- Bruce Campbell prefers the comedic elements of the older Evil Dead movies, like Army of Darkness, over the darker and more serious tone of the recent films.
- Campbell believes that the filmmakers should decide the direction of the franchise and not try to recapture the magic of the original movies.
- While some fans may miss Ash Williams and the humorous horror, Campbell is clear that those days are behind him, but the franchise is far from over.
The world of cinema is full of reboots and remakes, and sometimes that is a good thing. This year saw the return of The Evil Dead franchise to theaters with the hugely successful Evil Dead Rise, another entry in the saga of the Deadites that continued down the darker route set by Fede Álvarez’s 2013 remake. While the movie’s change of setting to a suburban apartment block, and Lee Cronin’s eye for dark, supernatural violence, was certainly good for the new direction of the series, some people were still missing one thing; Bruce Campbell’s comedic turn as Ash Williams.
In a new interview with Comicbook.com, Campbell himself addressed the change in focus of the franchise, from the “splatstick” approach taken by Sam Raimi in Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness, as well as the subsequent TV series, Ash vs Evil Dead, to the new brutal and very serious tone of the latest movies. It seems that while he is happy with the way the new movies are turning out, he will always prefer the old Evil Dead movie’s comedy elements. He said:
“I like it a little lighter, I’ll always take the Army of Darkness way to go. My granddaughter, she’s 8, I think could see that movie. It’s talking skeletons, for God’s sake. Evil Dead’s a little grim, I like the filmmaking, Sam’s a really good filmmaker, there’s some great filmmaking sequences in there. A man alone in a cabin, really cool sequences, but I don’t know, I wouldn’t wanna get completely stuck in that world, … With Evil Dead 2, we started to add gags, like slapstick. We wound up calling it ‘splatstick.’ Only because I don’t need people fainting in the theater, I’m an entertainer. I want people to scream [peeking from behind their hands]. Sort of laughing and screaming at the same time.”
The Evil Dead Franchise Will Never Recapture Raimi’s Magic
The Evil Dead franchise has two very distinct fan bases. There are those who love the outright relentless horror of Sam Raimi’s original 1981 movie and the most recent reboots, and others who believe the Evil Dead’s strength is hidden in the thing that truly made it popular – namely Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams and the humorous horror that followed in his wake.
However, Campbell makes the point that trying to recapture what made his Evil Dead movies so unique is not something that he and Raimi try to do with new filmmakers to the franchise. He added:
“We let the filmmakers decide. Sam puts it on their plate. Fede Álvarez wanted to do a straight version, because the original Evil Dead is sort of melodramatic. [Evil Dead Rise director] Lee Cronin, his background is drama, I don’t think he wanted any winking at the camera. And we don’t ever try to put these guys beyond their comfort zone.”
Naturally, there will always be fans who just want to see more of Ash Williams being slapped silly by his own possessed hand, or making use of his trusty chainsaw and boom-stick. However, Campbell has made it clear those days are now behind him, which means that section of the fan base will have to be content with dusting off the older movies of the franchise. For everyone else, there is little doubt that we have not seen the last of the Evil Dead just yet.
Evil Dead Rise
- Release Date
- April 21, 2023
- Lee Cronin
- Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan, Morgan Davies, Nell Fisher
- Horror, Fantasy, Thriller
- Lee Cronin, Sam Raimi