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Evil Dead

Ash vs Evil Dead online photo
Ash vs Evil Dead online

Watch the first episode of Ash vs Evil Dead for free online

This is legit, guys
Nov 03
// Hubert Vigilla
Ash vs Evil Dead debuted on Starz over the weekend, and the reviews have been fantastic. What's that? You don't have Starz? And you want to see the show? Well, you can now watch the first episode of Ash vs Evil Dead for free ...

Interview: Bruce Campbell (Ash vs. Evil Dead)

Oct 30 // Hubert Vigilla
Bruce, could you put this in perspective for us: a couple years back there was a very pleasant surprise when we see your character at the end the Evil Dead remake. What sort of happened between that and the series? Did you already know that the show was percolating? Bruce Campbell: No, this happened fast. This happened really fast. Shockingly fast for this industry. These things are usually developed for years. We did a remake because people would not shut up about it, and we wanted to give them something. Sam didn't want to direct the remake himself but he thought, "Let me handpick a guy, Fede Alvarez, and let him have a shot at it." We think he did a great job, and it made a lot of money around the world, which at least convinced us that people are out there, the fans are still out there somewhere, but they want Sam and they want Ash. So, we're going to give it to them. We're tired of fighting it. But, the economics of making another movie... We could get enough money to make a remake directed by a first-time director, but we couldn't get enough money to make another one directed by Sam Raimi. I mean, as famous a director as Sam has become, he needs money. Sam thinks big, really big. So TV made sense. Rob Tapert had worked with Starz on Spartacus. I worked in television for years on Burn Notice. So we were TV guys. I feel like I'm a TV guy as much as a feature guy, so I couldn't wait for this. We pitched it to Sam, we went over to try and bend his ear. How was it working in unrestricted TV land? Bruce Campbell: Fantastic! It's where you need to be. You know, we don't have to do an alternate take to say something. "Gosh! Golly! Darn it! Put that over there!" None of that bulls**t. You can just talk like an adult, Ash can talk like he needs to talk. I like it a lot. The first two Evil Dead movies were unrated; only Army of Darkness had a rating because it was made for a studio and we had to have a rating. This is how people need to see it. I can't wait. Has Ash changed— Bruce Campbell: This is glorious violence, by the way. This is like, when our blood goes, it's celebratory. [laughs] Bruce Campbell: You know what I mean? This is not going to be dreary violence. This is going to be, if it's possible, fun violence. This is not going to warp your life. We take the horror seriously, but there's other things to like. We want to keep Ash the trash-talking hero, so there's going to be plenty of that. Over the years you and Sam talked about how you enjoy the Marx Brothers, classic comedy, things like that— Bruce Campbell: Yeah. The Stooges. Are you more free with the show to do more of that? Bruce Campbell: We can do whatever we want. I mean, the coolest thing ever is to be able to show up on a set and to know that you have no restrictions. You have an idea, you shoot it. If it works, you keep it, knowing that if it doesn't work you get rid of it. You know what I mean? So it's a great way to work as an actor or anybody in the arts. You want to function in an environment that's creative. And you'd be surprised how many environments you get into that are not really that creative, where someone is very controlling ,or a writer doesn't want you to change anything, or a director treats you like his little pawn and he wants to put you here and he wants to put you there, or certain DP/camera guys want to shoot things in a certain way. I'm like, "F**k you, let's make this show!" You know what I mean? Creatively, that's what I'm all about. I'll go to the ends of— I'll go to New Zealand to do that. Was there a lot of ad-libbing? Bruce Campbell: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Bruce Campbell: And the kids—I call them "the kids," Ray and Dana—they're getting on board. Not like it's a competition, but there will be things that occur to their character to say. A lot of times a writer won't do what I call "a button." You know, like button up a scene. Sometimes there are things that just make sense. Do you have any favorite ad libs you remember but didn't necessarily make it? Bruce Campbell: Umm, no, they just keep coming. So that's the beauty of TV—there's plenty of it. One of the great things about Ash in this is that he's sort of acknowledging that he's a little bit longer in the tooth. Bruce Campbell: Yeah, he's over the hill. Yeah, I love it! Got to put on a man-girdle and pop his dentures in. I mean, that's hilarious. Sam was talking about putting a box of Depends in the trunk. [laughs] Bruce Campbell: And you just see the box. You don't really talk about it. Or Ash says, "Pull over." "Why?" "I gotta get something." "What?" "Don't worry about it, just pull over." You know, and he throws the Depends in the back, and he doesn't have to say anything. I think that's awesome! Why not? Why do our heroes have to be so perfect? What a bore. Jesus Christ! What was it like getting back into this demanding of a role again. Bruce Campbell: Hard. Hard and painful. I usually have a good time on film sets, and the Evil Dead movies never are really a good time. That's okay, because I find the, very creatively satisfying, but none of them are comfortable or fun. You've covered with blood and s**t 12 hours a day. It gets old fast. Wearing stunt rigs, and you can't breathe, and every time you scratch your head you pull the hair out of you arms because of the dried blood. And you get ants all over you because you're wet and sticky and sweet with the fake blood. You attract rodents, that type of thing. [laughs] You've worked with Lucy Lawless in the past. Bruce Campbell: 20 years ago Were you guys searching for a project together? Bruce Campbell: Well, the second we knew we were going to shoot in New Zealand, I'm like, "We've got to get Lucy as part of this deal. ASAP." And so we're trying to make the show worth her time now. So upcoming season, she's going to get busy, and we like that, because she's such an ass kicker. Ash needs some more ass-kicking help, and why not get f**king Lucy Lawless? [editor's note: In retrospect, I wonder if this was some early indication that Ash vs Evil Dead was going to be renewed for a second season.] [laughs] We asked Sam before if he'd taken it a little bit easier on you now than he has in the past. And when I asked him, there was a slightly sadistic glow to his eyes. Bruce Campbell: Oh sure! It would suggest probably not. Bruce Campbell: But thank goodness he's getting older so he doesn't have as much punch anymore. He doesn't have the right hook that he used to have. Now he has people do it for him. No, Sam's always the blood deliverer. If someone's getting the blood in the face, he's the one doing it. Of the Three Stooges, Moe was always the guy who threw the pies. He just had the touch. He was like, "Get out of the way," to the prop guys and he would take the pie. BAM! He would hit it dead on every time. Sam's got that touch. [turns to me and gestures as if repeatedly throwing a cup of fake blood in my face] Because you can't get into the frame. It's a very delicate line, literally. So he knows where the edge of that frame is, and his cup is right there. He never goes in, it's perfect—he hits you every time. Because you don't want to redo that. You got to practice it to get it once. So is Ash your favorite character that you've played? Bruce Campbell: I'd say so. Especially now. I'd say it's been cemented now, because he's much more of a full-blown character. And if we can do this for a couple of years, then we can really kick some Ash, and really bring that character full throttle. And I can't wait. You do a TV show and you're going to have to throw that son of a bitch into all kinds of scenarios that you never had to before. You have to tell a lot of story for the show, so we'll see what happens to our hero. I'm looking forward to it. I hope ridiculous things happen. This is going to sound like a really goofy question, for which I apologize profusely, but do you reconcile the Ash we see at the end of the Evil Dead films with the one we see in the TV series, or is it a clean break between film and television? Bruce Campbell: Same guy, he just didn't do s**t for 25 years. [laughs] Bruce Campbell: Same guy! What has Ash been up to? Bruce Campbell: Nothing! [laughs] Bruce Campbell: Drinking at bowling alleys at closing time, lying to women about how he lost his right hand. [laughs] That's what he's doing—he's doing nothing. People love to ask, "Oh, what kind of character development?" We don't have any! [laughs] Bruce Campbell: He's the same guy. Now, you'll see him develop over the course of the show. He has to become a hero. When we find him, he is not a hero. He thinks he's a hero, but he is so lost. He's lost his edge, he's lost everything.
Interview: Bruce Campbell photo
Hail to the king, baby
Bruce Campbell didn't just enter the room—he swaggered. As he made his way to the first roundtable interview, he nodded to the various tables and press. "I will get to you all eventually," he said with equal parts mock-...

Interview: Sam Raimi and Craig DiGregorio (Ash vs. Evil Dead)

Oct 29 // Hubert Vigilla
What's the motivating factor for returning to territory that's so early in your career, Sam? [gesturing to DiGregorio] And why did you drag this guy along? Craig DiGregorio: [to Sam Raimi] Why'd you drag me into this? [laughs] Sam Raimi: [gesturing to DiGregorio] This guy! Craig was the best man for the job, and he still continues to be, and he's learned the main voice of the character. He's a good leader for the writers, it turns out. I mean, the time you hire a showrunner you don't know if they are the best man for the job, but he turned out to be. You've got to have so many skills of leadership for the team, recognition of all these egos of the writers and dealing with them, good communication skills with the studio and production that's happening elsewhere, and being able to juggle the budgets and the timecrunch that's coming down on you. And then having to take the script and re-write it overnight. Too many talents and skills to ask for in one person, and that's why we settled with [Craig]. Craig DiGregorio: I haven't thought of those. [laughs] Sam Raimi: [laughs] As far as the first question, Sam, what made you return to this character from very early in your career? Sam Raimi: Five words: The fans... [long pause] [laughs] Sam Raimi: The fans... [long pause, counts on his fingers] The. [laughs] Sam Raimi: So, umm, they've been demanding this. I didn't want to return to it for many years. I wanted to go on and make Spider-Man movies, other characters, other stories, and I've already made three of them. I love Bruce, but I just didn't know if there was more to do. But they really wanted it, and so we listened to them. It's never happened to me before like that. I think that's— I just didn't know we made movies based on the audience's desire to see them. It's very rare for me. Like nobody asked me to make another Spider-Man picture, nobody asked me to make another Darkman picture, or a Simple Plan sequel, or whatever I did. Just this one. So it was really me finally listening to them, and that's it. That's the only motivation. Did the series break down from an Evil Dead 4 movie that you had in the works? Sam Raimi: Yes. For many years my brother Ivan and I were writing an Evil Dead 4 movie. Different versions of it, some great ideas. And we just realized that no one would really want to distribute an Evil Dead 4 movie. It would be really big and it'd another fake-spectacular, but it would be too expensive. It would never really make much money. Then Rob [Tapert] said, "Oh, the economics might work out for TV." And that's how it started. How does the mindset change going from a film to a television show? Are you freed up? Do you feel like there aren't any restrictions for you? Sam Raimi: There's no restrictions from Starz. They really want us to make something as wild and crazy as we'd like. They want the flavor of whatever Evil Dead was brought to the small screen in a big way. They've only been really supportive and we don't really have restrictions. There are the budget and time constrictions of TV. I can't set up those— I only directed the pilot, but as a team, we can't take the time to set up all these really cool camera shots to suggest the supernatural in abstract or artistic ways. Craig DiGregorio: You have to pick your spots. Sam Raimi: Yeah, you have to pick your spots to direct. And instead we focused on the character of Ash, which I think the audience really likes anyways. What was the decision to shoot in New Zealand versus shooting in the States? Sam Raimi: [to DiGregorio] What do you think? Craig DiGregorio: There are a couple of things. I mean, I think your money goes a really long way there, so you can really get a big show for whatever your budget is. Also, the crew we have down there is amazing, and they can turnover horror and action and give us more of those cool camera shots just in the time that we have. And also Sam's longtime producing partner, Rob Tapert, lives down there and has an infrastructure built-in already, and he's very comfortable getting the scripts and feeding it into his machine. I think that's also part of it. So, you know, practical, financial, and also creative. Building on that, how beneficial was it to have that great core of makeup effects artists already there for you? And what was it like working with them to create this sort of world? Sam Raimi: It was great having a team of makeup effects artists that have worked with Rob and have proven to be able to deliver on a TV schedule. The demands that it encompasses—they survived it and excelled. So Rob already had a great relationship with this team and it made things wonderful. Wonderful. There were already 30 people on employ when we began, from another project. It was great. They were up and running. Is this a show that's going to be accessible if you've never seen the properties before? People who've never seen the movies, can they come in and know what's going on? Craig DiGregorio: I mean, I've never seen the movies and I like it. [laughs] Sam Raimi: It continues for the Evil Dead fans. And we hope that they'll be good with it. We really pray that they really will, it's made for them. But we've also taken steps to introduce new audience members to characters in the pilot. Craig DiGregorio: I've talked to people who've seen the first episode—fans versus people who've never seen Evil Dead before—and I think it's equally liked, because it's such a fun, weird universe to put yourself into, and I think people just like that. It's different from a lot of things on television. So I think even new viewers who haven't seen the movies enjoy being put in an interesting place. We're helping catch people up or let them know what the world is at the same time. And I have seen the movies. [laughs] In terms of doing a series as opposed to doing a film. In films, you could basically kill off a lot of lead characters that people have really started to really get a rapport with, whereas if you do that with a series it creates a problem that you're replenishing your cast every couple of weeks. Sam Raimi: Well, I think that's absolutely right, and we feel that we've got to kill some characters so the threat of the Evil Dead is real. There's going to have to be some suffering and missing of characters in this equation. Craig DiGregorio: Yeah, so I don't think it's a complete replenishment, but for the danger to be real, you have to let [some characters be killed]. Especially people close to Ash always end up dying. Sam Raimi: Yeah. It's harder in TV, I agree. What was Bruce's reaction when you came to him and said, "Hey, guess what? We're going to have you play the same action character you played 30 years ago?" Sam Raimi: Well, it wasn't really a surprise. People would always ask Bruce about it. "When are you coming back [to the Evil Dead franchise]." And he'd say, "I don't know when I'm coming back. Sam keep dragging out his Spider-Man movies and..." So it's always been in the air. And I would tell Bruce and Rob that I'm writing with my brother. And ummm still writing with my brother. And then at some convention for Spider-Man a fan said, "When are you doing another Evil Dead movie?" I said, "Okay, I'm writing it this summer with my brother." [editor's note: it was actually an Oz the Great and Powerful press conference. You can read our old report about it here.] And so Bruce saw that, so he wasn't really surprised. The information that came out told him what was coming. Craig DiGregorio: But as far as how Bruce reacted, he started working out. Getting in shape. Sam Raimi: Yes, you're right! Craig DiGregorio: He really did! [laughs] Going from Burn Notice to— Craig DiGregorio: He just looks like an action hero now. [looks over to Bruce Campbell at another table.] Look at that guy! He looks really good! Early on in the writers' room, there's some jokes in the script about Ash being really overweight and looking rough, and Bruce came into the writers' room and said, "F**k you guys! I'm gonna make you eat your words!" And he went and, well, he looks damn good. Started putting himself together. [turns to Raimi] I feel like we kind of turned his life around. [laughs] The amount of misery you're able to inflict on Bruce—have you sort of curtailed that in recent years because you don't want him to break a hip or something? Or has it gotten worse? Sam Raimi: We got to inflict a little pain on him in the pilot, and a little bit all through the series so far. And I'm kind of waiting to hear whenever the last show is, you know, depending how many seasons we go. God help Bruce for those last three episodes, because I'm taking all that's left out of him! [laughs] Craig DiGregorio: [to Raimi] Is this how you kill your friend? [laughs] Sam Raimi: I'll make him wish he was dead! [laughs]
Interview: Sam Raimi photo
The director and showrunner talk Ash
It's been nearly 40 years since Sam Raimi directed Within the Woods, the $1,600 horror short that would become The Evil Dead. Decades later, Raimi has returned to the series that kickstarted and defined his career, directing ...

Ash vs Evil Dead II photo
Ash vs Evil Dead II

Ash vs Evil Dead renewed for a second season on Starz

Good, bad, I'm the guy with a 2nd season
Oct 28
// Hubert Vigilla
Just a few days away from the series premiere on Halloween, Starz has already renewed Ash vs Evil Dead for a second season. The new season will feature the return of Bruce Campbell and Lucy Lawless, with Campbell, Sam Raimi, ...

Interview: Lucy Lawless and Jill Marie Jones (Ash vs. Evil Dead)

Oct 28 // Hubert Vigilla
Could you tell us a little bit about the characters you're playing in Ash vs Evil Dead? Lucy Lawless: [to Jones, with a twang] Well, Thelma? Jill Marie Jones: [to Lawless, with a twang] Well, Louise? Both: We're Thelma and Louise. Lucy Lawless: She's my gal-pal and we're gunning down that moron and his loser buddies. [laughs] Jill Marie Jones: What I love so much about [my character] Amanda Fisher— She is a Michigan State Trooper, she's a badass, she knows her way around a gun, she doesn't like the word “no.” She's one of the good guys, and she really does fight for good. And she meets this mystery over here [gestures to Lawless]— Lucy Lawless: I'm an enigma! My character [Ruby], her father was Professor Knowby, who was the original holder of the Necronomicon in the movies. Her whole family got destroyed by Ash and his deadite plague. So now that he's released it again, she's absolutely going to put him in the ground, because he's responsible for all the ill in her life. She's very fixated on Ash, and not in a sexy way. [laughs] Lucy Lawless: [looks at Jones] She's a little bit fixated with her in a sexy way. Who could not be? [laughs] Were you both fans of the series before coming onto the project? Lucy Lawless: I saw the first Evil Dead when I was 16 or 17. My first boyfriend and I stomped out after the tree rape. We were going, "The people who made this movie are sick, misogynistic, 'unprintable'!” And 12 years later I was married to one of them. [editor's note: Lawless is married to producer Rob Tapert.] [laughs] Lucy Lawless: From Mount Albert, New Zealand—bottom of the world. Who would've thunk it? And here we are. The series is more like the second two Evil Dead films, because tree rape ain't funny. We're not reprising that. Jill Marie Jones: Also, what I love so much about Ash vs Evil Dead; I call it "Evil Dead for Dummies." Lucy Lawless: [laughs] Jill Marie Jones: The first episode, if you've never seen the films, I feel like new fans will be able to— Lucy Lawless: [snaps fingers] Jump in. Jill Marie Jones: You get it real quick. They do it so well. And I know the die hard fans, they did 'em really well. Lucy Lawless: Yeah, did 'em really proud. Jill Marie Jones: Really proud. So I think people will really love it. Lucy, you've plays so many strong, badass women. Is Ruby going to get in there and kick some ass? Lucy Lawless: [sarcastic] She's so weak in this show. Jill Marie Jones: [sarcastic] Vulnerable. Lucy Lawless: She's so— Both: Needy! [laughs] Jill Marie Jones: [sarcastic] Ruby's always asking Amanda, "Please, help me through life?" [laughs] Lucy Lawless: [meekly] "I just don't know which way to go." No, Ruby's a crazy bitch! Jill Marie Jones: Yeah, she's strong. Lucy Lawless: She's tough, and a little obsessive. Jill Marie Jones: And thank god, by the way. Thank god. Lucy Lawless: All the women are tough in this show. Jill Marie Jones: The three female leads of this show all kick ass. They're not waiting for the man to come and save them because they can all handle things themselves. It's really refreshing, you know. So your characters are teamed up together? Jill Marie Jones: Well, something happens, and then something else happens, and then something else happens, and then I meet Ruby. [laughs] Building on that, what physical demands were on both of you for this show? Obviously in the past with Evil Dead, you can tell it's a really physically demanding story. So what are the things you've had to do or overcome? Jill Marie Jones: I came home with bruises. We really went all the way in with all the characters. We committed. And also we have an amazing stunt department. There was a gym in New Zealand. It was right on set, and we'd go in there and punch heavy bags. Lucy Lawless: I didn't know there was a gym! Jill Marie Jones: Are you kidding me? You could go in and shoot guns— Lucy Lawless: Nobody tells me anything! [laughs] Jill Marie Jones: So there was a full-on gym. I didn't know until I got to New Zealand, but someone said to me, "Oh yeah, you have MMA training tomorrow." I was like, "Excuse me? MMA? Oh, that's— I've seen one— Oh, that's scary, but okay." But it was awesome. We had a great stunt department, but it was still physical. Lucy Lawless: We do have a world-class stunt department, who go back a ways to Hercules and Xena... [editor's note: at this point Bruce Campbell at a neighboring table interview says something that catches Lawless' attention or vice versa. Campbell turns to Lawless and Jones and there's a pause.] [to Campbell, in an old Bronx mother voice] You'll be all right, honey! You keep talking! Bruce Campbell: Hey! Lucy Lawless: [still in accent] You keep talking! [laughs] Lucy Lawless: Uhh... Yeah. Jill Marie Jones: We've got a great stunt department. [laughs] Lucy Lawless: I've got to say, it was painful to me. I don't do as much action today as I used to, but it's painful. [laughs] I'm like at the chiropractor for two weeks after doing some really lame stunt, like something that I used to do before breakfast, and now you do one and it's just murder. But the show is funny. Because it's a half hour, you don't waste a minute. It's really punchy. I think it really does do the fans proud and their expectations are going to be met. That's quite bold talk but we're really proud of what we've done. Jill Marie Jones: Absolutely. Lucy Lawless: And nobody's in more pain than Bruce, by the way. He's really put through it. Jill Marie Jones: He really is! Also, I felt like a 13-year-old boy, honestly. Because I'm shooting guns— I'm from Texas and you'd think I have like 10 guns in my purse, but I don't. I'd never held a gun before, I'd never shot a real gun before. Lucy Lawless: Oh my god! You were amazing with a gun! Jill Marie Jones: I felt like a 13-year-old boy! I was living. Lucy Lawless: The power of it, yeah. Jill Marie Jones: I was getting the power of it. The bruises that I would get from banging up to something. I was like, "Yeah, baby! I worked hard today!" It was awesome. Lucy Lawless: I was sick of being bruised. [laughs] Lucy, you mentioned earlier in this conversation the possible misfortune of being married to a certain producer. One would think this would get you off easy in terms of what you're asked to do on set. Lucy Lawless: I know. [sighs] But the past several shows you've done you've proven otherwise. Does that sort of continue into Ash vs Evil Dead as well? Lucy Lawless: Rob [Tapert] will write the character and whatever's best for the show. Sometimes it goes against me; what's best for the show, sometimes you do things that are extremely distasteful to you, but you know that it's right. And what I respect about Rob so much is that telling the stories comes first. He's not going to make things softer or better for me. We're of the same mind in that way, and I would not like him better if he made my life cushier. Were there any scripts that you looked at at the time and just shook your head? Lucy Lawless: Oh, all the time! [laughs] Lucy Lawless: Not on this, not on this! Because it's comedy. Jill Marie Jones: Well Ruby was brunette at first, and she was like, "Hell no" to that. "That's where I put my foot down!" [laughs] Lucy Lawless: "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wha?" We didn't know what the character was in the beginning. Thing is— Jill Marie Jones: She's kind of a mystery. [laughs] Lucy Lawless: [laughs] The "mystery" thing. That's because we didn't know what the hell the character was. I came late to it, they do a slow burn because you've got to establish the world of Ash and his family before you bring in the shark—you know, I'm Jaws, I'm a shadow, I'm a [audio unclear], I'm a bloody music cue—before you see her teeth come out. So bit of a slow burn on Ruby, but it's necessary because you have to establish something to lose before you can fear for Ash and the loss of his family. Could you say what you brought to your characters that maybe wasn't in the script? Jill Marie Jones: Well, for me, one of the things I was attracted to in Amanda: my mother was a federal investigator for like 40 years. She just retired last February. So there's a lot of my mom I see in Amanda. Just the strength and the fearlessness. I think in a lot of ways I was pulling from that to bring her forward. Lucy Lawless: And she's effortlessly cool on screen. Jill Marie Jones: Oh, effortlessly cool. Lucy Lawless: And in real life.
Interview: Lucy Lawless photo
The cop and the enigma with an agenda
As Lucy Lawless and Jill Marie Jones approach the table, Lawless smiles and says, "Hello, darlings," in a half-disarming and half-joking way. Jones looks at the assembled journalists then back at Lawless. "I feel like we're s...

Interview: Ray Santiago and Dana DeLorenzo (Ash vs. Evil Dead)

Oct 27 // Hubert Vigilla
Can you guys tell us about your characters since you're newcomers to the Evil Dead franchise. Ray Santiago: I play Pablo Simon Bolivar, who is this idealistic guy who came from Honduras and ended up meeting Ash at the Value Stop. He is the heart of the unit and the eyes of the audience. Pablo is Ash's main homie, and he was warned about evil lurking in the world by his family, and he didn't believe it. He comes face to face with it and believes that Ash is the man to save the world from evil. He's Ash's biggest cheerleader and sees beyond all of his flaws and believes in him. Through idolizing Ash, he realizes that he doesn't want to be like Ash, but he wants to be his own man and he wants to be his own hero. And I'll turn it over to Dana, because her character comes along for the ride because she sort of gets dragged into this whole situation by me. Dana DeLorenzo: That is true. Kelly is best friends with Pablo and, like Ray said, gets dragged into this fight against evil. But she is a real badass in the making. She's tough, she tells you like it is, she's not afraid to speak her mind. And she's really smart. She's quick on her feet. She can turn anything into a weapon if she needs to. Even though she's a little hesitant—or a lot hesitant—to join the fight at first, she eventually gets her own reasons to fight the deadites and becomes the common sense of the group, which is great for Ash. I think Kelly and Ash are a lot more similar than either would care to admit, and for that reason they push each other's buttons but they have each other's backs, which is really cool. I think it's very much a big brother, younger sister relationship, and something Kelly and Pablo are big sister and little brother. So these are her boys; this is her new family that she has found, and ultimately Kelly find her purpose in fighting evil. A reason to get out of bed every day. Ray Santiago: I don't think I've ever looked at my sister the way Pablo looks at Kelly. [laughs] Dana DeLorenzo: [laughs] No, I'm saying from Kelly's point of view. I know. Ray Santiago: But I'm just saying Pablo looks at Kelly with a different set of eyes. I don't think I've ever looked at my sister that way. But, I just want to say, the show is ultimately about a group of people who are trying to escape who they're really meant to be, and they are running from the demons that they have to fight and the demons that they have inside. And once they come into contact with them and overcome them they become this super-strong monster-fighting squad. So somehow these three dysfunctional people come together and they become a unit that is responsible for saving the world from evil. How did you prepare yourselves for physically demanding roles? And also being covered in blood and gore the entire time? Dana DeLorenzo: Oh, we would just throw everything on each other when we were prepping. It was just like, "Oh, I've got some maple syrup. Here!" Ray Santiago: I— I— Dana DeLorenzo: He went and ran in the woods in his underwear. [laughs] Ray Santiago: Yeah. I worked out a lot. Dana DeLorenzo: He did! Can I just commend his commitment to the gym? He looks very— Ray Santiago: I would wake up... Dana DeLorenzo: Kelly has noticed! Kelly is like, "Maybe Pablo's—" Ray Santiago: I had to keep it up! It's like, "Dammit! She's not looking at me the way I want her look at me!" Dana DeLorenzo: Meanwhile, I'm eating every dessert everyday. Ray Santiago: They have a lot of meat pies and a lot of biscuits in New Zealand. Dana DeLorenzo: It was amazing. And their desserts. Oh god! Everything there was so good. Well, and also, I was actually terrified a lot of the time filming Ash vs Evil Dead. I didn't think I was going to because it's make believe, but seeing the actors coming and playing the deadites—seeing them normal, like we are today, and seeing them in hair and makeup four hours or five hours with this incredible special effects team—[laughs] and then they'd just be walking around the lunch room. I couldn't eat! I couldn't look at them! It was that terrifying a place. And they didn't even have the contacts in. So I would get an extra dessert and go to my trailer and have my comfort food. It was honestly very terrifying. And weird things happened. I still think that the set was possessed. Things would just fall over at the strangest times. The noises when we were filming in the stage. The roof would be banging like there were a million, I don't know— Ray Santiago: Deer? Dana DeLorenzo: Yeah! Deer up there. Ray Santiago: They were birds. Dana DeLorenzo: There's birds! Yeah. Are the birds doing Chicago right now on Broadway? [laughs] Dana DeLorenzo: But no. It's just the wind, it's just the birds. I'm telling you, weird stuff happened. We summoned evil for sure during this. Ray Santiago: The fact we were able to leave Los Angeles and create our own bubble in New Zealand. Dana DeLorenzo: Incredible. Ray Santiago: With Bruce and Lucy and Jill Marie Jones—who cooked for me on many occasions, and just made lovely chicken soup. Dana DeLorenzo: Jill Marie Jones. Ahh. [sighs] Ray Santiago: It was possible to create this family unit outside of our normal habitat. It really helped. I just want to give props to the New Zealand crew. Dana DeLorenzo: Yeah, Kiwis! Ray Santiago: The Kiwiss were amazing, and Auckland took really good care of us. We're excited to hopefully be going back. Dana DeLorenzo: Yes, hopefully. Ray Santiago: Like you guys are not going to be disappointed in what we've done. It's kind of groundbreaking because Sam created this genre of cult classic horror-comedy, and we're bringing it to television in a single-camera, half-hour format. And I don't think there's anything like that right now on television. You've got all these other horror shows, but ours isn't taking itself too seriously. You can pop some popcorn and it's quick, you're gonna love it. Dana DeLorenzo: It's like walking into a comedy club, but inside the scariest haunted house you've ever been in. It's jam-packed in thirty minutes. There's action, but then there's also some good drama. Honestly, it's entertaining. I'm really excited. What was your exposure to the Evil Dead films before going into the show? Dana DeLorenzo: I just watched them five minutes ago. [laughs] Dana DeLorenzo: He just showed me really quick. Ray Santiago: Yeah, I was showing her [on my phone]. Dana DeLorenzo: We just did a montage. Ray Santiago: I had watched the second one, which is my favorite. And after I found out we were doing this, obviously I watched all of them. And I would watch them— A couple times I would come home and I would watch them before I went to bed. OH! And speaking of being scared and possessed, I had a bat that we were training with. Dana DeLorenzo: [laughs] Ray Santiago: I was training with a baseball bat for something on the set, and I brought the bat back to my place. [Sam Raimi] signed the bat, and I was so excited. In my apartment in new Zealand I started hearing this noise every night and I couldn't figure out what it was. And I actually got really scared that my place was haunted. So I'd sleep with this bat next to my bed. But it was just— Dana DeLorenzo: It was me hiding in the closet. Ray Santiago: It was just the pipes from the restaurant underneath [my place]. [laughs] [laughs] Dana DeLorenzo: I'd go over and we'd run lines and Ray would be like, "Do you hear that?" We'd get really quiet and I wouldn't hear it. I'd start talking and he go, "No! There it is again!" [laughs] Dana DeLorenzo: So we were— Ray Santiago: We were on edge, basically. Dana DeLorenzo: Yeah, we were on edge. Ray Santiago: Because we were a little traumatized from all the situations we— We were put in a blender of scary and gross situations. Dana DeLorenzo: And crazy. I mean, I couldn't even watch the first Evil Dead by myself in the daytime. I had to have people come over. I thought, I'm an adult. Am I really going to be scared? Still holds up, terrifies me. I still have nightmares about it. I'm getting clammy hands talking about it. [laughs] Following up on that question, if you guys have seen the films, you know most of the characters don't really last for too long. Dana DeLorenzo: Right. So do you guys sort of read ahead in the scripts just to see if your names keep coming up? Dana DeLorenzo: You know, they only gave us the scripts like two days before we would shoot it. So, ummm. [turning to Ray] What were you going to say? Ray Santiago: I was going to say that I had a system going. I'm from the South Bronx. Dana DeLorenzo: This one! Ray Santiago: She called me "New York" all the time. Dana DeLorenzo: He is so New York. We could not get the scripts until we were two days away from shooting, and maybe doing a table reading. Meanwhile, Ray was like, "This is what's going to happen." I was like, "How do you know this?!" Ray Santiago: "I can't tell you! I have my ways! I know what's happening! We're good!" Look, I think that you're right. It is something to be scared about because the people that Ash care about ultimately end up dying. Dana DeLorenzo: It keeps it exciting. Ray Santiago: I'm just going to say this: Even if you die on Evil Dead, you can come back and taunt Ash for the rest of his life. So I honestly think that's what this show's about: staying alive. So you have to see what happens. Dana DeLorenzo: And the fact that anything can happen. I think that's what gives this show an edge. You never know who can go, and you never know who's real, or who's a deadite in disguise.
Ash v Evil Dead Interview photo
Meet Ash's two sidekicks
Bruce Campbell has flown solo in each of the Evil Dead movies, which ran our hero Ash through the wringer as well as gallons of blood. Ash vs Evil Dead changes that up. Older and wearing a girdle, Ash can't kill the deadites ...

Interview: Makeup/Special Effects Designer Roger Murray (Ash vs. Evil Dead)

Oct 26 // Hubert Vigilla
Having worked on the Evil Dead remake, how does Ash vs Evil Dead compare in terms of the blood and gore and extent of the makeup effect? Oh man. It's a lot more intense, basically. I mean, there's a huge amount of special effects, blood, gore, dismemberment, beheadings. I think it's just a lot more fun of a ride. It's just a lot faster paced and crazy fun, really. When did the series come up after working on the film? Pretty quickly after? No, it wasn't. It sort of matured over quite a bit of time before we actually talked about that maybe we should do a series. It took a bit to build it, and I got pulled in about two months before they started pre-production. So there was quite a bit of a time gap between them. Moving to cable—to Starz—were there any limitations at all on what you could do as far as effect goes? We haven't had any limitations yet! They haven't set any limitations. I think most of it gets set up through the writing, and the writers have been fantastic about building certain effects as we go along. And also as the series evolves, they get an idea of what we're capable of and the amount of time [required]. That's been really great. So no, they haven't set any limitations yet, and I don't think they will! [laughs] Can you tell us about one of your favorite effects that you got to work on? Hmmm... It's a tricky one without giving too much away. I think just generally we've done a lot of character makeups, right? And those have all been really fun. Pretty much every deadite is its own character makeup. So we've got a tone for the whole show, but we've personalized every one. It's been quite good. And I think just generally making rigs. Going back to the old school rigs with dummy rigs, dismemberments, beheadings. We've made a few puppets! I can't say what's my favorite. It's like we had a lot of blood on our hands, let's just say that. How did the cast react to being constantly covered in blood? Well, they sort of got used to it. Though Bruce gets a lot of the blood, you know. The whole cast were amazing, really amazing, and really stepped up to it. Because, you know, it's a fast turnaround TV show, so it's on. I mean, we do a lot of effects in our turnaround episodically, so there was no downtime from blood. And they just got used to it. It was really good, yeah. Is there enough of a talent pool in New Zealand now that you can actually pull off this kind of show? There's been a lot of new productions down there. That's a really good question. Look, there's a huge gravitas with Evil Dead. I was working with two really good makeup artists—Jane O'Kane and Denise Coomb—down there who both share a credit in prosthetic design, because we basically allocated some of the tonal stuff to the on-set makeup artists, the designers. And that was really great. We've had a really good pool of effects makeup artists through the whole Lord of the Rings, and New Zealand ended up getting people from America, we drew people from Australia. Just the tone and the want for people to work on the show was enough to draw people to New Zealand. We're really lucky. We had some great technicians come down, great makeup artists, great technicians who worked a lot in the States. They love being in New Zealand. It's quite different down there, you know? So no, we were really lucky. It is one of those things where we're a small country so when a lot of different projects get going, it does get quite tight, but I think Evil Dead will always draw people in. The coolness factor of it? Yeah, I think it's the coolness factor, but I think it's also that we run our workshop so that makeup artists—the special effects makeup artists are usually technicians too—they'll get the ability to potentially sculpt some of the designs and do the technical side and do the makeups; so it's quite a holistic sort of way we run it. So for them they feel a little bit more connected to the show, and they really enjoy it. It's been great fun. And, you know, they come out of the workshop, get some blood on their hands, come back, wash their hands, go back out. It's been really good. When you read a gory set piece in the script, are you allowed to ratchet it up and make suggestions, or do you usually stick to what's there? Oh man! It's always getting ratcheted up, you know what I mean? The thing is trying to contain that so it actually works and is scary and not too over the top, you know what I mean? So it depends on the pace of the gag that we're doing. Some of the gags we'll do we'll go completely berzerk, mostly when Bruce is involved. [laughs] So in [Sam Raimi's] episode, it was like, "Let's really ratchet it up!" because he really loves seeing Bruce covered in blood. "But let's just ratchet it right up— Let's go craaaazy!" So we'd barge on set with kegs of blood and blood pumps, and we're pumping. That's really fun, but there are times when we want to build the pace of the show; we want it to be scary, a lot more potentially like the remake where there's a bit more of a sense of impending doom. We'll sort of tone it down a little bit. So there's a nice variation, yeah, yeah. It's worked really well, it's really fun. And... [laughs] You guys are gonna love it! It's crazy. It's a crazy half hour. It's one of those shows that I, personally, would love to go and see. Like when I get home from work, I just want to sit down and watch it. It's really fun. Could you talk a little bit about what's the aesthetic, the look, the tone of the— The tone, yeah. The tone. That's another great question. Of course, that's one of the things because the tone changes in the movies from the first Evil Dead to the second one to Army of Darkness. There's sort of an overriding feeling to it, but the actual makeup and the look of the makeup changes quite a bit. So what we've done is we've kind of gone back to look mostly at Evil Dead 2 and get the tone from there, and sort of lifted a little bit for the TV show. We always wanted to make Ash vs Evil Dead our own sort of thing. We didn't want to copy [previous movies] outright because I think [the movies] had their time and place then. So we're drawing on that, we're drawing on the palette and different hues of what they've used initially. And I love [Evil Dead 2]. I love that movie, it's great. So to be able to go over and deconstruct it, talk with Sam about where they sort of started and what the background was; just sort of change it and work with him and get a feeling of what the deadites were going to look like. It's just pushed a little bit, pushed a little bit toward the modern. How do you do Evil Dead 2-esque makeup effects when [back then] they were doing things with peanut butter? Now you've got fantastic technology and amazing materials. How do you dial it back? Well, that's the thing. We didn't want to dial it right back to then. We actually wanted to enhance it for the show. We've actually taken all the appliances we make—they're silicone appliances... There's more of a naturalism. That's probably the best way I can describe it. We didn't want it to look too theatrical, we wanted you to actually feel like the characters had gone through a transformation. There's definitely a harkening back to Evil Dead movies, but I think it's its own thing too. It's just a natural progression of makeup effects, generally. We're taking our own riff on it. How does it feel working in the industry now with the resurgence of practical effects? You're seeing a lot of films and TV shows going back to practical and going away from digital. I'm extremely happy about it. [laughs] My company, Main Reactor, is extremely happy about it. It really is a bit of a dream come true because, look, there was a point when we all thought that lots more things would be digital. We still work with a great visual effects company in New Zealand, Pacific Renaissance Pictures effects (PRPVFX). Our approach is we're not going to discard our visual effects, we're going to work together, and we're going to make effects that you don't know where the practical-effects and visual-effects sides begin and end. Marrying both of those together is hugely effective. Most of it's practical, but there's some tweaks with visual effects, things you can do easily now like wire removal and all those sort of things, enhancement of blood. It helps storytellers tell their story. We're making Evil Dead as a TV series in 2015. It's insane. I couldn't be happier. The producers are up for as many practical effects as possible, and it's just going to be a nice combination of tweaks so you're not sure how we did it. It's the veneer, you know? The polish on the— Yeah! Yeah, yeah yeah. And you'll see it. Most of the effects are practical. [laughs] Yeah, but I don't want to dismiss the fact that working with visual effects artist and working in that medium is a really fantastic way to go too. It's a great marriage. You probably run into this a lot in recent years where you'll be sitting at a production meeting and the visual effects guys say "We'll take that" or "We'll do that," and you're sort of left with the scraps. So now this seems like this is the opposite. Well, I think there's a mentality initially that's starting to change where visual effects supervisors and stuff would try to pick up lots of effects in pre-production meetings. But what we've found was that— [Let's take the show] Spartacus. I think Spartacus is a great example because when you start birthing a show, everyone starts trying to figure out what jigsaw piece they are and what's going to be best for the show. I definitely know that there's a big gravitas on Spartacus with the visual effects to actually do stuff as practically as possible because the turnaround on television is really fast. You know, the post-production side is really fast because it's matching where you are in the shooting schedule. They don't seem to be putting their hands up as much now saying "I'll take that." They're being a lot more clever about it. I think for [visual effects artists], it's great. If they can get something in-camera and we've got a plan from the start, we can come up with a great product. We're doing Evil Dead, so there's a lo-fi aspect to some things. If you're got dummies being chopped up with chainsaws, and you've got dismembered arms, or we've got some really lovely silicone bodies, you know, all that stuff. We don't have to hide that with visual effects, and the visual effects people don't have to clean it up. It just is what it is, and you're carried by the story and carried by the characters.
Interview: Roger Murray photo
On the look/feel of this new Evil Dead
Roger Murray's been working in props, makeup effects, and practical special effects for more than two decades. His credits include The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, 30 Days of Night, the 2013 Evil Dead remake, and Crouch...

Ash vs Evil Dead preview photo
Ash puts his hand to good use (NSFW)
Listen up, you primitive screwheads! Ash vs Evil Dead premieres this week, and you can now watch the first four minutes of the first episode online. This first episode was directed by Sam Raimi, and it catches the audien...

Ash vs Evil Dead photo
Ash vs Evil Dead

New Ash vs Evil Dead trailer makes the show look like a blast

"That's the spirit!"
Aug 24
// Hubert Vigilla
We're about two months away from Ash vs. Evil Dead, and Starz just released a new trailer for the show. While some of the footage is recycled from the first Ash vs. Evil Dead trailer, the new trailer has some smarmy new gags ...
Ash vs. Evil Dead poster photo
Ash vs. Evil Dead poster

New Ash Vs. Evil Dead poster promises cars, guts, and chainsaws

Aug 20
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
When people think of the top tier of paid channels, there's really just HBO with a little bit of Showtime on the side. (And now Netflix and etc.) But Starz seems to be making a real effort to show something new and awesome wi...
Ash Vs. Evil Dead Tailer photo
Bruce Campbell's still bad-Ash *rimshot*
The first full trailer for Starz's Ash vs. Evil Dead is out, and it looks way better than it has any right to look. Bruce Campbell is back as Ash, and they're playing up his schlubbiness, age, and cult persona to great effect...


Evil Dead 2 not likely to happen

I'll swallow your sequel. I'll swallow your sequel.
Aug 12
// Matthew Razak
I was quite the fan of the relaunch of Evil Dead, and with rumors of Ash returning for a crossover at some point and a sequel pretty much confirmed things looked up for more ridiculous bloodshed and awesome. Then director Fed...

Campbell says Army of Darkness 2 isn't happening... yet

Nov 05
// Matthew Razak
Just last week Fede Alvarez came out and said that he and Sam Raimi were working so hard on Army of Darkness 2 that they didn't even have time to start work on Evil Dead 2. Also, Bruce Campbell has been yacking a bit abo...

Update: Fede Alvarez not returning for Evil Dead sequel

Oct 31
// Matthew Razak
Update: Never mind! Fede Alvarez is totally still making an Evil Dead 2 and it gets better. The director says that the reason they're not working on it right now is because the focus is on Army of Darkness 2. Basica...

Flixist Movie Club - Evil Dead Cast

May 02
// Andres Bolivar
It's been long awaited (I think) and it's finally here! That's right folks ... Flixist Movie Club is back! Andres & Nick are joined by El Jefe Matthew Razak and we sit down and discuss the latest Evil Dead remake/sequel/thingy. We draw comparisons, solve the secrets of it's universe (and the universe in general) and discuss the possibility of the merging of Evil Dead universes.

Flixistentialism 14 - Snail

Happy Crime Day Everyone!
Apr 11
// Andres Bolivar
On this week's episode of Flixistentialism ... we come up with rap names, we fantasize about what we would do in the universe of the upcoming movie The Purge (AKA Crime Day), we rate girls in terms of pizza and Geoff unveils how he "does" sex like a snail.

10 subtle-ish references in the new Evil Dead

Apr 05 // Matthew Razak
Note: This is from a single viewing of the film. There's some we noticed that aren't listed, like the editing in the tool shed, and still more we probably missed. While this article doesn't explicitly give anything away it does hint at some plot points. If you're worried about going in fresh, see the film and then come back and read. The Classic "The Classic" is a 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 that has appeared in almost all of Sam Raimi's movies including the entire Evil Dead trilogy. It pops up in the new Evil Dead at the beginning (see image below) in a bit worse for ware than we've seen it before, though not by much considering its treatment at the beginning of Army of Darkness. Even covered in rust, plants and dirt "The Classic" truly still is. Plus, it hints that this movie may be more connected to the previous films than we thought... you know, if we're desperate to make connections. The Drawing Pad As you can see above Mia (Jane Levy) has a drawing pad at the beginning of the film. This references back Cheryl in the original film who also does some sketching during the movie. And by sketching I mean her hand gets possessed and draws the Necronomicon. Anyway, this little nod further establishes that Mia is supposed to be the sister character from the first film and David the Ash character. It's not something everyone will pick up, but it's a great way to put fans on the wrong scent of who will eventually be leaving the cabin.  The Skull Necklace Chain Easily one of the cheesier moments in the original film is when Ash reaches for the magnifying glass necklace in order to use it to hook the Necronomicon and throw it in the fire. The chain has magically fallen into the shape of a skull and it's so obvious that they set it up like that that it's one of the better bits of slapstick in a film that's mostly gore. While the new Evil Dead swaps the magnifying glass out for some sort circular good luck charm, sure enough when it's found on the ground near the end of the movie the chain is in the shape of a skull. It's a bit more subtly done this time around, but not by much. The Character Arcs This one is obvious for some of the characters and a bit less so for others. For instance Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) is pretty clearly Scott (Richard DeManincor) from the original as they both get their ass handed to them and cause all the issues in the first place with their insistence in reading/playing the text of the Book of the Dead (roughly translated). Mia/Ash's character arcs are a bit less easy to see, especially since Mia's arc is actually Ash's arc over the first two films. Ash goes from horror-struck coward to insanity to total badass by the end of Evil Dead 2 with a bit of possession thrown in. Mia's arc follows much the same story except her cowardice is drug addiction, and her possession lasts a whole lot longer. The most important thing is she's badass by the end of the film. The Mirror Life lesson: if you're in a cabin in the woods and evil is coming after you do not look into a mirror. It's simply not going to end well. In the first two Evil Dead films Ash looks into a mirror and the first time its turned into liquid and the second his reflection jumps out and starts strangling him. In the new film Olivia (Jessica Lucas) peers into a mirror and sees a glimpse of her very gory future. The mirror then shatters and she later uses the shard to do the damage you see above. Just to be clear: mirrors = bad. The Hanging Animals This is actually a meta-homage since it references an homage itself. See Raimi and crew were inspired by Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the Hills Have Eyes. The former had a plenty of creepy stuff hanging in Leatherface's house and so they hung up creepy things from the cellar ceilingin Evil Dead to pay tribute. The new film has even more, and in the form of dead, rotting animals. Neither the original Evil Dead or Texas Chainsaw went quite as graphic as the new Evil Dead does, nor did they force any of their characters to take the hanging animals out in the trash. Just goes to show you that horror has to keep pushing the envelope. The "Fine" Line This one actually gets repeated twice in the new film I believe. Eric insists on two separate occasions that everything is not going to be "fine" after David, who is clad in Ash's signature blue shirt, says that everything will be just that. This references one of the classic lines in Evil Dead 2 when Ash goes to check himself in the mirror saying that he's fine. His reflection jumps out and grabs him, saying, "I don't think so. We just cut up our girlfriend with a chainsaw. Does that sound 'fine?'" Pucci doesn't quite deliver it as brilliantly as Campbell did, but it's another hint that leads anyone who knows the original films to expect that David is the new Ash. The Wall Slam (I couldn't find an image of this so here's a picture of Jane Levy to break up the blood and guts.) One of the tenants of the Raimi Evil Dead films was that Bruce Campbell had to get beaten up as much as possible on set. In fact a lot of the cast got beat up, and to hear Jane Levy talk about it she didn't get off any easier with Fede Alvarez. At one point in Evil Dead Ash gets thrown into the wall, shattering a bookshelf. This shot is duplicated almost exactly in the new film as David gets flung across a room, adding a little Raimi-style cartoonishness to the violence for a brief moment.  The Blood When first making Evil Dead Rob Tapert espoused a lesson he learned from a Michigan theater owner on how to make a successful horror film: "Just make the screen run red with blood." Raimi took him literally and not only had a project flicker on has blood dripped down its lens, but also had shots where blood coated the actual camera's lens as well. Fede Alvarez went a little less literal and made it rain blood, still clearly following the sage advice of that theater owner. It's a great example of how the new Evil Dead is the same and yet different.   The "Join Us" As Ash and his lady friend pull up to the cabin in Evil Dead 2 things get a little anthropomorphic as the cabin gets a pair of eyes and we hear the now classic words "join us." While the new movie actually does a really good job of avoiding directly cribbing from the old one they do give this a nod as David and his girlfriend pull up to the cabin. It's not quite as obvious as there's no overlay of evil eyes, but cleverly and somewhat subtly worked into the soundtrack are the words "join us." A great nod at the start of the film to let you know how things are going to be.  Bonus Make sure you stay until after the credits for a little something groovy.
Evil Dead Nods photo
Here are the not so obvious nods to the originals
By this time you've either seen the fantastic Evil Dead remake/relaunch or bought your ticket for it to see it this weekend. If you haven't you should really get on the ticket buying thing, because it's really ...

Review: Evil Dead

Apr 05 // Geoff Henao
[embed]214272:39427:0[/embed] Evil DeadDirector: Fede AlvarezRating: RRelease Date:  April 5, 2013 When Mia (Jane Levy) decides to go cold turkey from drug abuse, she asks for support from her friends to support her by staying a weekend at an old family cabin. Childhood friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas) are joined by old friend and Mia's brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore). Tension remains between David and the rest of the group due to his inability to show up when he's needed. However, the seemingly abandoned cabin appears to have been used for some sort of cult activity. When Eric finds a book full of evil chants and horrific imagery, known to most as the Naturon de Monto, Mia's struggle against sobriety becomes an afterthought as each person struggles to stay alive. Let me just go right out and say it: The hype is real. Evil Dead stands as proof that horror remakes can be done properly. Moving beyond the legendary status that the original film holds, this new Evil Dead film can stand alone as a truly great horror film. Terms like "reboot" or "remake" do fit this film, but they don't do this film justice. Rather, Evil Dead stands as a rebirth, both for the franchise, but for horror films in general. However, that's not to say that there aren't nods and allusions to the original film. While the film closely follows the events of The Evil Dead, it takes these homages and cleverly spins them so that they feel fresh and interesting while still serving as bits of fanservice to the franchise fanatics. Alvarez and his writing partner, Rodo Sayagues, are fans themselves, and set out to make a film that would appeal to old and newcomers to the series. They definitely hold The Evil Dead's influence on their sleeves, but are able to go to extreme levels that the original never could have, whether because of budgetary limits or technological deficiencies that existed 30 years ago. Alvarez was basically given full reign with the film, and his vision of a proper, modern day Evil Dead delivers. More interestingly is his decision to shy away from CGI, thus creating a more realistic tone for the film that other contemporary horror films lack. The film is bloody, brutal, gory, and everything you'd want from a film that carries the Evil Dead moniker. The cast shine in their established roles/archetypes, which are the typical roles you'd find in every other horror film. However, the film's third act flips not only the established script, but what's essentially expected of an Evil Dead film. It's gutsy moves like this that truly showcase why Alvarez was hand-selected to bring the franchise to new audiences, despite his inexperience with Hollywood. Bruce Campbell, Rob Tapert, and Sam Raimi all gave Alvarez and Sayagues their blessings, and their trust in them didn't go unfounded. Any fears you may have had about the film tainting the Evil Dead name can, and will, be alleviated.
Evil Dead Review photo
A horror remake done right.
[This review was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest 2013 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of Evil Dead.] Evil Dead was going to be the shining gem of this year's SXSW jus...

Interview: Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues (Evil Dead)

Apr 04 // Geoff Henao
Coming up with a good villain for this film… Fede Alvarez: She’s a good hero and villain, which is what I think made her [Mia] so unique. Even though she’s bad ass and people are scared of her so much, I think at the end of the day, she’s everybody’s favorite character because everybody’s with her since the beginning moment the movie opens. I feel the people kept with her because she’s doing something brave. Since day one, the moment the movie opens, you see a character that is ready to do something that is very ballsy. We all have our vices and our bad habits and we all wish [we could say], “You know what? I’m going to stop doing this.” I think it was great the way we created that character. I think since the first minute of the movie, people admire her because she’s ready to do something like that. And of course, everybody’s patronizing to her, and everybody hates that, and she’s the one that’s right. She’s a great character, and then suddenly, she’s the worst thing that can happen to you. She’s so scary. That’s what I like about her: She’s the hero, but she’s the villain at the same time. The pressure of remaking Evil Dead, since it’s such a beloved movie for horror fans around the world: Is there this pressure like, “I’ve got to make this the right way, but also want to do it my way. I don’t want to necessarily compromise what I see for this film, but also acknowledge that there’s definitely this expectation.” FA: At the end of the day, Sam [Raimi] told us at the beginning, “You have to go and write and make the movie that you want to see in theaters – not [the film] that the fans want to see in the theaters, not that Sam Raimi in the theaters, but what you guys [Alvarez and Sayagues] want to see in theaters.” Rodo Sayagues: We were fans, too. FA: He knew we were fans and followers of his movies as kids. It was like giving two guys in the audience [like saying], “You know what? This movie’s yours. You do it.” Because we’re completely outside of Hollywood, we’re from Uruguay, we’re fans of his movies, and he gave us the chance to write and direct this movie. It’s amazing. I think that comes out of the genius of Sam Raimi to take such a risky choice. Since you were outside of the Hollywood system, how did you get hired for this job? FA: That short Panic Attack [Ataque de Panico] was just another short [and] a lot of things I was doing, but it ended up an overnight hit on YouTube. It was in the right moment at the right time, I guess, because Facebook was exploding and YouTube was putting up the HD format that didn’t exist before that. Suddenly, it was an HD short, and everybody had Facebook at that moment, and it was when everybody was opening their accounts, so everybody was sharing it on Facebook. Today, nobody cares what somebody posts on Facebook, because you post so much stuff. Back then, it was quite new, so it was suddenly like boom, everybody was passing that on, so it became a viral, overnight thing. It had half a million views in one day, in night together. Through that short, just suddenly, I got a lot of attention in Hollywood, like I woke up and had 150 emails from the industry. I thought it was a joke at the beginning, but it was real. Then I went to LA, met a lot of people, and some of the people I met was Sam Raimi and his team, and we’re big fans and followers of his career, and soon I was the guy he wanted to work with. And also, he gave us… he closed the deal with us to make a movie, it was a blind deal. He said, “I want you to make the movie you want.” And out of that deal and that relationship, we ended up making Evil Dead. I asked some of the others earlier, but there are homages and allusions to the first film. Did you feel like you had to include that to kind of keep it in the Evil Dead realm? FA: As a fan, I want to see that. They didn’t want me to have the car in the film. They mentioned that, yeah. FA: Sam was like, “I wanted you to do your movie.” And I was like, “Yeah, but last time we saw the cabin, everybody died, and Bruce turned around and everybody was gone, but the car was left there. I want the car to be there.” When I walked on set the first day, I could see the car, and I felt like it was holy ground and needed to be respected, all of those elements. And I did that in kind of a religious way in so many levels that I bet you didn’t even notice in the movie. You know, in the original movie when the first girl was going to turn, she’s like reading those poker cards out loud and saying the sequence of cards that she started repeating, and she turns around and she’s possessed… [There’s] a deck of poker cards on the table in the living room and every one of those cards are assembled in the same order that she named them in the original movie, so there’s details like that that you’ll spot them if you pause it. But like that, the house is flooded like that. I think it was a way to bless every part with things from the original, and then we did the same thing with the audio. You’ll hear the voice from the original cast in the movie. When Mia shoots David and starts screaming, she’s screaming, but in the air, you can hear the original omen, the “One by one, we will take you!” You can hear that in the air, somebody screaming that. That’s from the original movie, so there’s a lot of little details like that. Some of them, you will know it as one-liners out of context, stuff like that, but just because we like it, not because somebody asked us. I don’t think they even know that they’re there. One of the controversial scenes from the first one, you also decided to keep, was the tree rape sequence. How did you decide to do it? Was there ever a decision to take it out? FA: It wasn’t a decision to take it out. Actually, we didn’t write it in the original draft. RS: It wasn’t there until the third draft. FA: It wasn’t until production, like… Rob Tapert, who created the original movie, it was Rob’s idea when they made the original movie, came up with the idea of the tree rape. In production, I don’t know why, but suddenly, [we said] “We need that tree rape in the movie.” The reason why we didn’t write it was because we felt we were never going to get away with it with MPAA these days. That was sex and violence altogether, my god, there’s no way. RS: We had to find a way to make it happen not as explicit as it was in the first film, the original one. FA: I think it’s quite explicit. I think the only way it’s not is that it doesn’t seem like she’s enjoying it. In the original movie, she’s going, “Oh yeah, baby.” And that’s like… that’s wrong. In this one, we wanted to show how painful that is, something like that would not be enjoyable at all. I think Jane [Levy] did a great job portraying that pain. It also serves its story. It’s like whatever was inside that demon in the forest is now inside of her. She takes that with her in the house. That’s why she said, “There’s something with us, and I think it’s inside the room right now.” She means herself. Your short, Panic Attack, was kind of in CGI with the robots, but the decision to use practical effects here was more like, not an homage, but more of a desire to kind of connect with the horror from the original. FA: It’s not that I’m not a fan of CGI, it’s just I’m filmmaking. It depends on what you have to tell, and the story I wanted to tell back then was an alien invasion movie. Unfortunately, I couldn’t build those robots for real, it would have been tricky, but I thought I would do it at some point with scale models. But it worked for what it was, and you have to use the techniques you have available to tell the stories you want to tell. That’s what it’s all about. With this one, we didn’t need it. We could have used it, but we didn’t need it. Most importantly, we wanted the movie to [last] as long as possible. We have a responsibility with the original classics. We want it to stand as long as those, and in order for a movie to last long, you don’t want CGI because CGI looks great today, but looks like shit in five years. We could have gotten away with some weird creature at the end that could have been awesome, but then you watch the movie in ten years and [say], “Wow, what were we thinking back then?” That’s the bad thing about CGI, I think. One of the great movies these days have CGI end up getting old very fast. They were saying you want it to be as timeless as possible [with] no cell phones, no modern technology. It could be anytime, anywhere. FA: It could be in the 80s. I think the only thing that dated it a little bit was the car. I regret that a little bit. I should have used an older car, but then the rest was… it was risky. We were worried that the audience were going to wonder why they don’t take a cell phone and call the police. They don’t, and people go with it. They didn’t really care about it, which was awesome. Are you excited to come out here and talk to the fans? FA: Oh my god, yes. I could stay here until I’m 50, believe me. I’m going to enjoy the festival, I know that. I want to watch movies, I want to be around people.
Evil Dead Interview photo
Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues walk into a bar...
[This interview was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest 2013 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of Evil Dead.] Finally, the last of my SXSW Evil Dead roundtable interviews s...

Interview: Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert (Evil Dead)

Apr 03 // Geoff Henao
That’s a nice little pocket square. Bruce Campbell: My wife is always tweaking it. That’s awesome. BC: I iron my own clothes. I press my own clothes. My first wife taught me how to iron. Oh really? BC: Yup. You start with the collar, iron it flat, and then you flip it over and iron that. Then you do the back, then you end with the sides and the sleeves. I’ve watched so many YouTube videos. I can’t figure it out. BC: Oh, ironing is key. Ironing is important… depending on what you’re going for. That’s true, and if you mess up, you could cover it up with a jacket anyways. BC: Well, here we are… How often were you guys on set? BC: Rob was there. Rob Tapert: I was there... They made it seem like you were on the set a lot. BC: No, I was working on my day job, on Burn Notice, the TV show. Rob was the man in the trenches there. But you know, as Rob explained it, if you’re doing your job right as a producer, you don’t have to be there looking over the guy’s shoulder. Nobody wants that. RT: I had an office there, and there would be days where I would go there, spend all day in the office, kind of doing stuff related to another thing I was doing, Spartacus, in the Evil Dead office in case anything came up. Saw Fede [Alvarez] and the guys at lunch, talked about [stuff], then go afterwards and talk to the actors, go back to my office, and that’s [all]. I wouldn’t actually hang around on set because I think [being] on set’s really boring. If I’m there, something’s wrong. BC: It’s true, it’s true. It’s a good way of looking at it. RT: Or I will have watched dailies, then I would go out and say, “Oh that was really great,” or “You know, we should keep our eyes on this.” But otherwise, it ran pretty smoothly. Now Bruce, I know you were the most resistant, reluctant to do the remake. BC: Well, not necessarily. I wouldn’t characterize it like that. Well, the things you were letting go… It’s kind of like letting go of Ash… BC: I didn’t really have an issue. Look, to us, it was if Sam was on board, we’re on board. We were surprised at how on board he was. Rob and I came up afterwards, after the fact. RT: We didn’t want to do a bad version. I had seen a lot of remakes that were a bad version, so until there was a proper filmmaker… and it all worked out right. We needed somebody who was going to write the script and direct it, and kind of take ownership of… take the hand off the franchise into their own hands, and that’s what happened. There were many missteps we could have made. BC: And we were happy to relinquish Ash. We didn’t want to put that on some actor, “Blah blah blah, you’re going to play the part. You’re going to imitate me.” Because that would have been a direct remake as opposed to its own thing. BC: Yeah, yeah. This gives it a lot more space, and this way the series can operate independently in different universes. We can still make Evil Dead 4. There’s nothing to do with this movie. This [Evil Dead] gives it a lot of space, and the series can operate independently in different universes. We can still make Evil Dead 4. [It] has nothing to do with this movie, whatsoever. Nothing, just a creepy book, that's the only thing they have in common. If you guys do go forward with an Evil Dead 4, would you still be considering continuing in this more modern universe? BC: Sam's been talking about it. Rob and I are like, 'Show us a script.' [...] If we did another, Army of Darkness 2, which is really what it would be, it wouldn't be Evil Dead 4 because Army of Darkness changed its name a bit. So really, it would be Army of Darkness 2. RT: Nowhere was it called Evil Dead 3. It was Army of Darkness everywhere. Fans knew it as that, and in foreign countries, they called it whatever… La Casa 3 or something. What were things that Fede did that you saw in dailies [where] you were like, “No, we don’t want this.” Anything you kind of objected to? RT: No. There were things… Bruce, Sam, and I watched the movie when it was about 80% shot, and we went, “Oh, this is really good. This is great. He’s done a great job,” and we said, “These are areas where we want you to think about. We think you should beef up something. BC: Just to punch it up a little. RT: Punch it, make it bigger. BC: Go a little crazier. RT: He took that opportunity in a couple of extra days, and we made some of the things bigger. We were happy with that. Was the raining blood, was that your guys’ thing? RT: No, that was Fede. He fought for that forever. He had to have it. BC: It’s pretty unique, though! Not many movies have a blood rain sequence. How does it feel to come out to [the premiere] and to have fans out there cheering? BC: It feels great! It’s kind of like we’re being provided for now 30 years later. We’re sort of getting paid now for what we did a long time ago. None of us really made legitimate money off of [them], especially the first one. It was just the fact that we wanted to get into the film business, that’s what it represented. This is sort of odd that it’s nationally released, it looks good, real photography, good visual effects, the music is over the top, and it’s just great to see this movie all spit polished and looking nice where people can’t tell how you did the effects. That’s all you want, we just didn’t have money to hide our effects. Was there any question it was going to be practical effects vs. CGI? RT: There was a little discussion over what we were going to do and how. There were shortcuts you could make in production that save you a day, a couple of days of shooting at the end of a schedule if you opted to say, “Oh, we’re just going to split that tongue in CGI.” Fede fought against that, and he was right to fight against it, and [we] ultimately said, “Okay, you know what? We’re going to go down that [path]…” BC: As a result, the film also has a retro look, a pre-CGI look because there’s no ghostly image going around. Even though it’s a very different film, it’s going back to that 80s genre of horror films where now, it’s kind of more like that hostile, very violent [film] where there’s no point, but this is more gore because it’s scary as opposed to gore for the sake of gore. RT: And found footage. Do you have a favorite sequence in the new film? RT: I like the nail gun sequence, the nail gun and crowbar sequence [where] Natalie ends up armless [and] crawling across the floor [saying], “My face hurts!” BC: I like Jane Levy’s never-ending scream where she just stands there and she just screams and shit is blowing around the room. You’re like, “What? What?!” And she just keeps screaming and keeps screaming. That was really cool. They said [at the post-screening Q&A] that your scream was mixed. BC: Yeah, it’s in there a couple of times. RT: But Jane’s a real screamer. You get actresses who can scream and some who can’t, and Jane was a real screamer. BC: Yeah, she could scream. There are a few homages and allusions to the first film. Was that all on Fede, or was that you guys kind of encouraging it? BC: We didn’t discourage it. I mean, look: It should be Michigan state, so it’s [in] Flint, Michigan we’re talking about, you see the car, you’ve got the book. There were things to give people the basics. Fede had a lot of wiggle room to go around that. RT: And I hassled him about the car all the time, not that I was against having it in, but I wanted him to explain why it was there. At the end of Evil Dead, it gets sucked down a hole. BC: Sucked into a vortex. It’s in 1300 right now. RT: Yeah, so what is that car… No, it traveled with you into the future… depending on the ending. BC: We don’t know where the car is. RT: “Why’s the car there?” [Mimicking Fede] “Oh, the fans are going to love it.” That’s not good enough. You’ve got to tell me why that car’s there. To his credit, he just kept saying, “The fans are going to love it. We have to have it.” BC: He used that line on me, too. We were mixing the sound, and there’s one part where we just wanted to keep pushing the music while the possessed chick is kissing… the blood kiss underneath the stairs, and she’s just barfing in her mouth. Fede just wanted the music louder and louder. I said, “Fede, you’re crazy. The music’s too loud,” and he goes, “No, the fans would insist on it.” I was like, “Okay… fine,” so we left it. In his soul of souls, he was like, “They need it.” Going forward, you guys [talking about a sequel], if you make Evil Dead 4, [would it be] separate, so this Evil Dead [sequel] would be its own thread, its own world? BC: Yeah, connected to the first movie, not to any of the original movies. So if you made Evil Dead 4, it would be its own separate [film]? BC: It would matter not. RT: Evil Dead 4’s the one with the guys in the walkers.
Evil Dead Producers photo
Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert walk into a bar...
[This interview was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest 2013 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of Evil Dead.] Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert: Two of the three masterminds be...

Interview: Shiloh Fernandez and Jane Levy (Evil Dead)

Apr 02 // Geoff Henao
Last night with a live audience, was there any sort of pressure to move the story towards a more modern, realistic gore, stay[ing] away from campy sort of thing? Jane Levy: I don’t really know. I think there was a level of, I don’t know if this has to do exactly with what you’re talking about, but I think Fede [Alvarez] wanted to make a film that was timeless. There are no cell phones in the movie, if you noticed, and we’re wearing clothes that’s a little ambiguous. Lou [Taylor Pucci] looks like he’s straight up from the 70s. It’s not really clear exactly… I mean, I’m wearing a Michigan State sweatshirt, but I feel like the place and the time is not totally clear, and I think he did that on purpose. And none of you guys overacting or anything like that. It was more natural until maybe you were possessed. JL: Yeah. I think we took our jobs seriously; we didn’t necessarily take ourselves seriously. I mean, we’re making a horror film at the end of the day. The campy thing, I have a hard time defining or understanding. I don’t think anyone ever tries to be campy, do they? Shiloh Fernandez: The thing is that Evil Dead 1 is very… it’s sincere. They made a movie, and you can see it, and you can feel it. I think the campiness came in the next movie in Evil Dead 2 when Bruce Campbell is in the car and faces the camera. The movie that Fede was asked to make was Evil Dead, you know? So he took that scary movie that he remembered as a kid, and that’s what he did. The campy thing is like, there are funny moments, it’s really funny, and that’s what’s so good about it is because you laugh. The deaths with the [way] they do shit to themselves. It’s so insane that, hopefully, causes some laughs. I’m kind of curious about the physicality during the possession when you guys become more twisted and contorted. What was that like to do that everyday? JL: Yeah, it’s all really though. You get neck problems, man! It was fun to think about it. Fede hired a couple of movement coaches that worked with us and talked about our being possessed and what that would mean for our particular characters. We all had our freedom with that, each one of us gets possessed. We had discussions, but ultimately, we just tried stuff on the day, and I guess whatever was scariest, Fede chose for the cut. Are you guys prepared for the wider response for comic book convention crowds? Are you guys ready for that? JL: That stuff is really hard to comprehend, because who knows? It’s sort of like saying… I don’t know, this is a really hard question to answer. What if it’s not? What if nobody sees it? I don’t know. SF: That’s happened to me before, that question two years ago. “Are you ready for this thing?” First of all, there’s nothing to prepare for, because you can’t ultimately prepare for something that isn’t real. JL: And that you don’t understand and have never experienced. SF: I think what’s cool is this movie is a legendary film, so no matter what happens, it’s cool to be a part of this. Did you feel that pressure of remaking Evil Dead? That’s, to a lot of people, the holy grail of horror films, so it’s a lot of pressure as an actor being part of that legend. You know, “You got to live up to its standards.” It’s not like the acting in Evil Dead wasn’t exactly top-notch. SF: I didn’t say that. I’m saying that. It was great, but in retrospect, it was kind of cheesy. But now, you guys are a part of that history. JL: I didn’t really feel any pressure. None of us were trying to be anybody, we’re not trying to imitate anything. Fede wrote the script; I’m sure maybe he felt some pressure. I’m sure he did. I think he speaks honestly about that, but I was just an actor. I was just a piece of it. SF: Yeah, I think it’s a beloved movie. I’m not a huge fan of remakes. If a movie I love gets remade, I’m sort of pissed off, so I understand that attitude, and I think that the only thing you can do is to trust in the director and pray to god that he does a good job. Ultimately, I always felt like, how frustrating it was, he was going to make a movie. JL: And Sam [Raimi] was behind every single decision and has the final say in everything, so the original director is “The Great Powerful” for this whole project. I made a joke because he’s making the Oz movie. But it really was sort of like that. I never met Sam, but he was very much involved; the same as Rob [Tapert]. Are you guys fans of the original, or did you only see it before you got the part? JL: I saw it once I got the part, and I really liked it. I was really impressed, and I thought it was really fucking scary. SF: You thought it was scary? JL: Totally. I was so scared. SF: I really liked the first one. We already talked about that, yeah. The story’s obviously a lot different, and the background is a lot different, but keeping a lot of same things, [like] with the tree scene, you know… kind of that iconic, awful, horrible, things from the first movie recreated. How do you feel [about the film] keeping close to the original, not necessarily in tone or style, but keeping in the spirit. It was a very different story, and I digged that. SF: I think that’s really cool, the little things that we say peppered in to give [an] homage is really cool. I know that we got there and there was no tree rape scene, and there was going to be a snake. That was something we were all really excited for to have that particular scene in the movie to completely appease the fans that might be doubtful of this reboot. It was great to keep a lot of those elements. Besides the original Evil Dead, did they make you guys watch any horror films that have come out since? JL: He did give us a list of his favorites, but he didn’t make us watch everything. SF: You did a lot… JL: Yeah, I watched a lot of horror movies. SF: He told me to watch a Gregory Peck movie, and I can’t remember the name of it right now. Unfortunately, I didn’t do it... clearly. If you saw the movie last night [at the premiere], I didn’t do it. What was it like working with more practical effects as opposed to CGI. There was a big emphasis on being more gritty and more intense, and that definitely adds to it. When it’s CGI, it’s kind of fake and takes you out of it, so what was that like to work with more practical effects? SF: Jane had to deal with it a little bit more than I had to, but for me, it was really hard because I’ve never… You sort of want to get into a rhythm and flow in the scenes with them, but ultimately, they got to reset and they got to wash that fucking blood off the wall, and they’ve got to re-tie her arm up to the wall or whatever. It’s really tedious and hard to stay focused and stay in it. JL: I thought it was really fun, actually. I mean, I’m not saying the whole movie was fun, but a lot of the practical effects were great because everything’s happening right now. It’s not all in your imagination. Like in the first scene where I come out and I scream and the windows break, the windows actually broke in the house. In that scene I watched Jessica [Lucas] shoot where she looks herself in the mirror and the mirror breaks, [it] was all set up. It was just so cool to watch it actually happen, and also, it was fun to work as a team. One day, I shot the shotgun, and Fede was like, “It doesn’t look real because a shotgun would have smoke afterwards” and the shot’s behind my head and I’m laying there on the floor. I think I said… I smoked a cigarette on the floor and tried to blow it. They were like, “No no no no no, that’s not good enough because it’s not coming from the right angle.” So a guy in rain boots laid next to me, some kid in New Zealand, and smoked a cigarette next to me in my face after I shot my gun so that there would be smoke.
Evil Dead Main Cast photo
Shiloh Fernandez and Jane Levy walk into a bar...
[This interview was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest 2013 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of Evil Dead.] Last weekend, I sat down with Jane Levy (Nobody Walks) an...

Interview: The supporting cast of Evil Dead

Apr 02 // Geoff Henao
What was it like working with Fede [Alvarez]? I’ve been hearing a lot about him as a first-time director. How did that feel like? Jessica Lucas: Great. Actually, when I went to audition, [I] was kind of skeptical and not sure if I wanted to do it or be in a horror movie. Fede is the person that made me want to [be in it]. He was really enthusiastic, and you could tell he’s just so passionate about the originals and wanted to make a very cool, original film that still had nods to the original films. He’s the whole reason I did it. Lou Taylor Pucci: You’ve seen how cool, calm, and collected he is. It’s true. You need that in a director sometimes, especially for a movie like this with such crazy energy and everything being practical and disgusting. We only had one take of something because there’s only one arm or whatever. He knew what he wanted, and he was cool. That’s hard to do, especially for a first timer. JL: Yeah, he never lost his enthusiasm, either. Elizabeth Blackmore: Or his vision, really. He knew what film he wanted to make. When he had an idea or something, would he just pitch it to you guys, or he’d tell you, “This is what we’re doing”? LTP: For about 25 minutes. [He begins mimicking Alvarez’ stuttering.] JL: I remember you guys [Pucci and Alvarez] having some very long, drawn-out conversations, [we were] like, “Are we going to shoot today” while Fede was still talking. LTP: Fede’s a talker. It’s better than not being a talker, though. Did he have you guys as a cast bring you a bit closer together because you’re childhood friends. Did you guys do any sort of bonding experience? LTP: We actually wanted to go to the real cabin in the woods and spend a vacation in the real cabin, but they wouldn’t let us for insurance reasons. So we went and rented a beach house in the middle of this beach community in Brazil, and it was way upper class, ritzy; we were next to a golf course. It was hilarious. JL: I’d take that over the cabin. LTP: Actually [when] we really got to bond was the four days leading up to shooting, like we filmed the next day after we got back, so everybody’s tension was running really high at the end. They’re like, “Okay, vacation’s over!” EB: I think we all got along really well from the beginning. LTP: Nobody’s really a jerk… except for Shiloh [Fernandez]. How physical was it for you guys, and you [Pucci] especially, because your character basically got fucked over the entire film? LTP: It was super physical. My favorite thing was just jumping rope and doing something that would get me totally wiped out by the time we got to the screen, because you had to come in with the same scared face. Let’s do scary faces again! What about you guys? JL: Was it physically grueling? Yeah. Well, I only shot my sequence for about a week, and I remember just at the end thinking, “This is hell. I’m so glad that it’s over, but then we realized everyone else had to keep on doing it and it smells so bad. EB: I think one of the hardest things was so much makeup and prosthetics, you know? And it takes hours, like six hours. And then having to suddenly jump in to slicing my arm or whatever. It’s just like… Lou would be jumping rope, and I would be spinning in circles just trying to get that energy back up. JL: You spend more time getting ready than actually shooting. LTP: Do you remember that one time, we were filming in the beginning, we did it in chronological order, so all of the drama was in the beginning. Remember they wanted us to do it without Shiloh there? They were like, “We’re going to get ready for this. Be ready, because you’re not always going to always be working with the actors. You’re going to have to work with stunt doubles and a tennis ball or something.” They tried doing that with a drama scene. We were like, “No! This is a bunch of… This is the acting part. You’ve got to let us do the acting part once!” But they did. Fede knew. We were pissed. JL: We got our way, though. LTP: I don’t know where that came from, the story that just happened. How long did the shoot take? LTP: Three months. Were there times on the shoot [where] you guys were actually, physically scared, like “Wow, this is scary. I wonder what it must look like on the screen”? EB: I remember watching Jess’ face get vomited on. I finished for the day and I was just watching, and I went, “…oh. Okay.” JL: I think it was more traumatic for everyone else. Like Jane was freaking out. She absolutely hated having to vomit on me. I was acting like I was drowning in it, so she actually thought I was. I thought we were only going to do it once or twice at the most, but we did it four or five times. What was the vomit mix? LTP: Mint flavored or vanilla flavored? JL: It was more like a strawberry. At least it had a flavor. EB: We get asked these questions every day. “What flavor blood? Peppermint? Vanilla?” JL: The worst part about it was that they only mixed it up every other day, so on day two, it was the most rancid smelling, disgusting thing, and I would just have to get covered in it. LTP: That is so disgusting. They would only mix it up every other day. That is so disgusting. EB: There’d just be these jars in the fridges, like: “Demon vomit.” LTP: I was mostly working with Jessica in the scene where we got really beat up, you know what I mean? That vomit was like a mucous; it was like a pudding. It was like pudding all over you. There were chunks, too. I noticed that. LTP: And it would all dry, so it was like we were wearing these cardboard cutout shirts and stuff, because they were solid by the end of it. They weren’t cloth anymore, they were just dried blood. JL: We went through a lot of wardrobe. EB: I think I had close to 30 dresses. LTP: I had 27. JL: Sometimes, they had to cut you out of them in the end because you can’t get them off. Were you guys fans of the original, or did you watch it when you got hired for the movie? LTP: I was a huge fan of the original from when I was younger. JL: I still haven’t seen it. I do want to see it, I just didn’t want to be informed by something else. I would love to see it now. It’s on Netflix Instant, so maybe I’ll go see it. LTP: I really love that it’s not really a remake. It really isn’t. It just doesn’t feel like it. It’s not trying to be anything like the other one. It just has the same cabin and the same general characters as every other horror film. But I mean, that’s it. It’s its own thing. Last year at SXSW, they had The Cabin in the Woods. Any comparisons? LTP: Yeah, I didn’t like that. Really? EB: I haven’t seen it. We were in New Zealand when it came out, and it hadn’t come out there, so we didn’t get to see it. LTP: It was just, they were going for the funny. [Evil Dead] was funny in its shock value, and I just choose this. If I want to watch something that’s horror, I want it to be at least scary. That wasn’t scary at all. It was funny. It was more like a comedy. It was different with what it was, but to think you were going into a horror film, then getting what it was. JL: Actually, Fran Kranz [Marty in The Cabin in the Woods] was at the premiere. LTP: I shouldn’t say I hated The Cabin in the Woods. That was a bad idea. JL: No filter, I like it. LTP: Yeah, shit happens.
Evil Dead Supporting Cast photo
Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas, and Elizabeth Blackmore walk into a bar...
[This interview was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest 2013 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of Evil Dead.] Evil Dead was highly anticipated at this year's SXSW. Who...


New Evil Dead clip has seven years bad luck

Mar 14
// Matthew Razak
This new clip from the upcoming remake of Evil Dead, which Geoff caught at SXSW and raved about, is pretty damn short and full of a lot of heavy breathing, but it surprisingly tells us a lot.  First we catch a glimpse o...

Evil Dead was part one of a trilogy, part two on its way

Mar 11 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
The idea of films being made with the intention of creating trilogies is a sketchy one, and it's something that we've been talking about a bit behind the scenes since the news broke about  the already-in-production Oz. The guaranteed franchise-ization of properties is one of the signs that Hollywood (as well as the games industry, for what it's worth) is falling to creative pieces, but there's something about this is particular that just feels fine. Maybe it's because this isn't a Hollywood film, and it's made by people who really care. I mean, Sam Raimi doesn't even want to return to direct an Oz sequel, but the company will charge ahead anyway. I really don't like that at all. But maybe it's because there is already a trilogy that this is emulating. The Texas Chainsaw reboot went all kinds of crazy with adding prequels and sequels and whatever, but there wasn't really a precedent for that (though Tobe Hooper's Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, given its comedic slant, could actually been seen in the same vein as The Evil Dead 2). Here it feels more natural. Or maybe it's just that the film sounds really awesome (and Oz the Great and Powerful does not). I don't really know.  It will be interesting to see if Alvarez and co. follow the same Horror->Horror Comedy->Comedy structure that Raimi did. I don't know if that would be good, but it would certainly be interesting. I'd like to know how Alvarez and Mendez would add in comedy. I'd like to know if that's something they're even capable of making comedy. But it would probably be best if they kept to their own devices and just made it better and better horror. I mean, we've already got Army of Darkness 2 on the way anyhow. Do we really need another one? Trick question, by the way. The answer is yes. Hell yes. [Via The Hollywood Reporter]
Evil Dead 2 official photo
Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues Mendez reuniting to write the script
After unveiling itself to the world with some absolutely crazy trailers, Evil Dead had a lot to live up to. Not only did it have to be able to stand with Sam Raimi's films, but it needed to justify that crazy awesome tongue-s...

Army of Darkness 2?! photo
Evil Dead 4 = Army of Darkness 2
[From March 9th - 17th, Flixist will be providing coverage from South by Southwest 2013 in Austin, TX.  Prepare yourselves for reviews, interviews, features, photos, videos, and all types of shenanigans!] During my round...


Sam Raimi explains/kinda dials back Evil Dead 4 comments

It's all for the fans, he says
Mar 04
// Hubert Vigilla
When Sam Raimi said he wants to work on the Evil Dead 4 script this summer, I immediately assumed this would be part of a pattern of Evil Dead sequel disappointments: something might happen, and then it doesn't. (Same thing h...

UPDATE: Sam Raimi to write Evil Dead 4 script this summer

Mar 02 // Hubert Vigilla
From Red Carpet News TV: Can Evil Dead 4 exist alongside the new Evil Dead remake? We don't think about anything too much, but thinking about it right now, yes. The new Evil Dead film doesn't have the Ash character, it's a brand new set of characters in a similar situation. So the Ash character is still either trapped in time in the far flung future in a blasted London, or he's working in S Mart; based on either the Japanese version or the American version of the film. I'm not quite sure yet. That's where Evil Dead 4 would probably pick up.
Raimi writing Evil Dead 4 photo
[UPDATE: Sam Raimi confirmed to Red Carpet News TV that he wants to write Evil Dead 4 this summer and make the film. Red Carpet News TV asked how the film would work alongside the upcoming Evil Dead remake and where the plot ...

The Rating Game: A Tale of Blood, Guts, and the MPAA

Jan 30 // Sean Walsh
[embed]214272:39427[/embed] First up: watch the above trailer. I think it's pretty easy to see how that could dip into NC-17 territory. I mean, tree rape is a very delicate subject, after all. Do I think that Evil Dead should be anything less than a hard R? Of course not. But of course, Evil Dead doesn't represent the whole genre. Do I think that horror films need to be rated NC-17? No. I actually think that would be a step backward for the genre. The Wikipedia page for the MPAA's rating system defines NC-17 as such: "This film is patently adult and children are not admitted. Such films may contain brutality/pervasive strong graphic violence, explicit sexual content, sexual assault, extreme horror and/or crude indecent language." I watched the remake of I Spit On Your Grave about a year ago, and it was incredibly brutal. It was only rated R. It contained a fairly graphic rape scene and some of the most extreme scenes of revenge-fueled violence I've seen in some time. The film was rated R. I admit, not much gets under my skin, but I shudder to think what people would do with the freedom an NC-17 rating would allow. Allow me to draw a comparison now: Before he made the jump to satellite radio, Howard Stern was forced to operate within the guidelines of the FCC. Once he got to Sirius, the sky was pretty much the limit. On the radio, he was pretty raunchy. On Sirius, he had no restrictions. I've always felt that the effect was sullied a little bit since there was no longer an envelope to push. Homeless midget twins scissoring in the studio? Sure, why not. [Editor's note: that is a fictional example. So far as I know, anyways.] That is what I would be afraid of if mainstream horror decided to say, "Screw it, let's go NC-17." Although homeless midget twins would make pretty interesting antagonists... I'm pretty jaded when it comes to horror. I've seen it all. I spend an unhealthy amount of time reading creepypasta. The only part of The Human Centipede that made me squirm was when the doctor removed teeth during the surgery montage. It takes a lot to scare me. That's part of the fun with scary movies. You never know if the film you're about to watch will be your horror holy grail. Two of the three creepiest films I've seen since I've written for this site, Insidious and Mama, were rated PG-13. The other was Sinister, which certainly earned its R rating. What makes Insidious and Mama so great is that they had to work within the confines of the PG-13 rating. There's little to no blood, guts, or harsh language, but they're still creepy. Sure, once you get a good look at the main antagonist of Insidious, he's a little less scary, but the titular monster in Mama just gets scarier the more screen time she gets. These films don't need the R rating to be scary. Sinister, however, wouldn't work nearly as well without its R. The film begins with an extended scene featuring a family hanging from a tree. Another family is burned alive in a car. There's plenty in this film that justifies its rating and being able to show more as a result of its rating works for it. So, what am I getting at? That some films work just fine with a PG-13 rating and others, like Sinister and Evil Dead, wouldn't be able to fully function without an R. However, what more could you show with an NC-17? I don't really think we need more explicit sexual content and sexual assault would do anybody any good. I Spit On Your Grave was one of the more uncomfortable experiences of my life, and I'd hate to think of a movie in the same vein without restraints. The other problem with ratings is that they typically keep butts out of seats. There were lots of tickets returned at my theater because parents had the good sense to not want to sit through Haunted House and their kids weren't 17 and/or didn't have IDs. When something is rated PG-13, like Insidious or The Possession, anybody can go see it. Evil Dead will be considerably more prohibitive to see with its R rating (you have to be 25 to get someone without ID in). Movies with an NC-17 rating, even if big theaters like AMC or Regal made a habit of showing them, would keep anybody who wasn't 17 out. It's no wonder that Evil Dead is going to make cuts, because releasing an NC-17 is the film equivalent of putting out an Adults Only video game. It's basically product suicide. As a great man once said, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby." Ultimately, I don't think that ratings speak to the quality of a film, but I am considerably more impressed when a film can stay within the constraints of PG-13 and still get under my skin. I love horror of all shapes and sizes, but they really don't need to go further than R to be scary. Unless we're talking about Homeless Midget Twins From Beyond the Grave. That's one NC-17 I could get behind.
The Rating Game photo
Would an NC-17 rating make horror films scarier?
After the news broke that the first cut of Evil Dead received an NC-17 rating, Alec shot me a text suggesting I write up a little somethin' somethin' about whether or not the entire concept of NC-17 horror is a good thing. Th...


The Evil Dead remake's first cut received an NC-17 rating

Little known fact: the NC is short for 'Not Cool Bro'
Jan 29
// Thor Latham
News that I'm sure will please fans of everything blood and gore, director Fede Alvarez recently Tweeted that his first cut of the Evil Dead remake that was submitted to the MPAA came back with an NC-17 rating. He said h...

Trailer: Evil Dead

The tamer trailer for the light of heart
Jan 21
// Thor Latham
While not quite as, uh, colorful as the former trailer, this new green-band trailer tries to make up for it with more suspense and implied nastiness. Evil Dead has a long legacy to live up to, and so far I've been prett...

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