News

Sam Raimi Is Answering the Fans With Ash vs. Evil Dead

Filmmaker Explains His Decision to Bring Evil Dead to the Small Screen

by | October 29, 2015 | Comments

 

Hollywood director Sam Raimi is going back to where it all began with Ash vs. Evil Dead, the Starz series that unfolds 30-plus years after audiences first encountered Ash Williams and his college buddies being tortured by an ancient curse in a frisky forest in The Evil Dead. We sat down with the sports coat-wearing, infallibly polite Raimi on the Auckland, New Zealand, set, where he was reunited with fellow Michigan natives Bruce Campbell (Ash) and longtime producing partner, Rob Tapert. Raimi’s oldest child, Lorne, was directing a splinter unit for Dad, who co-wrote and directed the series premiere.


Lori Rackl for Rotten Tomatoes: What made you want to resurrect the Evil Dead franchise?

Sam Raimi: There’s a small but very dedicated fan base for the Evil Dead films. At every other film promotion we’d do throughout the years, we kept hearing, “When’s the next Evil Dead film?” We tried to satisfy them by doing a [2013] remake with a really good filmmaker, Fede Alvarez. I really liked his movie. I think the audience really liked it, too. We thought that would end it. It didn’t. We heard, “That’s good, but we really want to see Bruce Campbell playing that role again.” That’s why we’re making this. We’ve never done this before, where we’re answering the fans.

Rotten Tomatoes: Why do it on the small screen?

Raimi: The Evil Dead movies have been mildly successful, but there’s never been an Evil Dead movie that’s a hit. Through time they’ve developed a following. What’s great is we don’t have to make a movie that’s going to be a hit — a movie that’ll be taken off the screens if it isn’t — and Evil Dead movies never are. With this scenario, we’ll be on TV for 10 episodes. It’s going to have a chance to develop an audience, which is a good thing for Evil Dead.

 

 

Rotten Tomatoes: Evil Dead has spawned sequels, comic book series, video games — even a musical. Why does it resonate?

Raimi: I don’t know exactly, but I’d guess that it’s Ash. He’s a monster-fighting hero, something that shouldn’t be so rare. A lot of horror movies have really good characters like Jason or Freddy. They’re the villains of the piece. This is more of an old-fashioned guy who fights monsters. People like a horror movie with a hero. I think they also really like Bruce Campbell. He’s funny, charismatic. They like that he’s an idiot and selfish and a blowhard. He’s the one they’re stuck with, the one who has to rise up and do battle with these monsters. He’s an unusual choice for a hero.

Rotten Tomatoes: Your beloved 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 is back for another cameo…

Raimi: That was my mother’s car. When it came time to make Evil Dead, we needed a car we could endanger and possibly hurt. It was the old family car so we used it. When it came time to make the sequel, that car had to be in it. Whenever we needed a car for a movie, we’d borrow it. It’s run over a lot of dummies. It’s had love scenes played in it. It’s had chase scenes. It’s traveled through time. It’s been turned into a death-coaster in Army of Darkness. And now, it’s traveled to New Zealand to make an appearance.

 

 

Rotten Tomatoes: You went to high school with Bruce. When did Rob enter the picture?

Raimi: He was a friend of my brother Ivan. Rob saw that I was a moviemaker and I think that titillated him. We made a film with Ivan my freshman year at Michigan State University. We charged admission and made a tremendous amount of money, even though that wasn’t our goal. We thought we’d make enough to pay back the cost of the room and the advertisements. All of a sudden, instead of making $4.50 an hour being a projectionist for the school, we’d split a pot of $300 just for showing our movie. We started to learn there’s a public out there and they buy tickets. Sitting in those shows at Michigan State was a great learning experience. People would tell you, “This sucks,” and you’d think, ‘I better cut that scene down.’ Or, if they really laughed at a scene, we’d go out that weekend and shoot more of those jokes and cut them in for the next week’s show. We really learned what a paying audience liked and didn’t like.

Rotten Tomatoes: You’ve been involved with so many movies over the years. Where do you rank the Evil Dead franchise in your career?

Raimi: It’s probably the closest to my heart. It’s something we conceived ourselves. It’s where I got my start. As much as I loved working with the great cast of Spider-Man or great [actors] like Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe, I really like the down-home quality of the Evil Dead films and their pure desire for rock ‘n’ roll entertainment for the audience.

Ash vs. Evil Dead premieres this Saturday, Oct. 31, on Starz at 9 p.m. Read season one reviews here.

  • Af Keck

    Haha yes and the car showed up as Mrs Ganush’s wheels in DMTH too! (Give her an extension on her mortgage for Nikto’s sake!!!)

  • Robert Dee

    “great actresses like Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe” Gold.

  • Sam Mills

    This is awesome! I love Evil Dead. Now if only a more recent project of his could find it’s back from the dead, we’ll all be happy!

  • Kevin Duffey

    Great opening episode really drove home the humor they are going for with the series. Which was definitely missing from the remake film.

  • Natali Natali ☆

    So glad they decided to make it into a TV show. The characters are able to develop more and as much as I loved the movies, im sure this tv show will allow for more depth. So excited that this is happening!

  • Emprah

    This is the best series of the decade. I never once in my life met an old classic remake that actually managed to be just as good as the original.

    The remake movie was an okey horror, but it fell horribly short when compared to the original trilogy.

    However this series more than makes up for it. It is funny and silly, gory and scary, thrilling and exciting. It has a perfect pace of plot too.

    Lot of current series are great, but have either too slow/little plots ( Legend of Korra, Supernatural) or too much at the same time so that it becomes hard to follow (I’m looking at you Game of thrones) .

    Ash vs Evil dead manages to do what all the big names above could not, and make a story that is at once engaging and fun, yet easy to follow and swift.
    There is always a very clear, engaging and interesting pair of plots going on.

    I have seen good remakes, bad remakes, but never before one that was as good as the original.

Tag Cloud

nfl latino boxing movies BBC America Christmas indie Black Mirror Premiere Dates Pop TV Comic Book dceu rotten nbcuniversal RT21 concert Mudbound biography ratings The CW foreign Calendar teaser remakes thriller 4/20 critics dc Spike worst movies superhero Shondaland Discovery Channel Rocketman FX Syfy cops A24 obituary 71st Emmy Awards kids Television Critics Association comics Quiz golden globes CNN YouTube Premium crime cancelled Drama quibi news independent Country war YouTube Red green book 21st Century Fox strong female leads YouTube social media TCM ITV cats PBS archives unscripted TNT japanese Disney streaming service BET Awards zombies canceled Fox Searchlight spain romance psychological thriller classics Pixar facebook Lionsgate Marvel Heroines Animation what to watch FXX scorecard Emmy Nominations FX on Hulu Universal Warner Bros. NBC Marathons New York Comic Con SXSW National Geographic Horror screen actors guild San Diego Comic-Con Shudder 2016 HBO Max Fox News Television Academy Funimation VICE SundanceTV comiccon boxoffice die hard Anna Paquin E! Photos halloween parents Adult Swim Crackle Box Office tv talk dragons scary movies werewolf Brie Larson Action laika BET docudrama Lifetime Christmas movies Sundance Now cartoon chucky casting Amazon Prime E3 Awards Tour cars slashers Infographic fast and furious Tarantino Hear Us Out The Academy CBS First Look Creative Arts Emmys Holidays disaster Song of Ice and Fire SDCC Reality Competition justice league talk show Amazon Prime Video Turner Classic Movies franchise Extras hispanic comedies Captain marvel toronto venice movie Britbox Nominations Trophy Talk RT History children's TV TCA Schedule First Reviews WGN GLAAD ESPN halloween tv IFC Films cancelled television The Arrangement Lifetime adventure CBS All Access Video Games festivals zombie President Super Bowl politics vampires Holiday Interview stand-up comedy elevated horror Teen Toys Fantasy Hulu GIFs best cancelled TV shows Film Festival Winter TV hist Thanksgiving Best and Worst binge Winners name the review Tubi History TLC stop motion blockbuster NYCC based on movie Set visit Peacock cinemax book Sneak Peek sequels Marvel Television Oscars TIFF crime thriller period drama dramedy indiana jones American Society of Cinematographers ID Trivia APB Sundance TV Amazon football Apple TV Plus Disney Plus emmy awards Masterpiece Dark Horse Comics political drama award winner finale VOD diversity witnail Rocky reboot Marvel Studios Avengers The Walking Dead Star Wars Mary poppins Acorn TV cults child's play Esquire Disney Channel deadpool See It Skip It Polls and Games miniseries comic robots Alien Paramount Tomatazos DC Comics Binge Guide joker Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Food Network Film Grammys Paramount Network Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt worst VH1 transformers Musical documentary Awards Nat Geo Valentine's Day mission: impossible Opinion Comedy Central sag awards Podcast south america Mystery free movies cooking Cartoon Network dark Apple historical drama breaking bad animated Academy Awards Election video TV renewals DirecTV Showtime 24 frames french discovery mutant Turner Ovation 007 Pet Sematary serial killer Apple TV+ USA Star Trek Summer Sundance true crime Sci-Fi italian DGA game of thrones Hallmark Christmas movies Red Carpet rotten movies we love 2019 TBS BBC Starz twilight TruTV dogs Tumblr comic books Columbia Pictures PlayStation revenge Mary Poppins Returns police drama ABC Family television TCA 2017 christmas movies james bond travel The Witch OWN satire Black History Month Disney Stephen King Nickelodeon TCA Winter 2020 spinoff zero dark thirty AMC Vudu X-Men Sony Pictures Superheroe spider-man Logo WarnerMedia 2017 documentaries nature series game show harry potter Netflix Comics on TV MCU screenings 99% adaptation ghosts festival Walt Disney Pictures asian-american sitcom films Bravo spanish language YA hollywood Netflix Christmas movies IFC toy story reviews renewed TV shows Watching Series Countdown Comedy 45 medical drama Ellie Kemper LGBTQ singing competition cancelled TV series versus streaming Spring TV anime Spectrum Originals ABC a nightmare on elm street A&E Pride Month criterion The Purge Western MTV Character Guide HBO Epix TV Ghostbusters GoT aliens technology theme song video on demand Amazon Studios science fiction 72 Emmy Awards Freeform Emmys crossover HBO Go Kids & Family australia CW Seed Rom-Com Trailer all-time Crunchyroll 2020 Pop 20th Century Fox Martial Arts 2015 canceled TV shows FOX Rock Elton John TCA Awards USA Network Classic Film Baby Yoda Pirates Mindy Kaling doctor who psycho Arrowverse BAFTA 2018 space richard e. Grant mockumentary anthology crime drama stoner Endgame universal monsters OneApp sequel DC Universe Cannes Mary Tyler Moore fresh sports Year in Review Lucasfilm Music LGBT natural history Family blaxploitation Hallmark composers MSNBC spy thriller black supernatural Writers Guild of America romantic comedy Cosplay Superheroes TV Land batman jamie lee curtis directors CMT Musicals rt archives Travel Channel Chernobyl El Rey Reality Certified Fresh Disney+ Disney Plus Fall TV Biopics BBC One spanish PaleyFest DC streaming service Women's History Month