47 FILMS: 43. THE EVIL DEAD

In our continuing series of 47 films to see before you are murdered in your dreams we present Sam Raimi’s horror comedy Evil Dead.

I first watched Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead as a kid and it scared the living shit-lights out of me. The word evil in the title seemed so apposite. A genuine darkness lurked in the wood and as the camera swooped towards the cabin, a remorseless intent drove it. It was only when I saw the sequel that I realized that this was a comedy. It wasn’t that it wasn’t funny. When I rewatched it the film was hilarious. The first time the fear stopped me laughing. On repeated viewings it became one of my favorite comedies and now I doesn’t scare me much anymore. But I still have to sometimes get up and walk around the house putting more lights on if I’m watching it.

Following the Scream movies and more recently The Cabin in the Woods, we’re used to the horror-comedy. But what Raimi does with his trip into the woods is give us a comedy that’s still serious about its horror. A group of teenagers go out into the woods for no real reason, find a book in the cellar and inadvertently raise the demons of Candar. Bruce Campbell would carve out a whole career from the humble origins of Ash, but the rest of the ensemble are great too, playing everything with utter conviction.

The gloopy effects go over the top but they hold an essential secret of horror which so many recent entries screw up. Horror should be filthy. Sticky. Nasty. Horror is the adult version of a custard pie fight. Nowadays technology means the blood looks less splatter and more Photoshop. By the end of the film, we have mushy peas and porridge, but it all works. This is old school at its best.

For more of our 47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams CLICK HERE.

FX TO MAKE HUDSUCKER PROXY TV SHOW

HOLLYWOOD – Following the success of the Fargo TV show, FX have announced they have green lit a spin off TV version of the hit Coen Brothers movie: The Hudsucker Proxy.

Based on the 1994 film starring Tim Robbins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Paul Newman, The Hudsucker Proxy TV show will be written by Noah Hawley and executive produced by the Coen Brothers. Hawley came by the Studio Exec Bungalow to talk about the project:

I’m really excited. We’ve done two seasons of Fargo and the third will be a real challenge but now I have enough people in place that I can kind of let it run itself and I am ready for a new challenge. Hudsucker is going to give me that.

How is it going to be different from Fargo?

Well, if you’ve seen the film you’ll know that it is a tribute to the sort of screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s and much less dark than Fargo. So we’re going to be doing that. There will be much less violence. Bruce Campbell also had a great role in the film so we’re hoping he’ll come back for us.

So there’ll be less violence?

Oh absolutely. The whole tone will be lighter and more comic. Plus we’re looking at a totally different demographic. A younger audience. This is going to be fun and youthful, colorful and with lots of music and dance. Oh and they’re going to be the Muppets as well. They are going to be working in Hudsucker Industries int he lower sections.

That sounds… very different. So it’s going to be …

You know for kids.

The Hudsucker Proxy: The Show will be broadcast in 2016.

OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL: ON SET REPORT

Wocka Wocka Wocka


HOLLYWOOD – Sam Raimi is having a tough day in Oz. The set designers have been watching to much HBO and everything looks like a prison; the Munchkins have got heavily into identity politics and are revising the script to remove all references to their stature and cuteness; the Witches have been arguing about the size of their respective trailers and now James Franco, to make matters worse, has started acting.
Studio Exec has been granted exclusive access to visionary director, Sam Raimi’s re-imagining of the Frank L. Baum classic universe made famous by the 1931 Judy Garland film The Wizard of Oz , but the yellow brick road has never been a straight one.

‘Ok, action Jamie,’ Sam shouts from behind his monitor.
‘What wondrous place is this, wokka wokka wokka!’ says Franco.
‘Cut, cut,’ Sam shouts. ‘Go again. Just say the line, Jamie without the … Just the line.’
‘This place wondrous is after so many days I have travelled,’ says Franco.
‘No, no, no, no,’ shouts Raimi. ‘Call Bruce Campbell!’
 The first AD calls a lunch break and Raimi takes the opportunity to vent. ‘That fucking Franco is ruining everything. He signed on thinking that the film was going to be a biopic of Frank Oz, the famous voice artist and then film director. I gave him the book, I told him what it was about but he decided that he didn’t care, he was going to play everything like Frank Oz.’
At the canteen Franco is complaining there’s no R in his alphabet soup.
Raimi sits down in front of a small Greek salad and begins to eat. ‘When I came into this industry I was a maverick,’ he says. ‘I wanted to make original movies. First I made Evil Dead and Crime Wave, everything was sweet, but it all began to do wrong. Evil Dead II and Darkman I was still on the right track, but then the Spiderman films and now this. What have I done? What have I done?’
Raimi is weeping now. Tears run down his face and into his feta cheese.
Spiderman 2 was okay,’ I say.
‘You’re a kind man Chad,’ Raimi mumbles but then he catches sight of Franco – who is now ordering a ‘buk buk buk-ARK sandwich’ and his face collapses into pure unrestrained grief. ‘I can’t go on. I’m wasting my life.’ 
Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams charge over to Raimi’s table and I decide it might be better to withdraw.
Oz: The Great and Powerful is slated for release on the 8th of March in Lithuania but the 27th of March in Spain, for reasons of irritation.