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Sam Raimi

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: 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, ...
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 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...

Last of Us Details photo
Last of Us Details

Sam Raimi had to save The Last of Us adaptation from the game's writer

Also, some possible casting news
Jul 25
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
The Last of Us was a fascinating movie with a not-very-good game attached to it. The narrative and cutscenes told a compelling story that were undermined at every minute by stupid decisions forced onto the narrative by i...

NRH's Weekly Analysis: A Freudian take on Spider-Man 2

Jul 01 // Nathan Hardisty
For those who don’t know, Sigmund Freud is largely attributed to being the founder of modern psychology, among Jung, Pavlov and all those other 20th Century cool kids. His theories ranged from abstract thinking to how the conscious, subconscious and unconscious interact to the ways in which sexuality is developed throughout life. Personally, I don’t agree with everything that Freud argued but his thoughts about the id/ego/superego are incredibly applicable to modern superhero films, especially Spider-Man 2. The ‘id’ is basically the primitive part of ourselves that operates on the ‘pleasure’ principle, desiring instant pleasure from food, sex, etc. It’s the first part of ‘us’ to develop. Next comes the ‘ego’ which governs on a ‘reality’ principle, basically one that attempts to compromise and fight off the urges of the ‘id.’ The final piece is one that develops well into teenagerhood, the ‘superego’: the piece of our brain that functions on the ‘moral principle’ which attempts to find the ‘good’ and stray away from selfish solipsistic perceptions of the world. Arguably the only superego in Spider-Man canon is Uncle Ben. In less than six words he instills Peter with a sense of outright moral compulsion. This happens in Spider-Man 1, but in Spider-Man 2 Peter, in a dream sequence, rejects his Uncle's words and turns inwards. The film is his redemption in trying to find his greater superego once more, despite the sacrifices he will have to make along the way. I began thinking about applying Freud to Spider-Man 2 a good while ago and particularly picked up on some dialogue exchanges between Aunt May and Peter involving heroes and kids. Aunt says herself that “I believe there’s a hero in all of us” and that “Kids like Henry need a hero.” One that “keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.” There’s definitely a Freudian thrust behind this speech. The hero in all of us is the superego, that there truly is one in all of us that keeps us morally centered. “Kids like Henry need a hero” may be a nod to the need to have balance between all of the forces, which the superego brings when it is finally formed. Peter’s selfish retreat away from his superhero duties complicate Aunt May’s speech, as he has to realize that he cannot function without a superego and must fight to claim it back, even if it means sacrificing his dreams. Let’s take a hammer to what seems to be the film’s central focus: control. Harry Osborn lacks it after his father’s death, Doc Ock loses it to the not-hentai-metal tentacles and the psychological impact of his wife’s death, and Peter attempts to find control through compromise. What we have is a constant array of battles between id, ego and the superego -- “a hero in all of us” -- as Doc Ock seems to find his way to attain pleasure by trying to create a sun. Harry’s own psychological trauma is one of the bravest steps the film takes forward. It could so easily switch into a power revenge fantasy in which Harry hires some mercenaries and doesn’t do anything, but instead he slowly succumbs to his id too and creates an alliance with Doc Ock. The big reveal of Harry peeling off the Spider-Man mask was used in a lot of television trailers here in the UK to drive up tensions, and it’s definitely one of the film’s best moments. It’s incredibly interesting to notice how James Franco portrays Harry’s bemusement as Tobey Maguire just rips rope off of himself effortlessly. This is essentially the manifestation of the embodiment of a selfish id confronted with the superior, fully developed superego. But the hero within Peter Parker just seems a lot more interesting, doesn’t it? This is young adult Peter trying to find his superego, his moral compass, and mid-way through the film he bins it in order to try and truly focus in his life. It seems his ego is in control in trying to see a reality, but in reality the superego that belongs to him, his Spider-Man alter-ego, now belongs to the city too. Peter goes through what Freud might’ve coined a ‘psychological ghetto’ (he totally would’ve used those words) in refusing the balance between ego, id and superego. Spider-Man 2 approaches this directly by having its superhero actually fail quite a lot. The entire opening act seems to be pretty much dedicated to Peter’s misery, and when he throws the suit away you understand his thinking. Even his struggle with Doc Ock is only resolved by Peter managing to remember a few words. There has to be bumps on our road to redemption. One could say that Aunt May’s speech of “pride” in death might be the reason Peter chooses the suit over his own life; an attempt to die as a martyr for great change in the city. “Pride” in death also comes into play with Doc Ock’s final minutes. Peter’s superego eventually triumphs and the film almost explicitly says this. The mask itself represents the superego, as soon as Peter dons it again his entire mental hygiene changes. Harry however sees everything underneath the mask as important -- “Let’s see who’s behind this mask” -- a mirror of his own psychological imbalance. His father’s dreams triumph within Harry, but Spider-Man ultimately wins the day. Doc Ock is told point blank by Peter that sometimes we have to give up our “dreams” to do “what’s right”. Spider-Man 2 is ultimately about this force of moral control in the face of what might give us personal satisfaction. Ultimately it delves into superhero psychology more than a lot of modern fodder and ultimately shows Peter’s progression from id/ego/superego to id/ego and then back around to restore balance to his own psyche. It’s interesting to note the actual physical change that Peter undergoes. He has to put his glasses back on after tripping in the ‘Raindrops’ scene, which is just a lovely montage, and this most definitely displays the full-scale of the changes inside Peter. His very perception of himself has changed. The bruises, cuts and struggles towards the end are Peter’s bumps in order to attain his superego again, similar to the inner turmoil that adolescence brings, Freud said the superego came about in teenage years. The marriage with a comic book carnival of young adult inked-imagery with psychological growth is incredibly well realized.
Weekly Analysis photo
A psychological dip into the famed webslinger
Spider-Man 2 is one of the greatest superhero films ever made. It is incredible how it manages to have Peter Parker confront one of the most common dilemmas we all face--time management--and still keep a quick pace; Alfr...

Review: Oz the Great and Powerful

Mar 08 // Matthew Razak
[embed]215020:39758:0[/embed] Oz the Great and PowefulDirector: Sam RaimiRated: PGRelease Date: March 8, 2013  The problem with Oz the Great and Powerful is that it's probably not what you're expecting and thanks to that its issues get elevated. This is legitimately a kid's movie with site gags, over-the-top characters and an approach that emphasizes fun over story. That's not to say the entire film is "kiddy," but the tone of the film is probably not what you're expecting. It's more akin to the original Wizard of Oz than today's modern fantasy epics, and that can be off putting if you aren't ready for it. Even if you are ready for it you're going to find the film weird, for lack of a better term. It's just a strange combination of visual style, plotting, camp and cheesy performances that's hard to either dislike or like. I found myself torn between Raimi's direction feeling horribly out of place or perfectly original. It is definitely a Raimi movie with big, swooping single shots, first person camera, and a penchant for camp and cheese and somehow that's both enjoyable awesome and yet awkward.  It's hard to tell if the cast is hamming it up perfectly or simply not being directed well. James Franco, who plays Oz, is either wonderfully charming or horribly overacting while Mila Kunis wavers between nailing it and completely missing it. Two consistently enjoyable performances come from Rachel Weisz prolifically evil witch and Michelle Williams unbearably good one. It's almost infuriating as a critic to come out of a movie without being able to decide where you fall on a film, but I find myself still switching back and forth between liking it and thinking it missed its points. There are definitely issues with the movie that are easy to point out. The plot is paper thin and is stretched out far longer than it needs to be. Picking up before The Wizard of Oz, the movie tells the story of the wizard himself. We see him sucked into Oz after a hurricane where he meets three witches who are sisters: Glinda (Williams), Theodora (Kunis) and Evanora (Weisz). Oz is tricked by Evanora to go kill Glinda and he takes along his friendly flying monkey (Zach Braff) and a china girl (Joey King). Of course he figures out that Glinda is good and eventually hatches a plan to win back the Emerald City and realize that he is more than just a charlatan.  The story takes a long time to get going. In an homage to the original the movie opens in black and white, letter box style and it stays there for a while. It's actually a great chunk of the movie, but it stretches and once Oz (short of Oscar, by the way) arrives in Oz the movies already been running so long that it feels like they're establishing a second plot entirely. The film really starts to drag until the movies prolific ending, but once again it's hard to get bored thanks to the gorgeous world and Raimi's directing. Coming back to his directing, it's not all wonderful. While he sets up some elaborate shots that are simply breathtaking in 3D his use of the technology is amateurish for the most part. At times I felt like I was on a ride at Disneyland instead of seeing a legitimate movie. It's the kind of things (throwing things at the camera, first person "rides") one would expect out of a 3D 5 years ago before the likes of Hugo showed us that the technology can legitimately be used before. It's again a contradiction because at other times he weaves the camera expertly in stunning single shots that work perfectly for the tech. It's the same for some of the digital stuff as well. Most of it looks gorgeous, especially the China Girl, but at times it's horrendously green screened and awkward. I've basically spent this review trying to decide whether I liked Oz the Great and Powerful or not. I love Sam Raimi and his joy of slapstick and childlike nature and that comes out clearly in this film. On the other hand things never really mesh together as well as they should and the camp comes of forced instead of fun. It's a movie that just doesn't quite click, but is still fun to watch. In such a case, I've determined, a tie breaker must be created. That tie breaker is whether or not a movie features Bruce Campbell. The answer to that questions is that it does, and thus I will say I liked Oz the Great and Powerful.
Oz Review photo
Quite the conundrum
You may or may not know it, but Sam Raimi is a director with a very specific style and thanks to the success of Spider-Man he's usually allowed to let that style run wild. It's an awesomely lavish style that feels both n...


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 ...


Super Bowl TV spot for Oz the Great and Powerful

More of the same from the land of Oz
Feb 04
// Matthew Razak
During the Super Bowl a new trailer for Oz the Great and Powerful landed. You might be forgiven for thinking it was actually not a new trailer since we've seen so many trailers for this film that we've probably seen the...

List of film propaganda broadcasting during Super Bowl

World speechless in awe of the Hollywood machine's restless rhetoric.
Jan 30
// Nathan Hardisty
This Sunday, February 3rd, there will be many balls kicked in America's annual celebration of the Wounded Knee Massacre; the glorious Super Bowl. Paramount, Universal and Disney have all announced their plans to broadcas...

New TV spot for Oz: The Great and Powerful

Which witch is which? Someone was paid to write that
Jan 15
// Thor Latham
As the release date draws ever nearer, we're being given a new TV spot for Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful that showcases what I'm assuming is going to be a pretty big part of the film:  exactly who the hell is t...

Check out new stills from Oz the Great and Powerful

Jan 08
// Logan Otremba
New stills have been released from director Sam Raimi’s newest film, Oz the Great and Powerful. The film stars James Franco as Oscar Diggs, a circus magician who is transported to the world of Oz. From there he gets bro...

Two new TV spots for Oz the Great and Powerful

Jan 02
// Matthew Razak
Sam Raimi gets my instant attention no matter what, and so every glimpse of his upcoming Oz the Great and Powerful is something I'm happy to receive. During the New Years festivities Disney took the time to toss out the...

Unseen art from Raimi's Spider-Man 2 features The Lizard

Jan 02
// Nick Valdez
You know how Dr. Curt Connors showed up in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy but never got to turn into The Lizard (even if we got that wish granted several years later)? Apparently, there were plans for Connors to turn into The...

New Wicked Witch poster for Oz The Great and Powerful

It's not easy being green
Dec 19
// Thor Latham
Here's a new character poster for the Wicked Witch from Sam Raimi's Oz The Great and Powerful. Though you wouldn't know it looking at the poster, that's the lovely Rachel Weisz as the infamous witch and she's looking like a f...

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...

Triptych poster revealed for Oz: The Great and Powerful

Plus a handful of new stills
Nov 13
// Thor Latham
The third piece of the Oz poster puzzle has finally been revealed, giving us a pretty awesome looking triptych poster featuring all of the main characters in Sam Raimi's Oz: The Great and Powerful. We have all of the wit...

New poster for Oz The Great and Powerful

Finally we get some flying simians up in here
Nov 08
// Thor Latham
Last time we got a glimpse of the notorious Wicked Witch, and today it looks like we're getting a look at her infamous lackeys, the flying monkeys. Well, to be fair, that adorable little guy in the foreground doesn't look lik...

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...

Sam Raimi no longer attached to World of Warcraft movie

Jul 18
// Matthew Razak
Sam Raimi's a pretty busy fellow. He's got a lot of movies on his plate including the upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful, which looks delightful. However, it appears he's got one less thing to worry about. One less really, r...

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