The verdict is in from SXSW, and all of you horror nerds can breathe a sigh of relief, because the remake of The Evil Dead is damned awesome, as reviewed by THR. They’re kinda spoiler heavy with their review but it’s pretty glowing and a good indication that every whiny little jerk who thought this was “raping” the franchise is a pedantic little baby who refuses to embrace change. While I won’t quote the THR review due to said spoilers, I can say it certainly does spell out the major touchstones of the film, showing that it’s very faithful to the original. While I know it’s a bit silly to go on saying that a remake of a cult classic could be “spoiled” by a review, the case is still so with the THR review, so be warned if you do check it out you’ll know plot details. Suffice to say the plot details are pretty much the same from the original, but the details and whatnot are there and could ruin some of the experience for fans looking to be surprised by what’s new or the same, or newbies who aren’t familiar with the classic Evil Dead experience.
I’ve been a fan of Evil Dead ever since I first saw it when I was 10, and like the lot of Evil Dead fans, considered it pretty sacrilegious to even entertain the idea of a remake. That of course, goes with the caveat that some studio would cheaply acquire the rights, churn out some lamesauce snooze-fest, and call it a day. Well when times pass and all of the original creators of Evil Dead are all rallying behind the remake, have hand-picked the talent behind it, and are producing it themselves, as well as literally assuring fans it’s gonna be good, then you should take that as a sign to stop being such a cynic and get pumped for gory fun. If that wasn’t enough, the trailer has just arrived, and boy howdy is it a doozy.
If watching that trailer doesn’t reassure you that it’s going to be amazing, I don’t know what will. I’ve seen plenty of folks online react to this thing in a dozen different ways, and it’s like they’re watching a different trailer than I am. Maddeningly someone online even said that it seems “so different it might as well not even be called Evil Dead”, which confuses me more than Integral Calculus, and I don’t even know what that IS. How you could look at this movie and think it’s not Evil Dead boggles my mind, because it’s the perfect encapsulation of what a modern update of Evil Dead would and should be.
I think people forget that Evil Dead was originally meant to be the most over the top, bloody, gory hellride it could possibly be, where a group of teens go to a cabin, and terrible, horrible things happen to all of them, resulting in their incredibly gruesome deaths. People also seem to mash-up the idea of Evil Dead, and the character of Ash, being irreplaceable, forgetting that it wasn’t until Evil Dead 2 where Ash became “Ash”. In Evil Dead 1, he was just some no name pansy, who couldn’t even get up to save his life when a few planks of wood fell on top of him. To say that there’s no Evil Dead without Ash, is to group all of the movies together, and ignore what the spirit of EVIL DEAD is about, which is creatively shot, balls out gory death and dismemberment. It’s the Ultimate Experience In Grueling Horror, remember?
For it’s time, Evil Dead was just that. Hell, anyone who’s read If Chins Could Kill by Bruce Campbell knows one of the working titles was Blood Flood. Blood Flood! It really only makes sense that a new version would push the boundaries of taste, and go right for shock and terror as hard as possible, because audiences today are so desensitized. Of course the movie looks like a torture porn snuff film anti-horror buzzword-of-the-day, because the original was! I think many have forgotten that the original was supposed to actually be scary, rather than the campy piece of schlocky fun it’s viewed through today’s modern eyes. If seeing this trailer doesn’t excite, shock, or disgust you, then you’re already dead man. Either that or you just don’t like good things, in which case, don’t talk to me about horror movies, or how you’re a “real Evil Dead fan”. You can go sit in the other room while I watch this trailer again.
Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d type: I cannot WAIT for The Evil Dead Remake to come out. As we’ve previously reported, the movie certainly seems to be wrapping up all the awesome into one big, bloody bag for us Evil Dead fans. Some of those lucky as hell fans over at NYCC were treated to a full on trailer for the film itself! Unfortunately, as is the case with most Comic Convention rules for exclusives and whatnot, we can’t apprehend a full trailer to share with all of you, but we have the next best thing! A description of the full trailer, and a little bootleg teaser I managed to scramble up from YouTube. Firstly, here’s the description of the full trailer:
“Alvarez presents a washed-out palette that is simultaneously vibrant in its dark splendor. We got the basic setup of the film (kids going to a remote cabin so one of them can get back on good mental footing – only to stumble on a cursed book of the dead), and then we were treated to an intense sizzle reel trailer comprised of various horror/gore sequences – including PLENTY of homages to iconic moments from the franchise’s past. A few standout images were deadly vines, mechanized saws (of humorously varying sizes and types) being used in gross self-mutilation, the book of the dead, new designs for the actual evil dead creatures – and a climatic sequence where a possessed girl licks a jagged blade so hard it splits her tongue in half. Sick.”
The guy then goes on to describe in tantalizingly short detail, a seemingly awesome sound panel I wish I had been at to have seen. Oh wait a minute… I CAN! Thanks YouTube!
Here’s a description of some highlights:
- Campbell joked about doing the remake because, sometimes, “As middle-aged actors you realize that maybe it’s too late to strap on that chainsaw again.” He touts the filmmaking crew – approved by himself and Sam Riami – and claims that star Jane Levy is officially crowned the new Ash: “I’ll put that crown on her f–king head myself!”
- Fede Alvarez talks about Sam Raimi coming out of the blue over Skype and asking him to do the remake. He added that you don’t say no to a request like that (no matter how daunting) – you say, “F–k yeah!” He saw Evil Dead when he was 12, and wanted to recreate the same terrifying experience he went through.
- Jane Levy described auditioning as “the female Ash,” and having Bruce Campbell ask her all these scary questions afterward, like, “Do you know what it feels like to be buried alive?” or “Have you ever had tubes shoved down your throat so you can projectile vomit?” Campbell and Fede joked (we think) about putting Jane through the hard motions – with a little bawdy humor thrown in for (good?) measure.
- Bruce Campbell joked about not needing Easter eggs homages in the remake just to appease nerds. He described the movie experience to being like putting on a familiar-fitting shoe – only, you know, Evil Dead style (read: twisted, gross, nuts and a little bit funny).
- Audience members loved the footage. One described it as the sickest trailer he’d ever seen. Seeing the polished footage for the first time legitimately frightened star Jane Levy, who sat somewhat stunned for the Q&A.
- Bruce Campbell was shouted-out for his reoccurring cameos in Raimi’sSpider-Man trilogy; he pointed out that in Spider-Man 2, as the snooty usher, he prevented Peter Parker from attending MJ’s big performance – ergo making him ‘the only character who has successfully defeated Spider-Man.’ Cue audience laughter.
- Campbell was asked who’s smoother: Sam (from Burn Notice) or Ash: “Sam would win, but Ash would cheat.”
- Campbell explains Diablo Cody’s (Juno) involvement as Evil Dead co-writer: “We don’t know how young people talk – and she won a f–king Academy Award!” Perez said he got Cody because he wanted snappy dialogue to liven up the script. Campbell added (more seriously) that having Cody write for a female protagonist was a big bonus.
- Jane Levy pointed out that, while her name in the film is “Mia,” and not Ash, there is a hidden game in the names of the characters, as they form an amusing anagram that fans can decipher for themselves.
- After one fan pointed out that Campbell doesn’t get enough credit for Burn Notice, he personally approached the front of the stage and awarded her five dollars. He had history with this particular fan: the last time he met her, she burst into uncontrollable tears right in front of him. She was a little more composed this time around.
- Campbell says that while he doesn’t cameo, he’s in every frame of the film “in spirit.” He ended saying that he’s convinced Sam Raimi will keep fighting to make another (with Campbell in it) even until his deathbed days. His exit was as celebrated as his entrance.
Holy crap, what an excellent first image to be released! Creepy as hell.
You know, I try to think back of the time when I did think that the entire concept of an Evil Dead remake was an inherently bad thing, but I find myself wondering why I ever did. Sure, it could have gone bad in a bunch of different ways, but if there’s anything I have to thank those terrible Spider-Man movies for, it’s making Sam Raimi rich. Because it gave him the clout and the power to control and direct his franchises the way he wants, rather than some putrid company looking to exploit an established IP ala Friday The 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, etc. I can honestly say that this is a film I’m very excited to not only see, but buy the dvd/blu-ray of, because you KNOW it’ll be packed with excellent extras, and possibly even commentary from Bruce Campbell himself. The original Evil Dead and its sequels hold a firm place in my heart, and this new movie looks to sit right next to it there, just waiting to become another in the pantheon of films made to be part of a drinking game.
Oh and one more thing, here’s that teaser trailer I found. You didn’t think I forgot did you? I know, I know, it says FAKE right on it but just watch it. It’s not.
Just that teaser is HOLY AMAZE-BALLS awesome, and the thought that the full on trailer could blow it away, just makes me all the more excited to finally see the flick. April 2013 can’t come soon enough!
I just uh… really really like this picture.
Remakes, reboots and re-imaginings are certainly the hot to trot thing in recent times. I think I can count on one hand the amount of successful, entirely original films that have come out in the past few years. However, that’s not to say that reboots, or remakes can never be good. Just look towards the recent Dredd 3D as a prime example of a great reboot. On the whole though, most remakes are generally looked at with disdain. Horror fans are especially critical of remakes, as they generally all tend to be very passionate about the objects of their affection. Here lies the conundrum of The Evil Dead remake, which was rounding up it’s cast when we previously reported on it.
It’s no secret here at GB we’re fans of RoboCop. Something about the combination of humanity, steel, justice, and violence [in Detroit] that’s perfectly captured by RoboCop speaks to our heart of hearts. Which is what makes the following news pretty surprising, that unlike previously reported, Hugh Laurie will NOT be playing the villain of the remake. Taking his place is Michael Keaton, who I’m positive is a familiar name to all of you out there.
“Michael is the final addition to the amazing cast we have assembled for this film and it is so great to have the last puzzle piece in place. It is thrilling that everything has come together to bring this innovative new vision of RoboCop to life. We’ve got a great script, a great cast, some killer ED-209’s and I can’t wait to get Alex Murphy back on the streets,” said Padilha.
Now, I love Michael Keaton, and I’m positive he’ll do a great job, but the fact Hugh Laurie left before he even started isn’t a good sign. Actors leaving projects before they begin is almost never a good thing for pre-production. Along with that slightly disheartening blow, is a much greater one, hearing that apparently the studio behind Robocop is making things “Hell” for director Jose Padilha. According to his close friend and Director of City Of God, Fernando Meirelles, Padilha is having the stereotypical, Studio-Makes-Things-Impossibly-Difficult-For-Director woes.
Here’s Meirelles’ quote, translated from his native Portuguese:
“I talked to José Padilha for a week by phone. He will begin filming Robocop. He is saying that it is the worst experience. For every 10 ideas he has, 9 are cut. Whatever he wants, he has to fight. ‘This is hell here,’ he told me. ‘The film will be good, but I never suffered so much and do not want to do it again.’ He is bitter, but it’s a fighter.”
Out of every 10 ideas, 9 are cut? Ouch. That really sounds rough. To make things worse, the script was reviewed recently, and Drew McWeeny of Ain’t It Cool News posted a series of tweets describing some of the plot points and ideas behind the film, including the idea of “re-vamped” Robocop suits.
I’ll share this one detail. In the film, when Murphy is turned into Robocop 1.0, it’s described “a high-tech version of the ’80s suit.”
Then they show a focus group scene where criminals laugh at the design. “He looks like a toy from the ’80s!”
So they redesign him to look “meaner” as Robocop 2.0, who passes focus group approval.
So they not only make sure to include the original design, they also point out it’s dated and stupid. *facepalm*
Hold onto your sides for more hilarious “Robocop” details. They outsource his construction to China. #seriously
And we meet the ED-209s in the field in Iran, where they’re used to subdue suicide bombers. #ineedallthedrinksnow
Ahhh… now they just dropped Robocop 3.0 onto an Al Queda training camp to see what he does.
“He should be programmed to incapacitate in all scenarios.” “Agreed. Let’s keep him PG-13, Dr. Norton.” No. No. No. No.
By page 54, they are already onto Robocop 4.0, who looks like a “cop on steroids painted metallic blue.”
That… That whole thing sounds pretty awful, and really seems to be “borrowing” the idea of the Iron Man Mark 1/2/etc armor pretty heavily. I know the whole movie is supposed to be contemporary, and that’s not really the issue I have, but the thought of watching a scene of people in a focus group, talking shit about the classic, totally awesome ’80s RoboCop suit, seems really disingenuous and insulting to the RoboCop franchise in totality. Part of his appeal is his unique look, and to strip it down, or make it more streamlined or modern, would really leave a sour taste in fans’ mouths.
Plus, there’s this concept art floating around the web, which in all likely hood is fake…
It makes me cringe to look at, because it’s SO generic and boring. This is what the nameless villains in any random dystopian movie should be wearing, NOT RoboCop. I know it’s just a concept art, but if this is the direction the studio is steering Padilha towards, I wouldn’t be surprised to have to be writing a report about his leaving the project in a month or two. Hopefully all of this negativity is for naught, and we’ll end up with a great movie out of it, but so far, things aren’t spelling out an easy beginning.