Standards & Practices Can Kiss Bruce Campbell's Ass

Ash vs. Evil Dead Star Talks Horror, Comedy, and Kicking Butt at 57

by | October 29, 2015 | Comments

Ash vs Evil Dead


B-movie star and best-selling author Bruce Campbell is ready to kick some Ash as the eponymous hero of Starz’s new Evil Dead series. We caught up with Groovy Bruce on the set of Ash vs. Evil Dead in Auckland, New Zealand, where the actor with the killer chin talked about what’s wrong with today’s horror shows and why Standards & Practices can kiss his ass.

Lori Rackl for Rotten Tomatoes: It’s been a long time since we last saw Ash. What’s he been up to all these years?

Campbell: Jack s–t. Hiding from responsibility in Michigan, which is a good place to hide. He’s had some sex over the last 30 years — always meaningless. He’s been living what he thinks is a normal life, but it’s really kind of a depressing life. Now, he’s had greatness thrust upon him through the actions of his own misdeeds.

Rotten Tomatoes: Does it blow your mind that you’re here in New Zealand with your high school buddy (director Sam Raimi), making a TV show based on a film you shot in 1979?

Campbell: How could it not? It’s even weirder being directed by Sam again as that character. I’m as astounded as anyone that we’re here. It’s ridiculous. Just the fact that all the pieces came together … Rob [Tapert] had established a really good set-up here as a producer for years. Sam had become a big feature guy. I’d just finished seven years on Burn Notice, which at the time was the number-one show on cable. We were all busy, but it all came together.



Rotten Tomatoes: How much pressure did fans put on you for more Evil Dead?

Campbell: I get tormented at all these conventions I go to. I’ve been going to them since ’88, and even then they were saying, “Give us another one,” because we’d only done two at that point. We did Army of Darkness 24 years ago, which is a lifetime in and of itself. We did the Evil Dead remake two years ago. It was well received but people still weren’t fully satisfied. They’re like, “Thanks for trying to distract us. We want the real thing.”

Rotten Tomatoes: Is there an upside to doing this as a TV series instead of another movie?

Campbell: The characterization we have to do for Ash for 10 episodes is so much more than we’d do in one movie. I’ve only done six hours worth of this character. At the end of one season, there will be five new hours — almost as much as three movies. I’ll probably have more dialogue in this than I had in the Evil Dead movies combined.”

Rotten Tomatoes: Sam has been known to put his actors through the wringer, physically. At 57, you’re a little older than when you guys started. Is it tough to keep up?

Campbell: I’ll do more than the average actor, but I’m smart enough to know why stunt guys exist.


Ash vs Evil Dead


Rotten Tomatoes: You and Sam go way back as childhood friends growing up in suburban Detroit. Did you bond over a love of horror movies?

Campbell: Horror had nothing to do with it. All the early, amateur stuff we did in high school — the Super 8s — it was all comedy based on, like, The Three Stooges. All broad, slapstick comedy. Sam is one of the funniest guys you’ll ever see on camera. He just ended up behind the camera. Sam claims it was Rob who said, “If you’re going to make a movie, you’ve got to make a horror movie, something people will pay to see.” That’s why we threw down with horror. We weren’t even really interested in it.

Rotten Tomatoes: What’s the ratio of horror-to-comedy in Ash vs Evil Dead?

Campbell: It’s 70/30 in horror’s favor. You have to take the horror seriously but there’s gags aplenty. Most people, when they do horror it’s just grim. It’s The Walking Dead. No jokes allowed. That never really appealed to us. The first Evil Dead movie isn’t meant to be camp, although it’s hokey dialogue said by inexperienced actors, so you’re going to get unintentional laughs. And the movie has really extreme violence. Sometimes that will create giggles in and of itself. But the second one was co-written by Scott Spiegel, who’s the biggest fan of the The Three Stooges. That one took on the first hint of weirdness. And Army of Darkness is really just an adventure movie. It’s not even really horror.


Ash vs Evil Dead


Rotten Tomatoes: Did the network ask you to tone anything down for TV?

Campbell: We found a good home on Starz. We had multiple suitors for this — it’s a good, under-exploited property — but Starz is the only company we went to. Story-wise they’re involved, but in the execution of it they never go, “Golly, do we need to say the F word?” Or, “Should that character be smoking?” Standards & Practices, they can kiss my ass because it relates to freedom of expression. Creative freedom is everything in this business. Without it, you have nothing.

Rotten Tomatoes: Starz also has a reputation for quickly giving new shows a second season.

Campbell: From your lips to Starz’s ears.

Ash vs. Evil Dead, which was renewed for a second season on Wednesday, premieres this Saturday, Oct. 31, on Starz at 9 p.m. Read season one reviews here.

  • Af Keck

    Awesome. Completely in agreement with Mr Campbell’s assessment of how un-funny grim and boring shows like the walking dead are. The dialogue is so narrow, repetitive and grim that I wonder how in the pan-dimensional Universe that it has lasted six seasons! Love Sam Ramie’s stuff in contrast, Drag Me to Hell had the right balance of fun, scare, and gags, like a roller coaster. Looking forward to watching this show. ” Klaatu, Barada, Nic-Nickle! No, Necktie..!’

Tag Cloud

series Character Guide doctor who serial killer Comics on TV teaser Fall TV Heroines Comedy Interview Trophy Talk Box Office true crime DC Comics CBS All Access 21st Century Fox Ghostbusters disaster TNT Lucasfilm adventure Amazon Disney tv talk FXX police drama Showtime APB NYCC Epix cats dceu VICE period drama Musical medical drama spider-man Mindy Kaling 45 E! ITV sports NBC Elton John Winter TV YouTube Red political drama crime thriller comic based on movie finale Writers Guild of America ratings crime drama crossover Best and Worst National Geographic sequel toy story Tomatazos Britbox Rock See It Skip It Fantasy History Year in Review Video Games IFC Women's History Month sitcom Cosplay Drama Red Carpet miniseries Superheroes travel politics casting Action 24 frames Hulu Schedule Super Bowl Musicals mockumentary Premiere Dates vampires comiccon Lionsgate New York Comic Con HBO Max historical drama DGA Sci-Fi LGBT Quiz TV harry potter Universal composers LGBTQ what to watch BET Paramount Network Dark Horse Comics Comic Book The CW Esquire revenge Holidays ghosts GoT Nickelodeon President Columbia Pictures Walt Disney Pictures Opinion Horror Extras Sneak Peek ESPN GLAAD children's TV Emmy Nominations YouTube Premium talk show elevated horror Rocky Cannes Biopics Reality Competition BBC America Food Network Tarantino Acorn TV TCM Pet Sematary cooking ABC Family Spike Countdown spinoff Toys USA Rocketman Certified Fresh Grammys DC streaming service Martial Arts Binge Guide jamie lee curtis AMC Thanksgiving zombie strong female leads Christmas TCA Disney streaming service FX San Diego Comic-Con Marvel Fox News thriller space Sundance Now Photos war The Witch biography DC Universe CMT Western Pop mutant witnail facebook WarnerMedia zombies dramedy animated Mystery festivals Country 007 Apple Starz blaxploitation Pirates Adult Swim Crackle Winners CNN Nominations American Society of Cinematographers robots 2015 Vudu 2018 crime Lifetime singing competition award winner YA RT History binge Shudder OWN Sundance Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ABC Logo Masterpiece TV Land dc Reality Mary poppins Anna Paquin Valentine's Day Disney Channel Oscars Polls and Games PaleyFest DirecTV supernatural USA Network SXSW Tumblr Summer RT21 Emmys golden globes Film Music Ellie Kemper nature Stephen King streaming TruTV green book Trailer Freeform Ovation zero dark thirty SDCC adaptation Election psycho BBC Chilling Adventures of Sabrina boxoffice Nat Geo Marathons VH1 Mary Tyler Moore Mary Poppins Returns Syfy transformers quibi Song of Ice and Fire kids game show MSNBC Amazon Prime Video technology Family SundanceTV Calendar 2016 Rom-Com social media richard e. Grant Shondaland Netflix MTV unscripted CBS aliens hist Paramount El Rey discovery E3 anime WGN Animation Superheroe A&E Star Trek Teen TLC spy thriller Warner Bros. TBS Awards Tour anthology Spring TV justice league cops Podcast theme song The Arrangement TCA 2017 IFC Films Chernobyl television Creative Arts Emmys FOX First Look Film Festival Spectrum Originals Kids & Family science fiction Trivia Cartoon Network docudrama CW Seed Set visit cinemax Brie Larson book 2019 Amazon Prime romance natural history TIFF Watching Series Star Wars PBS cults Sony Pictures dragons GIFs MCU Captain marvel diversity cars movies psychological thriller Awards Bravo 20th Century Fox X-Men 2017 Mudbound HBO Pride Month Black Mirror Comedy Central Pixar Infographic