Without a doubt, the most hotly anticipated movie presentation of New York Comic-Con was Sony's remake of "Evil Dead," which caused a geekquake of the highest magnitude. Helping to shift those tectonic plates under the Javits Center was none other than Bruce Campbell, the man, the legend who made horror movie history with buddy Sam Raimi 30-years ago.
The big-chinned one (Campbell )will not be appearing in the new version as his signature wisecracker Ash, but the footage promised plenty of chainsaws, Deadites, tongue slashing, arm chopping, and good old fashioned cabin in the woods terror. And yes, the 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88, also known as "The Classic," will be making an appearance.
Before he hit the stage to present this reimagining of "Evil Dead" along with director Fede Alvarez, we sat down with him and his snappy red blazer to talk exclusively about what the original means to so many people, and what this new one has in store.
Without a doubt the question you get asked more than any other is "When is there going to be another 'Evil Dead'?" Can fans finally put this in their pipe and smoke it?
Yeah, kinda, 'cause it doesn't suck. I'm so excited I can't tell ya, and that's not the normal PR bulls**t. I'm not really a bulls**ter. I think Fede Alvarez just killed it, and the cast worked as hard as we did back then and moreso, they're better than we were back then. The movie looks beautiful and it's gonna make people freak their s**t! That's all I can say, there's no other way! It doesn't matter, they can compare it to the first one or whatever. I hope we have double bills for another 30 years of both movies together. Watch the original and watch the next one, because it's a great pairing. Fede's very respectable toward the original, yet it's all his own, he wrote it. We hope fans will chill out because it's us behind it. It's not some cigar-chomping producer going, "I need a franchise! Who owns a franchise?" Just pulling it out of a file drawer that some studio owns. This is ours, we own this property, and it's been very underexploited. Three movies since 1979, that's not overexploiting a series, whereas Freddy, Jason, all those guys you got sequels out the ass. Our last sequel was 1991.
So, it's been a good two decades. The first one was kinda serious, while the other two were more wackypants. Where does this one fall on that spectrum?
It's more like the first. This is not a jokey jokey movie. If there's laughter during the movie it's because you can't handle what you're seeing. There may be nervous laughter, but there won't be haha laughter.
What in Fede do you see of the young, hungry Sam Raimi?
Stubborn. He wants what he wants, and knows what he wants. He has an idea and he's the only one who holds all the cards. He was incredibly comfortable from day one. In pitching stories to us he was incredibly articulate, his reasoning for things was really hard to argue with. We loved to argue with him sometimes, but he would just beat us down from having thought it through way more than we did. So you go, "Alright, this guy might be the guy for the job."
We're probably gonna see some new and improved Deadites in the movie, yes?
People are gonna get possessed, there's no question about it, but again Fede's got his take on that too. People just have to make sure to curb their comparisons, get over it, it's just a movie. This'll be one of the scariest of the bunch, easily.
At the Brattle Theater in Boston they show it every year for Halloween and people come dressed as Ash, with the chainsaw and everything. It's one of the most popular midnight movies ever. Will there be iconic scenes and character that will wind up on posters or molded as figurines, keychains, bumper stickers, etc?
I sent an e-mail to the cast members before they shot. I said, "Alright, get ready. There's a reason why people are gonna tattoo you face on their back for the next 30-years. You're gonna go through an experience, it'll be like no other experience making the movie. The difficulty of it, the physical stamina you're gonna have to have to do it because physically you're gonna go through quite a lot, but suffer through it." There aren't many Tom Cruise tattoos, I wouldn't think. It hits people in a different way. These are very fan-friendly movies. We're fans of the genre, and we love scaring the s**t out of people, and hopefully that'll come across. I'm encouraging them to be ready because you'll be remembered for that part for awhile, and be glad for it. Don't fight it. Be glad you're remembered for something, for Christ's sake!