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.
HOLLYWOOD – A new entry in the Friday the 13th is going to break with tradition taking the new title Saturday the 14th.
Director Sam Raimi explained:
The folks at Camp Crystal Lake have had such a terrible time of it. They get murdered constantly and Jason Vorhees, even when someone does managed to kill him, never actually dies. So we had this idea what if we did a film about the day after Fridya the 13th. Saturday the 14th. The bodies are being collected, the police are beginning their investigations, the community once more begins to heal and Jason returns to his normal life as a star ice hockey player for the The Montreal Canadiens.
Yeah, he signed with them a few years ago.
So we have a return to normality and in this space we can also explain some of the problems that the franchise has had in terms of believability.
Why do people keep coming to this place when every year, more or less, a bunch of kids get murdered. We’ll show the cover up that takes place and the dark government agency that goes around forcing people to foret what just happened so that there will be a fresh crop of victims the following year.
I know. This is going to be my scariest film since Oz: The Great and Powerful.
Nothing can surpass that film for horror.
No perhaps you’re right. It was horrific in a Conradian sense of the word.
HOLLYWOOD – Amy Adams has signed up to play the object of Popeye and Bluto’s affections, Olive Oyl in Sam Raimi’s new movie: Olive.
Amy Adams spoke EXCLUSIVELY with the Studio Exec about the role:
Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by the character of Olive Oil. She is a very powerful woman torn between the love of two extremely violent, potentially abusive men. This is a world of slap stick certainly but also a violent energy that you simply don’t know where it is going to go. And yet despite being surrounded by this whirlwind of craziness, Olive is a remarkably modern woman. Her look is very of the age. The classic flapper, but with enormous feet. And yet she is also very much in control of the situation, shifting her affections as she sees fit.
Sam Raimi has revealed that his film will return to the origins of the character as delineated in Elzie Crisler Segar’s Thimble Theatre comic strip. The Spider-Man 3 director told Studio Exec:
Olive Oyl as a character predates Popeye by ten years. TEN YEARS! So this is where we’re putting our film. This is very much Olive before Popeye. At this time, Olive is in love with Harold Ham Gravy (John Hamm), but he’s a no good louse who keeps chasing other women. Olive goes into these mad rages which transform her, so in that she is similar to what would become the Incredible Hulk. It’s going to be a lot of fun.
Although the animated series has for many been the classical adaptation of Popeye and Olive Oyl, Robert Altman also made a feature film/musical in 1980 and starred Shelley Duvall as Olive. Adams concedes:
Duvall’s Olive will be the one which I will be judged by. I understand that and hope to rise to the challenge. But I also think that Chris Pine has made Captain Kirk very much his own character, despite William Shatner’s ghost lingering on. I hope I can do the same with Olive.
HOLLYWOOD – Along with Sam Raimi’s remake of Poltergeist soon to hit cinemas, the Evil Dead director has also promised the reboot of the Poltergeist Curse.
The original Poltergeist curse was rumored to have come about when Tobe Hooper or Steven Spielberg (nobody knows which) decided to use real skeletons in the filming of several of the more gruesome scenes in the original 1982 film. The use of real skeletons is in fact common practice as real skeletons are cheaper than realistic fake ones. Go figure. Following the filming of the original three films (the sequels arrived in 1986 and 1988) a number of cast members died early and tragic deaths, including the little girl played by Heather O’Rourke when she was just twelve years old.
The Darkman director told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:
We want to honor the memory of the first film and that involves not just re-imagining a great horror movie in a way that is kind of unnecessary and dull, but also re-imagining the horror that surrounded the making of the film.
How do you go about rebooting a curse?
In order to get an authentic curse we’ve filmed the whole movie on the site of an ancient Indian burial ground. We’ve broken a shit ton of mirrors during production and unleashed 78 black cats on the set. Taking a leaf out of my own book, I’ve hired a bunch of old Gypsy women to work for me and I have no intention of paying them. And to make absolutely sure, we’ve been using real skeletons willy-nilly. Even if there’s a normal dialogue scene with nothing spooky going on, we put a skeleton under the table of just out of shot.
How do the cast feel about this?
Well, Sam Rockwell was really nervous. He’s kinda superstitious I suppose. But I pointed out that the star of the original film Richard Lawson was in a plane crash a few years after the film was released. Twenty seven people died but he survived. So the curse might work both ways.
Is that true?
Let’s just say I’m booking separate flights from Sam Rockwell from now on. Ha ha!
The Poltergeist remake will be released in 2015 and the Poltergeist curse will follow soon after.
HOLLYWOOD – Rumors are rife today that Javier Bardem has dropped out of Sam Raimi’s low budget horror shocker Blanket Face currently in pre-production, because the Spanish Skyfall star wants to do a Pirates of the Caribbean film.
Sources close to Bardem said that the star was concerned that scenes of early morning facial distress might have an adverse effect on his career. He is also understood to have always been a huge fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, specifically for the way they make money. If true, the news comes as another blow for the Drag Me to Hell director’s dream project which has already suffered from two other high profile desertions, Sandra Bullock and Charles Dance.
The synopsis for the film reads:
The latest in extreme horror, Blanket Face tells the terrifying tale of a mythical psycho-beast who creeps into bedrooms at night and leaves disconcerting lines on the faces of his victims. Psychic explorers Jose (Javier Bardem) and Margo (Sandra Bullock) check into the Fern Grove Hotel where creepy owner Xavier Fern (Charles Dance) has seen his business collapse as a result of Blanket Face’s antics. Can they defeat the ancient evil? Or will they too look like they ought to rub their faces with hot towels?
HOLLYWOOD – Marc Webb has announced that from next year there will be a new Amazing Spider-Man film made every three days and some of them are ‘bound to be okay’.
The director said:
There’s a hunger for Spider-Man, a famished need. For too long Spider-Man-less days have been going coming and going and no one has done anything to solve this problem. There are countries in Africa in which thousands of children are dying every day for lack of a fresh dose of Spider-Man. Some areas are still having to make do … I’m sorry this is very hard. Some villages are having to make do with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. Oh God. The humanity!
Andrew Garfield spoke enthusiastically about developments:
When I first started out, I really wanted to be an actor, but it’s really hard. These superhero films are a complete doddle. You’re only in it for about half the scenes. The heavy lifting is done by the CGI boys. I just cash the paycheck.
The Amazing Spider-Man 3 – 115 will be released from January 1st, 2015.
HOLLYWOOD – With the box office success of Evil Dead this weekend, it has been taken for granted that this is the beginning of a new franchise. However, executive producer Sam Raimi made it clear that there would be no follow up to the remake.
‘We’ve made some money and people have enjoyed it, but this is not just a cash grab and to make a sequel would be worse than those assholes over at the Texas Chainsaw Massacre shop,’ said Raimi, who took a break from his remake of The Amazing Spider-Man (for more on that storyCLICK HERE) to talk exclusively to The Studio Exec.
There is a tendency in horror films now to just go for series and milk the cow dry. Everyone thought this was the case when we set about the reboot, but we went in a different direction and I’m glad it’s worked out. But now, let’s not make this Scary Movie or worse still Paranormal Activity. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. So I can promise you. No sequels.
You heard it here first. What do you think? Let us know with comments and shit.
HOLLYWOOD – Jonah Hill to join Sam Raimi’s reboot of Mark Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which looks set to be on a collision course with Webb’s own sequel in the wrung dry comic book franchise.
Raimi announced today that his Spider-Man has been chosen and it will be Jonah Hill.
The Superbad and Money Ball actor said:
Of course, it’s always been a dream of mine to play a super hero and when Marc was searching for his Spider-Man I actually tested for the role, but there were technical aspects that we couldn’t get right. Every time I was trying to you know fly through the air using my web shooter, the chains kept snapping. So they went with that limey asshole. But since then I’ve become really svelte and so, you know, when Sam called me and told me we were going to do it right this time and said count me in.
The Amazing Spider-Man Begins Again will be released on the same day as The Amazing Spider-Man, and we’re hoping for fist fights.
HOLLYWOOD – News coming in about The Amazing Spider-Man took a twist this week. As well as the Marc Webb directed sequel The Amazing Spider-man 2, starring Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, fans of the web slinger can also look forward to a remake of the original The Amazing Spider-Man directed by none other than the wizard of Oz, Sam Raimi.
Raimi said the the remake will not be a sequel or a prequel or a standalone movie:
This will be a remake of Mark Webb’s film. I don’t want to contribute anything particularly new. I have no new ideas. But the fact is I just want to make a Spider-Man film and it isn’t as if anyway came to me and said, “hey do you mind if we just regurgitate the shit you’ve been working on?”
Isn’t it a bit early for a remake?
Yeah (laughs) yeah I suppose it is. And?
What I love about making films is taking original ideas and doing something with them. That’s what I did with Evil Dead and Crimewave and Dark Man. But then I thought, why bother? So now I’m just doing remakes and sequels and prequels and I don’t give a shit.
The Amazing Spider-Man Begins is set to start filming on Sunday.
HOLLYWOOD – Sam Raimi’s Evil Deadwas a shocking film of gore and black, black comedy. When we at Studio Exec heard there was going to be a remake, we said ‘What?’ and ‘That’s stupid!’ and ‘That’d be like remaking Carrie, what a stupid dumb idea’ and ‘Stupid, stupid, cynical cash grab stupid idiots of stupid’. But then we saw that the director was Fede Alvarez and we changed our tune. Now we said, ‘Who the fuck is Fede Alvarez? And isn’t remaking Evil Dead a stupid dumbass, brain dead, stupid idea?’ But now there’s a trailer. So….
My first reaction was this is not as funny as the original. My second reaction was ‘honey, maybe the kids shouldn’t be watching this’. My third reaction was urgh. My fourth reaction was ‘Ah so that’s what NSFW means.’ So what we have is a straightforward Cabin in the Woods splatter-fest that the original was a parody of. It’s like they’ve remade Airplane as Airport. So okay. But do you remember when Sam Raimi was this fresh young film maker full of crazy ideas? The guy who brought us Darkman and Crimewave? And now we have this. The only relief is that he isn’t directing it. Instead, he’s turned his attention to a much more needed film, a more vital film that speaks to the problems of our times. A prequel to The Wizard of Oz. (PLEASE NOTE: In a time of economic crisis, it is important that all parts of the industry pull together and as we know that the studios are feeling the pinch, we have decided to help out with the publicity department budget and run a review of a trailer, giving the film promotional space and making it look like ‘journalism’.)
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.