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

Disney streaming service New York Comic Con TCA Awards hollywood Comic Book cancelled TV series satire critics franchise breaking bad Freeform Music animated documentary Ellie Kemper Tumblr doctor who Netflix Christmas movies composers indiana jones Pixar USA Network Travel Channel Country Chernobyl spider-man boxoffice The Purge all-time vampires OWN period drama AMC what to watch Winners DC streaming service quibi Valentine's Day cartoon versus zero dark thirty Marathons Tomatazos medical drama Funimation Masterpiece Podcast films 45 asian-american PlayStation reviews award winner rotten movies we love jamie lee curtis Peacock Red Carpet 2015 ESPN Disney Plus Video Games Turner CMT die hard GoT Netflix Holiday anime zombie Apple TV+ natural history political drama Amazon Studios Tarantino Comedy Central discovery Sundance Now Interview docudrama See It Skip It APB dceu Lionsgate Character Guide Song of Ice and Fire tv talk Brie Larson OneApp concert CW Seed TruTV spy thriller romance best Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Certified Fresh Bravo TCM universal monsters psycho aliens Reality Competition TCA Winter 2020 Pirates crime Rock indie cats stop motion NYCC dragons Syfy cancelled TV shows Drama independent Sneak Peek American Society of Cinematographers Showtime DirecTV Mindy Kaling book Pop HBO Max foreign blaxploitation cops canceled Logo Mystery Universal Chilling Adventures of Sabrina nature parents joker news revenge HBO Super Bowl Esquire VH1 ghosts spain Extras Food Network Pride Month child's play supernatural justice league witnail YouTube teaser MTV romantic comedy YouTube Premium FOX Mary poppins IFC USA Anna Paquin adaptation Rom-Com Election Superheroe Fox News sag awards crossover rotten dogs Marvel Sony Pictures sitcom RT History mockumentary LGBT renewed TV shows Spike BBC One Trivia Elton John El Rey Reality casting documentaries Summer criterion Writers Guild of America Mudbound GIFs YouTube Red comic crime drama HBO Go politics slashers Crunchyroll game of thrones Ovation Rocketman Amazon Prime ratings superhero Nat Geo The Arrangement TBS DGA Lifetime Christmas movies Women's History Month christmas movies Tubi children's TV Marvel Television television Starz sports laika Walt Disney Pictures game show Hear Us Out batman Television Critics Association TLC Comics on TV Oscars Amazon Animation Winter TV PaleyFest Heroines Captain marvel Baby Yoda MSNBC robots Marvel Studios screen actors guild FX on Hulu The CW Musicals toy story Black Mirror Pop TV dc Shondaland Toys Acorn TV 24 frames Crackle President streaming SDCC screenings Trophy Talk Star Wars a nightmare on elm street Shudder twilight Holidays Creative Arts Emmys Watching Series hispanic First Reviews Binge Guide Grammys blockbuster Ghostbusters Apple TV Plus 20th Century Fox science fiction Paramount Network series ITV Trailer E3 Schedule TCA 007 cancelled television diversity Box Office 2018 Film Festival facebook Paramount Calendar Family VICE cinemax golden globes Sci-Fi spinoff NBC SXSW Black History Month LGBTQ nbcuniversal Discovery Channel emmy awards Amazon Prime Video comedies Year in Review Hulu cars stand-up comedy Sundance Fall TV based on movie DC Universe Musical 2016 21st Century Fox werewolf psychological thriller strong female leads TIFF social media Avengers unscripted BAFTA festivals Awards Tour TV First Look Horror south america VOD TV Land serial killer Adult Swim 2017 scary movies miniseries Emmy Nominations sequel mission: impossible FXX BET zombies elevated horror The Witch Cartoon Network Best and Worst Television Academy Hallmark Thanksgiving transformers dramedy free movies talk show Teen A24 Action technology The Walking Dead historical drama comiccon Martial Arts Nickelodeon cults BET Awards BBC anthology Set visit GLAAD Epix CBS All Access video on demand Infographic Disney latino Turner Classic Movies Endgame dark Premiere Dates TCA 2017 X-Men IFC Films Stephen King fast and furious Cannes Lucasfilm TV renewals Western comics Disney+ Disney Plus 2019 binge mutant FX adventure Spring TV finale ABC Family BBC America cancelled Christmas DC Comics war directors Warner Bros. kids obituary Superheroes Hallmark Christmas movies Opinion Film chucky Countdown Spectrum Originals San Diego Comic-Con Photos Fantasy movie Sundance TV halloween space stoner 4/20 Arrowverse TNT Britbox A&E Pet Sematary MCU Nominations Classic Film RT21 spanish language reboot richard e. Grant Disney Channel Comedy WGN theme song National Geographic thriller harry potter 72 Emmy Awards Biopics video Emmys disaster Vudu classics History CNN Polls and Games Quiz ABC Academy Awards movies WarnerMedia Lifetime YA crime thriller singing competition true crime hist SundanceTV Rocky Columbia Pictures Dark Horse Comics biography Awards Star Trek worst Mary Poppins Returns 2020 police drama name the review CBS Apple Mary Tyler Moore green book Cosplay 71st Emmy Awards travel cooking canceled TV shows Kids & Family PBS E!