It should be said upfront that the first footage from Fede Alvarez’s “Evil Dead” remake is extremely graphic and outrageously NSFW. That information will either dissuade you from watching it or reinforce everything that you’re hoping to hear from this redo of Sam Raimi’s classic.
When MTV News spoke with star-turned-producer Bruce Campbell, he gave us fair warning. “We’re going to have ratings problems out the butt,” he said at New York Comic Con, where the footage first debuted. “We have a screening coming up later this month, and I’m like, ’Good luck, Chuck!’ ”
Now that we’ve had some time to digest — forgive the word choice — the first red-band trailer, we noticed at least five nice callbacks to the original.
Moving Through the Tree
Perhaps the most iconic image from the low-budget original features the evil spirits that haunt the unfortunate campers moving through the woods in a series of point-of-view shots. If you’re remaking “Evil Dead” and you want to communicate to fans that this movie will not completely ignore the memory of the original, this is how you do it.
While, we are by no means surprised to see the book of the dead make an appearance in the “Evil Dead” trailer, we are comforted by the sight of it in a weird way. The Necronomicon is the impetus for all of the evil shenanigans that happen after one of the campers reads a passage aloud. If one relic from the original had to make its way into the remake, this is it. The Necronomicon is kind of the whole point of the movie.
This little piece of gore hails back to “The Evil Dead 2,” but a key element of the series’ lore is the scene where Ash, played by Campbell, removes his own possessed hand with a chainsaw. In the trailer for the remake, we see a play on that motif that subs in an electric turkey carver, which, while more low-fi, looks just as effective.
There’s a natural connection built into the mind of any “Evil Dead” fan. In a game of word association, “arm removal” is quickly followed by “chainsaw.” While we don’t see anyone strapping a chainsaw onto one of his or her appendages, there is certainly a chainsaw and some splashing gore to go with it.
When news of an “Evil Dead” remake surfaced, this scene seemed like the most likely to not make the jump to the 21st century. It is just too extreme, fans all said. Modern movie-going audiences couldn’t handle it. There is no way the studio would allow such a scene. Well, guess what. Not only is that scene in the film, it’s in the freaking trailer.
“Evil Dead” opens on April 12 and stars Jane Levy and Shiloh Fernandez.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Evil Dead.”