Bruce Campbell Says Stephen King Is Directly Responsible For Evil Dead II

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As Ash Vs. Evil Dead heads into its third season (our review here), star Bruce Campbell has been heard in reflective mood, speaking to various outlets on the promotional circuit. In recent conversation with Consequence Of Sound, however, he revealed a very specific snippet of information about the production of Evil Dead II – and how it actually only happened because of Stephen King.

It’s now the stuff of legend that the reaction quote most often cited for Evil Dead came from Stephen King himself, calling it “the most ferociously original horror film of the year,” when it was released in 1981. Now, we learn that his direct influence on the franchise did not stop at mere fandom.

“He’s responsible for two of The Evil Dead movies, not just one,” said Campbell. “The second one is much more obscure. He’s obviously quoted for the first Evil Dead, he saw it at Cannes and allowed us to use that quote, which was really cool of him and we’ve been using it ever since.

On the second movie, Evil Dead II, we were having trouble getting financing. We were prepping it and trying to get it going. We had a woman who was kind of like doing scheduling stuff, and we had to let her go. So she was a crew member, and she took off down to North Carolina and started making all these movies.”

Stephen King Evil Dead II

Continuing on, he said:

“Dino De Laurentiis is making movies down there. Who does she run into? She gets on the crew of Maximum Overdrive, directed by Stephen King. Stephen was like, “What are you up to?” And she was like, “I just came from working with these guys trying to get money for Evil Dead II.” He goes, “Evil Dead II? They can’t get the money for that?” She goes “No.” He calls Dino De Laurentiis and goes, “You should make this movie.” I think we had a deal … we met with Dino and I think we had a deal in about half an hour, and a basic understanding.”

Since there would be no Ash Vs. Evil Dead without Evil Dead II and Army Of Darkness, it’s clear that – without Stephen King’s timely intervention – the brainchild of Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert would have died in those woods at the end of the first movie. The fact that it played out in a different way means that fans of the franchise – with all its demonic chaos and regular-guy-saving-the-world stuff – get to see Bruce Campbell’s Ash take the story to a new level when Ash Vs. Evil Dead returns on Starz on February 25th.

Campbell has already teased that the plot will bring the entire show back to the original movie – tying in plot threads featuring the Book Of The Dead. That being the case, audiences should strap in for what’s sure to be an awesome ride, as Ash goes head-to-head with the Deadites once again.

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