The Evil Dead is a series of four horror films created by Sam Raimi. The films focus on the protagonist, Ashley "Ash" J. Williams, who is played by Bruce Campbell. Ash deals with "deadites", which are undead antagonists created by the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis. The film series has since expanded into other formats such as video games and comic books. An off-Broadway musical opened in Toronto in 2003 based on the storyline of the first two films.
Within The WoodsEdit
Template:See also In January 1979 Bruce Campbell was a college dropout who had just quit his job as a taxicab driver. Sam Raimi was studying literature at Michigan State University with Robert Tapert finishing his economics degree. While putting the finishing touches in It's Murder! Tapert suggested doing a feature length film to Raimi. Raimi felt it to be impossible citing that they could never pull off the funding. Campbell didn't mind stating that "I could always move back home." Tapert was fearing that he would become an expert in fisheries/wildlife while Raimi was afraid that he would go back to work at his dad's home furnishing store. These were the practical reasons that convinced the three to put forth a feature length film. The three were highly valued fans of the comedy genre, though they decided not to do such a film as they felt "a feature-length yuck fest just didn't compute." To do the film as a horror was put forth after they were inspired by a well noted scene from It's Murder. This moved Raimi to write the short film Clockwork. The three felt the end result was very effective and represented a new direction that their films could take, that of a semi-successful horror film. This would later lead to research of low-budget horror films at the local drive-in theater. The many films that they watched were the "two films for two dollars," allowing them the chance to document the behavior of what would become their target audience. Campbell quoted, "the message was very clear: Keep the pace fast and furious, and once the horror starts, never let up. 'The gorier the merrier' became our prime directive." Films that were witnessed amongst them included Massacre at Central High and Revenge of the Cheerleaders. The idea to do a "prototype" was commissioned, to prove not only to themselves, but also to potential investors that they were capable of doing a full length horror film. The same year, at Michigan State, Raimi had been studying H. P. Lovecraft and was most impressed with Necronomicon, or simply The Book of the Dead. From these rough concepts, he concocted a short story where a group of four friends unwittingly dig up an ancient Indian burial ground and unleash horrific spirits and demons. In the spring of 1979 filming of Within the Woods started over a three day weekend on a budget of $1,600. Within the Woods, as well as serving as a prototype, had impressed the filmmakers. For a marketing strategy a screening was arranged at their former high school, with a positive response.
Filming was first commissioned for the summer of 1979 in Michigan. In order to organize the budget, Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert and Bruce Campbell bought a few "how to make an independent film" guide publications. The budget was originally centered on $150,000 while shooting with a Super 8 camera. However due to technical difficulties, it was decided to move it up to 16 mm format, as they wanted to film the project in the style of the many low-budget films at the time that had come out in the 1970s. Since they had little experience in the film industry, the three felt they should buy business suits and briefcases as a means to convince investors that they "had all the answers." A man named Andy Grainger who was a friend of Tapert and owner of a series of movie theatres was the first primary investor. Grainger stated, "Fellas, no matter what, just keep the blood running." As a tribute to him specifically there's a scene in the finished film where an old film projector whirs to life and "projects" blood running down the screen. Most importantly, Grainger provided the name of a distributor in New York City whom they could approach for possible distribution. The company was Levitt-Pickman Films, who most recently was famous for Groove Tube, starring a very young Chevy Chase. The filmmakers took a train at $40 each, as they knew none of their cars could make an entire round trip road trip. One of Campbell's old girlfriends named Andrea allowed them to stay at her apartment. Campbell slept with her while Raimi and Tapert where in the living room. Andrea's cat fell asleep on Raimi's face without even disturbing him. Raimi, who is allergic to cats, had his eyes swollen shut.
The Evil DeadEdit
- Main article: The Evil Dead
Released in 1981, this is the first official film in the series. It introduces the series' protagonist, Ash, and the Book of the Dead and what it brings with it. The Evil Dead is a horror movie with some elements of black comedy.
Evil Dead IIEdit
- Main article: Evil Dead II
Released in 1987, this is the film that introduced the series's trademark humor, while expanding on the horror themes of Ash's dealings with the Necronomicon and demons.
Army of DarknessEdit
- Main article: Army of Darkness
Released in 1993, this is the last film in the trilogy, taking Ash back in time to England in 1300 AD. The movie has horror attributes, but is based mainly on humor and action. This time the evil creatures are referred to as deadites.
- Main article: Evil Dead (2013)
It had been confirmed that a remake would be made of The Evil Dead. It will be produced by Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi, but will not include the Ash character. It was also said that the movie would be about a group of teenagers who go to the cabin and find the book, and the similarities with the original would end there.
However, in August 2007, Bruce Campbell revealed in a radio interview that the proposed remake was "going nowhere" and "fizzled" due to extremely negative fan reaction.
More recently, rumors have suggested that a re-write of a script is being reviewed and Bruce Campbell suggested that in true style of Sam Raimi's films he would do a cameo role, jokingly suggesting that it would be a remake/sequel and Knowby's ghost would be replaced by ghostly Ash.
In July 2008, Raimi stated that he intends to work with his brother Ivan in the development of a sequel, not a remake, and Campbell further supported this by saying that The Evil Dead remake was no longer a possibility.
In April 2011, Bruce Campbell did an AskMeAnything interview on Reddit.com, saying "Newsflash: We are remaking Evil Dead. The script is awesome. I will be one of the producers and possibly play the milk man". He added "In all honesty, we would all love to make another Evil Dead movie. When that will happen? Who can say – we're all working on other jobs right now. We're not trying to dodge anybody's questions, there just isn't that much to talk about. The remake's gonna kick ass – you have my word". On July 13, 2011 it was officially announced, via a press release, that Ghost House Pictures would be producing the upcoming remake of The Evil Dead, with Diablo Cody in the process of revising the script and Fede Alvarez chosen as the director. Actor Shiloh Fernandez is reported cast as the main lead role of David. Bloody Disgusting has reported that Lily Collins is in the lead role as Mia who is a female version of Ash, but on January 24, 2012, Collins has dropped out of the role. On February 3, 2012 it was announced that actress Jane Levy, star of the television series Suburgatory would be replacing Collins in the lead role as Mia. Lou Taylor Pucci, Elizabeth Blackmore and Jessica Lucas have joined the cast for the horror film.
On August 1, 2012, it was announced that in honor of the reboot due out in 2013, The Evil Dead is coming to the world's largest Halloween event, Knott's Berry Farm's "Halloween Haunt" in Buena Park, CA, also known as Knott's Scary Farm. Knott's has a large log flume ride that goes in and around a large mountain, where the movie will be created for guest to experience the terror firsthand.
Fede Alvarez confirmed the film will use practical effects like the original film and no CGI was used in the scenes shown in the trailer at New York Comic Con. He has stated the special effects in the film are similar to magic and illusion tricks.
An official trailer for the film was released on October 24, 2012. Many familiar elements of the original film are revealed, such as the possessed arm and the infamous tree rape scene, as well as new scenes involving blood-rain and one of the possessed characters splitting their tongue with a utility knife. The trailer was given a red-band status for its excessive use of gore and profanity.
On Friday March 8, 2013, the film held its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The film was received with generally favorable reviews.
Evil Dead 2, Army of Darkness 2, and Evil Dead 7 CrossoverEdit
At the premiere event for the 2013 film at SXSW, Alvarez announced that a sequel is in the works. Sam Raimi confirmed plans to write Evil Dead 4 with his brother; it was later specified that this film would be Army of Darkness 2. At a WonderCon panel in March 2013, Campbell and Alvarez stated that their ultimate plan was for Alvarez's Evil Dead 2 and Raimi's Army of Darkness 2 to be followed by an Evil Dead 7 which would merge the narratives of Ash and Mia. Campbell has confirmed to reprised his Ash role in Army of Darkness 2. On October 26, Alvarez confirmed on his Twitter that Sam Raimi will be directing Army of Darkness 2.
Further film sequelsEdit
In Italy, The Evil Dead was released under the title La Casa ("The House") and Evil Dead II became La Casa II. These were followed by three unrelated movies: Umberto Lenzi's La Casa 3 (aka Ghosthouse) (1988), Fabrizio Laurenti's La Casa 4 (aka Witchery) (1988) and Claudio Fragasso's La Casa 5 (1990). This is similar to what has happened in George Romero's Living Dead series starting with Zombi 2.
It has been rumored for years that there will be an Evil Dead 4. Sam Raimi has stated in an interview that he would like to make this film, as soon as he has completed work on Spider-Man 3.Template:Citation needed In an article released May 3, 2007, he stated he was trying to get his brother Ivan Raimi, who co-wrote Army of Darkness, to write the screenplay with him. On July 26, 2008, Sam Raimi stated that Evil Dead 4 was "in the wheelhouse" during the 2008 Template:Dn. In March 2009, Raimi confirmed that an Evil Dead script was being worked on with Ivan Raimi. Bruce Campbell announced at San Diego Comic Con that Evil Dead 4 is a possibility, but it will not happen for several more years as Raimi was working on Spider-Man 4, but that project was cancelled in January 2010, which could mean it could be Raimi's next project after the Warcraft film. So far, he's seven pages into a script for Evil Dead 4, with brother Ivan, just as he hoped: "Every time I'm with my brother Ivan, we write another page of it. It's in Detroit and in my garage." Raimi continued: "There's some dialogue. Ash being an idiot. Ash taking some abuse. Some character stuff and then some structure of Act Two. Just other possibilities for things that could happen. It's ideas, jokes, things we'd like to see." Of course, Bruce Campbell is "firmly in mind" to star. Another popular rumor is that the sequel to Freddy vs. Jason will include Ash, and possibly be named Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash. Raimi has decided against it, as he would not have creative control over the character. In the unlockable bonus content of Evil Dead : Regeneration, Bruce Campbell says the rumor of Freddy Vs. Jason Vs. Ash is "partly true", claiming that basically there are 3 separate franchises arguing "No We're The Better Franchise!" "No, No YOU Suck!" so he says with this debate constantly on going it might happen, but not in the foreseeable future. Sam Raimi narrated and talked over his fourth installment of the Franchise at Streamy Awards 2010.
Bruce Campbell directed and starred in a film titled My Name Is Bruce. It does not continue the story of Army of Darkness but is a pseudo-documentary about Bruce living his everyday life in which he is mistaken as Ash and is hired to fight an ancient spirit. The film was released to a limited number of theaters on October 26, 2008 and was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on February 10, 2009.
Video games Edit
There have so far been four Evil Dead video games:
- The Evil Dead (1984) for Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum
- Evil Dead: Hail to the King (December 18, 2000) for PlayStation, Dreamcast, and PC
- Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick (May 24, 2003) for PlayStation 2 and Xbox
- Evil Dead: Regeneration (September 13, 2005) for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC
Comic books Edit
- Main article: Army of Darkness (comics)
Army of Darkness adaptation Edit
The first Evil Dead related comics appeared in 1992, in the form of a mini-series adaptation of Army of Darkness produced by Dark Horse Comics. A trade paperback of this series is being released by Dynamite Entertainment on September 25, 2006.
A new Army of Darkness series was released by Dynamite Entertainment in 2004, this time as a continuation of the stories taking place after the Army of Darkness movie. Initially, two mini-series were released, but soon after an ongoing series was released. There has also been one Tales of the Army of Darkness special which included multiple short stories by different writers and artists. It has been said that this is to be an annually released series. Also, a new bi-monthly mini-series, Darkman vs. Army of Darkness, has been announced which will be released at the same time as the ongoing series.
- Ashes 2 Ashes
- Shop till You Drop Dead
- Darkman vs. Army of Darkness
- Marvel Zombies vs. The Army of Darkness
- Issues 1-4: "Army of Darkness vs. Re-Animator", which included Herbert West from H.P. Lovecraft's Re-Animator stories. This was because both the Necronomicon used in Evil Dead, as well as the Re-Animator were both created by Lovecraft and therefore have a similar, and sometimes overlapping, fanbase.
- Issues 5-7: "Old School" in which Ash returns to the cabin in the woods to destroy the nexus of Deadite evil.
- Issues 8-11: "Ash Vs. Dracula" in which Ash begins his mission to destroy all other creatures spoken of in the Necronomicon before they wake the Anti-Christ; he starts with Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Werewolf and the Mummy (a resurrected Evil Ash).
- Tales of the Army of Darkness
- Main article: Evil Dead: The Musical
The production team of George Reinblatt, Christopher Bond and Frank Cipolla recently created an Off Broadway show titled Evil Dead: The Musical, based on the film series. Its New York run was directed by Bond and Hinton Battle, who also choreographed the show. Ryan Ward played the part of Ash. Tying in with the midnight movie plot of a group of friends visiting a wooded cabin and unleashing untold evil, performances did not start until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Previews began October 1 and the show opened November 1 at the New World Stages. It was announced on January 31, 2007 that Evil Dead: The Musical's New York production at New World Stages would close on February 17, 2007. Toronto producers announced a new Toronto production of the show, also starring Ryan Ward, at the Diesel Playhouse. The new production started its running May 1 2007 and has been announced to end on September 8, 2007.
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