News

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

National Geographic Photos screen actors guild Super Bowl Cartoon Network RT History Pop space batman Trophy Talk diversity Toys blaxploitation Emmy Nominations Brie Larson TV PBS series television GoT adventure A24 Song of Ice and Fire ABC Family Rocketman witnail LGBT Disney richard e. Grant halloween spinoff YouTube Premium MTV period drama Lifetime thriller Star Trek Arrowverse Comedy Central Marvel Television crossover Rom-Com 2015 Sundance Now President USA Network discovery streaming Bravo DC Universe disaster Lucasfilm El Rey Hallmark LGBTQ TLC 2020 Turner SDCC supernatural TV Land Mystery Set visit foreign Comics on TV comiccon Musical First Look golden globes 2017 OWN canceled TV shows spanish language travel Comic Book Vudu zombie based on movie Heroines Food Network ITV Winners CNN TIFF crime drama festivals Pet Sematary Grammys psycho cartoon free movies GLAAD CW Seed Amazon Prime Mary Tyler Moore American Society of Cinematographers ratings facebook police drama independent canceled Video Games green book Countdown natural history Ovation DirecTV Ellie Kemper Black Mirror Shondaland romantic comedy HBO Teen 20th Century Fox casting Amazon Prime Video Mudbound breaking bad Freeform Starz VICE 2016 Year in Review harry potter name the review Endgame cults Peacock spider-man MCU Disney Channel Emmys Avengers Binge Guide Pride Month Quiz war doctor who The CW Television Academy Podcast SundanceTV E3 hispanic Martial Arts theme song slashers Elton John 007 FX 71st Emmy Awards game of thrones politics Film aliens DGA YA Calendar Disney streaming service anthology Marvel Studios Ghostbusters Adult Swim medical drama Oscars BBC Sundance TV 21st Century Fox sequel TruTV Nat Geo Watching Series documentary Shudder Crackle Cosplay docudrama historical drama DC streaming service serial killer Tomatazos dramedy cancelled TV series Classic Film animated Turner Classic Movies Netflix Christmas movies tv talk video OneApp ESPN IFC Films The Arrangement Apple TV Plus GIFs directors The Walking Dead NBC toy story History BET Sci-Fi RT21 WarnerMedia south america spy thriller Apple VH1 Kids & Family Tubi revenge Drama zombies Universal Syfy Mary Poppins Returns singing competition TCA what to watch Fantasy CBS All Access Superheroe Thanksgiving AMC Stephen King Extras indie Character Guide Mindy Kaling strong female leads 2019 Captain marvel Action game show YouTube Red christmas movies anime sag awards WGN adaptation comics romance New York Comic Con finale vampires MSNBC Sundance Writers Guild of America DC Comics E! Baby Yoda Hulu Sneak Peek Academy Awards Certified Fresh award winner Superheroes ABC cars unscripted boxoffice Reality Competition Infographic cancelled television Western 2018 Comedy Winter TV werewolf Nickelodeon Trivia Awards Tour Nominations Spike Esquire Horror joker 24 frames Family miniseries Rock Chernobyl movies Creative Arts Emmys crime teaser APB reboot Disney Plus Box Office Marvel Britbox zero dark thirty Interview PaleyFest blockbuster Polls and Games Epix Spectrum Originals Holidays Warner Bros. Netflix nature TV renewals FOX Biopics IFC psychological thriller binge Pirates 45 mutant Lionsgate Star Wars Paramount Network YouTube Paramount TBS CBS HBO Max TCM Tarantino FXX First Reviews jamie lee curtis Musicals cancelled TV shows The Purge social media cancelled Disney+ Disney Plus sports justice league political drama SXSW Red Carpet dragons ghosts Amazon Opinion versus Dark Horse Comics Tumblr Showtime elevated horror Summer sitcom Film Festival San Diego Comic-Con Schedule science fiction Rocky Anna Paquin Country X-Men Chilling Adventures of Sabrina dceu Trailer Lifetime Christmas movies Fox News stand-up comedy technology Cannes Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt screenings BBC America Best and Worst Sony Pictures Columbia Pictures Premiere Dates Animation Logo TCA Winter 2020 USA Discovery Channel renewed TV shows Women's History Month Reality Marathons See It Skip It Pixar dc cats Holiday CMT cinemax composers cops Election Music latino talk show Valentine's Day crime thriller Crunchyroll Awards Apple TV+ hist NYCC The Witch spain cooking TNT Christmas true crime robots rotten movies we love comic mockumentary Fall TV quibi Masterpiece kids Acorn TV A&E Hallmark Christmas movies transformers TCA 2017 biography Walt Disney Pictures book Mary poppins children's TV Spring TV