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.

Tag Cloud

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