The Evil Dead is one of the seminal horror movies of the 1980s. Its grungy effects, over the top performances and inventive kinetic direction from a young unknown named Sam Raimi turned it into a runaway cult classic that spawned two sequels.
Many die hard fans greeted the news of an Evil Dead remake with trepidation, if not fear and loathing. However, Ash himself, the great B-Movie actor Bruce Campbell, who starred in the 1981 schlocker has seen the film and in a recent interview with Digital Spy, gives an overwhelmingly positive response.
“I think it’s definitely fabulous,” he says. “It’s basically five new kids who are going to have a really bad night with a brand new director,” Campbell states.
With some short films in his resume, Fede Alvarez was hand picked by Raimi to direct the re-imagining as his debut feature length film.
As a producer on the film, Bruce Campbell is perhaps biased, but he is also aware of the weight of expectation that the film will carry on its 2013 release:
“We’re really excited and really behind it, [but] it’s going to take a bit to get the Evil Dead fans behind it. We know we’ve pissed a lot of them off. We appreciate that and we appreciate their anger and their zeal, but the only thing we want to impress upon them is that we didn’t screw it up. This is going to be just as memorable as [the original] Evil Dead without being the same movie.”
One source of worry might be his contention that the original Evil Dead has been improved upon:
“The nice thing is the film looks beautiful. The effects are 10 times better than we ever had access to and the actors are all better than we were in 1979. For many fans of the original, however, it is precisely the grunginess of the plasticine make up effects and the ham of the performances that make it such a gem. I think people will be pleasantly surprised that it’s not something that was cranked out, where no-one gives a crap. We were involved in casting, we were involved in everything. We’re all over that movie like a cheap suit, so if it blows it’s our responsibility.”
With rumours of a Maniac Cop remake, a part in Sam Raimi‘s new film Oz: The Great and Powerful, a leading roll in TV’s Burn Notice, as well as a producing credit on the Evil Dead remake, Campbell seems to be a busy man.
Despite his kind words though, it still remains to be seen (and especially after a year of unnecessary and unremarkable remakes) whether his confidence in the film is well placed.