Evil Dead

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...

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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...

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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
Groovy
[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...

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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...
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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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Trailer: Evil Dead (Red Band)


Jan 04
// Nick Valdez
Man, you wouldn't believe how much trouble I went through to find a header that wasn't too gruesome for this post! I mean, sweet Jebus. Like the last Red Band trailer (I assume that's the only way trailers for Evil Dead can ...
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New Evil Dead poster is brazenly arrogant


Nov 20
// Matthew Razak
Well, damn. Even after hearing Bruce Campbell rave about how scary it was, and being sufficiently creeped out by the trailer at NYCC I didn't think the marketing campaign behind Evil Dead would be this awesomely ful...
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New Evil Dead and Carrie info creeps up the place


Carrie's phone number and pics of the Necronomicon!
Nov 01
// Nick Valdez
Hope you all had a good Halloween, and in case you're still feeling the heebies jeebies, here's some new horror movie remake info that was released the other day. First up is two new images of the Necronomicon from the upcomi...

Red Band Trailer: Evil Dead

Oct 24 // Nick Valdez
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Here's what we've been waiting for folks. Ever since that lucky jerk Matt described the teaser trailer from Comic Con a few weeks back, I've been waiting very impatiently for the actual footage to release...an...

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NYCC: Evil Dead director Fede Alvarez talks changes


Oct 18
// Matthew Razak
Along with sitting down with Bruce Campbell at NYCC I also got the chance to talk with the director of the upcoming Evil Dead remake, Fede Alvarez. This is the guy who convince Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell that he...

NYCC: An interview with Bruce Campbell

Oct 16 // Matthew Razak
Were you starting to doubt you'd ever get to revisit this material again? A little bit. We're getting older and the idea is getting older. Sam (Raimi) is making big movies now and he may not always be able to take the time to do an Evil Dead movie. We're glad that Sam ran into Fede (Alvarez) and what they were working on originally got bogged down. Turns out Fede was a big Evil Dead fan and pitched a couple ideas to Sam that were very interesting. Then myself and Rob Tapert started to pay attention, and he pitched a full story and we liked that, and then he pitched a script and we liked that. We kept liking everything that was happening, and here we are today. How important was it for you to be one of the producers and how hands-on were you? Well I was a producer of the first one and so I was a producer on all three of them, so it was just natural that we would all be back again. We really enjoyed it. You have a lot of boring conference calls when you make movies most times, but the three of us agreed it was just really fun to be working together again. We've always had a really good association... and now Fede is the new sucker. You've said that this one is not funny like the others are. Nope. Can you compare... It's more like the first one. The first one was only funny because it was melodramatic dialog delivered by bad actors. You're not a bad actor. Uhhhh... yea. I'm less worse now. I have more experience now. But, you know, that had its own feel. You have to make a decision: how scary are we? Are we real scary? Are we funny scary? Are we just torture porn? Which, thankfully there's not a frame of torture porn in this movie. I feel that aside from just being offensive -- it's not scary -- that's bad film making. I hope we're coming out the ass end of torture porn and that it will never return. What made you think the film needed to be remade in the first place? We didn't. It sort of grew on us like a wort. Plus, when you see the chances of making a sequel receding every year like our hairlines you think maybe there's a better way. Let's get some young punks here and torment a whole new group. We'll use our experience from making three of them to help guide them to a new balls out movie that will torment people for the rest of their lives. And we think he did it. That's the funny thing.  You're not worried that the shift away from the more comedic angle will... No, because the first one wasn't at all. The first one was not designed at all to be really funny. Just as filmmakers we wanted to evolve so on the second one one of the writers named Scott Spiegel was just the funniest man alive. He and Sam would sit in a room writing Evil Dead 2 and just start cackling. They'd sit down the hallway from our old dentist's office and just start laughing. We'd ask if they were writing a horror film or a comedy and they'd say, "We don't know!" It's just what it became, but Fede pitched a straight version and that's what we made. I think it's great. The movie is very adult. There's nothing childish or immature or MTV-ish about its style. So what happens is when the shit hits the fan you start taking it much more seriously because the whole movie is. It's like "When Interventions Go Bad." That should be the tagline for this movie.  That's the premise. Fede came up with this unique premise of why they are at the cabin in the first place and we thought that was pretty organic. This chick is trying to shake a little habit and go back to the family cabin where she can scream and let it out for a couple of bad days. Problem is by the time things get too far along they've been thinking she's only in withdraw. It's a bit worse than that, you know. So what would you say the tone is? Is it a slow creeper? A jumper? It's not racing along at the beginning, it's a pretty straight opening. You know, it's a strong retelling of them visiting this old cabin and settling in while this girl solves her problems. Then when the dead is released it just gets relentless. You're going to wish you were watching the earlier part of the movie. How many monsters are we looking at? Well there's five kid so potentially five monsters. Where do you feel like this will fall in the pantheon of horror films? I hope that I am invited for the next 30 years to attend double bills at the Alamo Drafthouse. Show the first Evil Dead first then this one second at midnight for decades. I think they're great companion pieces. They're just two different versions of this creepy story.  Fede was very respectful to the original. There's a lot you'll get. You'll be putting on a nice comfortable leather shoe here. It's going to feel real familiar.  Are there Easter eggs? No because the tone wouldn't fit. There's no jokey cameo from me as the ice cream guy going, "Here's your two dollars back. You kids be careful at that cabin." That's not the movie. If it was Army of Darkness maybe -- that kind of tone. No, this is a throwback. This movie scared the hell out of us the first time we saw it.  As producer what sort of involvement did you have day to day? Well, when we were casting I felt as an actor I was a pretty good judge of actors. I also got to ask the question of how are you with special effects make up. Can you work in this stuff for extensive amounts of time. It's a serious question that boils down to how tough they are. Jane Levy is a tough little chick. I hope she becomes the new Ash. I hope she gets considered with the same respect and admiration that that idiot Ash does. People enjoy that character and we didn't want to put some unnatural burden on some new actor saying, "I'm the new Ash." No you're not. We didn't want to put him in that position. Just tell a new story. It's another bad night with a creepy book that they should have left alone.  Have you seen Cabin in the Woods? I have not. I've heard there are references. It's all good. So how violent is the movie? How violent? Yes. I know you said torture porn is crap so... It's fucking violent. This is a really fucking violent movie (ed. Judging from the trailer he is not lying).  Details? You're going to see it pretty damn soon. I mean how's a nail gun fight sound? Like with lots of nails. How about blood rain? Since you'd been through this before with all the make up and physical stuff did you talk to the actors about how to do it? I sent them an email at the very beginning letting them know what they were going to get into. I was being very fatherly. Don't party because you're going to wear out. It's going to be a long, long haul. We pushed every actor right to the brink... poor bastards. But it's good. They worked hard for their entertainment value. And Jane Levy is going to be a little... she's going to get work. She's a little hotty and real tough. Will there be anymore after this? There damn well better be.
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Ash goes to bat for the new Evil Dead
At NYCC I was able to fulfill one of my life goals: interview Bruce Campbell. The man did not disappoint. In a red sports jacket and black shirt he was walking around like he owned the joint (he basically did) and brashly dec...

NYCC: First image/trailer recap for the Evil Dead remake

Oct 13 // Matthew Razak
The trailer opened on a very familiar looking cabin, though this one seems a little smaller and bit more dilapidated. We see our five victims entering the cabin and looking around as menacing music starts playing. They look around the cabin and then rip up a carpet where they find a panel in the floor (sound familiar) with a trail of blood leading down to it.  Cut to the basement of the cabin and a bunch of hanging dead animals, looking far creepier than it ever has and then one of those damn kids reads from the Necronomicon. As this is going on the movie continues to cut to text telling us that it's from the original creators and that they're rebirthing evil. Also of note is that the text read from the book is definitely the same words from the original movie, so well the overall feel looks far more brutal there are definitely nods to original film. Of course once the words are read all hell starts breaking lose and we jump from a bunch of cuts of people going steadily insane. The possessed in the new film look far less like the zombies of the original and more like they're seriously diseased. At first I was a bit concerned about this, but the new look is creepy as all hell and hints at a focus of a bit more insanity than the original. There's definitely a far darker tone to the entire thing, and it looked like people got more and more possessed and turned into more zombie/deadite creatures as the film progressed. You can get a taste of them from the image in the header. For those worried about them completing ditching the original the trailer pretty much confirms the existence of a possessed hand, a chainsaw, bodily dismemberment and tree rape. There were definitely two separate shots of a woman getting tangled up in vines, and star Jane Levy pretty much came out and said tree rape would occur. The trailer cut between a lot of shots of people getting possessed along with the classic Evil Dead camera shot as the evil careened through the woods. There's was plenty in the trailer paying homage to the original, but it didn't feel anything like it. I get the feeling that it's going to be far more disturbing than it was the first time around when it was already really disturbing. This might be the most intense trailer I've seen in a long time. It definitely had gallons of gore flying everywhere, and the closing shot was a girl slitting her tongue in half. The crowd went nuts as the trailer rampped up the blood and gore. This film is definitely going to be a seriously dark blood bath. Bruce Campbell, a man I'd trust with my life, gave us all a promise it's going to rock. 
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Bruce Campbell rocks the world
Update: Official image below. I just got out of the panel for the Evil Dead remake where director . Needless to say Bruce Campbell rocked the house, pretty much pulling the most cheers and being generally awesome. H...

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Evil Dead remake 'fabulous', according to Bruce Campbell


Aug 21
// Xander Markham
Many people are understandably tentative when it comes to the upcoming Evil Dead remake, but Bruce Campbell is on hand to assure everyone, in rather fruitier fashion than usual, that he has seen the movie and it is 'definitel...
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Evil Dead 2 rotoscoped is like Take On Me with deadites


Apr 12
// Bob Muir
Fact 1: rotoscoping is awesome. Fact 2: Evil Dead 2 is awesome. So when someone rotoscopes Evil Dead 2? That's, like, awesome squared. Sadly, it's just the trailer, not the whole movie. But still, I love the look that studio...
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Shiloh Fernandez cast as lead in Evil Dead remake


Feb 03
// Matthew Razak
Replacing Bruce Campbell in a film is pretty much an impossible task. No actor this generation has acted so poorly so well. It seems that the man put up to that very challenge will be Shiloh Fernandez (don't worry I don't kno...
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Evil Dead remake just like Evil Dead, minus fun


Dec 08
// Xander Markham
Extensive details of the Diablo Cody-scribed Evil Dead remake have emerged on Moviehole, including a lengthy story synopsis. A provisional shooting schedule suggests that Raimi is keen to get production underway in March, wit...
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Ash not showing up in Evil Dead remake


Sep 16
// Matthew Razak
As anyone with any sense knows Ash from the Evil Dead films is the biggest badass ever in the history of ever. One word: Groovy. Bruce Campbell is a tiny god of awesome and Ash is the way that god speaks to us. Bow before you...
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The Evil Dead reboot isn't dead yet


Jan 24
// Alex Katz
I’m not saying an Evil Dead reboot would be as bad as the Holocaust, but I’m already making inquiries into purchasing a somber-looking building for an Evil Dead Reboot Museum. The continuance of the Evil Dead series has ...

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