Horror News: Conflict Looms Over ‘Evil Dead’

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Like a chainsaw arm to a zombie skull, the ugly demon of civil lawsuits has once again cut its way into the news. And this time, I’m fairly certain I know whose side we’re all on.

A legal battle has erupted over the rights to a fourth Evil Dead film. When Sam Raimi and Renaissance Pictures registered the mark for a fourth installment of the cult classic series, they found a nasty surprise in the dark, dank basement of the U.S. Trademark Office. Awards Pictures is claiming that they have also been planning a new Evil Dead, and that they maintain the rights to make the film.


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Directed by Sam Raimi, 2009
Written by Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi

Better late than never.


DRAG ME TO HELL, in theory, is a good movie, but as with all theory, scrutiny, minimal it may be, is required before theory metabolizes into law.  In theory, this is Sam Raimi’s return to horror, a technically factual statement, yes, but as Brad at ILoveHorror.net so eloquently taped in his review, Raimi never was a horror director.  His first three films, films rightfully considered genre canon for Raimi’s flirtation with genre conventions, his menage a trois between style, practastical gore and The Chin, are not pure bred horror.  They’re the closest Raimi ever came to horror and are made only for horror fans, but that does not tether them exclusively to the horror baseline.  Which is precisely why the EVIL DEAD trilogy is unimpeachable canon, after all.

All three are beautiful freaks of film, glorious mastication of the unrealities we lurve to expect from our field.  And sadly I speak of a multi-genre chewing confined to an era gone, an era gone never to return.

I’m glad to have Sam Raimi making his horror movies again, honest, I am, but to herald DRAG ME TO HELL as the return of Raimi to horror is a misguided, though not disingenuous, notion.  This is Sam Raimi’s return to Sam Raimi’s brand of horroromedy.  But it’s nearly two decades late.  DRAG ME TO HELL sinks its teeth into a few niches simultaneously, but it’s not the same as it was before.  Raimi, rightfully enjoying the fruits of two decade’s labors, has no need for by-the-bootstraps filmmaking.  No need to innovate, no need to compromise.  Bigger budget and producer muscle has tamed the creative fury once seen powering herbaceous rape, severed hand assaults and castles sieged by armies of skeletons.

On the page DRAG features gags kin to those deadite favorites, gags bound to warm the nostalgia of any fan; on the screen cheap CGI spoils each and every one of these gags.  There’s nothing innovative about the sequences, nothing glorious happens because nothing glorious actually happened.  Nearly everything in DRAG ME TO HELL was spun together on a bank of hard drives somewhere, not stuck together on a set with spirit glue and hope.  The whole production, fun it may be, feels empty.  Raimi antics engineered for the Ghost House demographic.

You can never go home.

Sam Raimi Proves his Irrelevance, “13: FEAR IS REAL” Needs to be Put Down like Eight Belles.

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“13: FEAR IS REAL”, a reality show on The CW produced by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, is an insipid crime against the senses.  A more obnoxious show the Son of Perdition himself could not design.

Thirteen volunteered social amoebas are slapped in front of the cameras to run through the same formula of all reality shows: challenge, failure, elimination.  This destined-to-be-canceled bit of programming is angled around challenges and situations intended to scare the contestants.  No one in their right mind would be scared by anything on this show, however.  I’ve seen more fear in the eyes of startled runners on “LEGENDS OF THE HIDDEN TEMPLE” than anything in this mess warrants.  Few of the contestants are indeed in a proper mind state, the majority of them scream or run with as real a personality as silicone can shape.

When SPIDER-MAN 3 came out fans the world over bemoaned the doppelganger what had taken over Sam Raimi.  No one could have predicted that his creative choices would worsen.  Why he and lifetime producer pal Tapert got involved with this show exceeds comprehension.  The technical merits are a free clinic for frontal lobotomies.  An awful voice over from the founding member of the Jigsaw fan club is high art compared to the editing department.  The post-production crew behind this dreck still feels in the year 2009 that shaking title cards are scary, as if there is a wraith within the moving pictures choking the evil, blood dripping letters on the screen and not some guy in a trailer with one hand on a keyboard and the other on his career-issue orange bottle of anti-depressants.

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