexing lifted. After more than three decades, the FSK gave the green light and released the film unabridged even from the age of 16 (!)! If you were once even forced to withdraw the film because of its escalating depictions of violence, you don’t even have to be of legal age to enjoy the horror classic.
Today, the film can not only be sold in its entirety, but also shown on local television programs from 10 p.m. – just like today or tomorrow: Because Kabel1 shows “Tanz der Teufel” completely unabridged on the night of June 1st to 2nd, 2022 from 12:35 a.m. But if you don’t want to spend half the night doing it, you can now get the film for little money on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray as well as video-on-demand – uncut, of course:
» “Tanz der Teufel” DVD at Amazon*
» “Dance of the Devil” Blu-ray at Amazon*
» “Dance of the Devils” 4K Blu-ray on Amazon*
» “Dance of the Devils” on Amazon Prime Video*
Based on his 1978 short film Within The Woods, three years later Sam Raimi finally raised enough money to launch his feature-length diabolical demon adventure. Incidentally, “enough” in this case means 375,000 dollars – an almost measly sum, with “Tanz der Teufel” being considered a low-budget production even then (for comparison: the horror films “Halloween II” and “American Werewolf”, which were released in the same year ‘ cost $2.5 and $5.8 million, respectively).
And yet: With exuberant special effects and stop-motion animations, he made it the ultimate cult classic that lives from a uniquely dark horror-comedy mix that hardly anyone else can pull off besides Sam Raimi.
If you just can’t get enough of that, you should definitely check out the sequels “Tanz der Teufel 2” and “Army of Darkness” as well as the offshoot series “Ash Vs. Evil Dead” and the supernatural horror fun “Drag Me To Hell” have seen – and get in the aforementioned “Doctor Strange 2” is currently also showing the full load of Raimi in the cinema (including a wonderful “Tanz der Teufel” allusion!).
And for everyone who only knows Sam Raimi’s cult film from hearsay, the plot again briefly: Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his friends treat themselves to a few days off in nature and spend a few days in a secluded cabin in the woods, where they briefly however, make a mysterious discovery after their arrival.
In the basement of the house they find a tape recorder and a strange book which they examine curiously. The problem is that the writing contains formulas for summoning dark powers – and thanks to Ash and Co., they are already on their way to the earthly realm to literally make their life hell…
After the reboot, which was pretty humorless compared to the original, rock hard and celebrated by fans and the trade press alike “Evil Dead’ from 2013, stands with ‘Evil Dead Rise” by the way, a new “Tanz der Teufel” film will soon be in the house. And that should not only transport the scenario from the forest to the big city for the first time, according to director Lee Cronin, an extra portion of red lifeblood awaits us in it:
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