The Evil Dead remake has been in the works for so long - since 2005 - that few believed it would ever come to fruition. Seven years later and the film is finally in production - and Bruce Campbell is calling it “fabulous.”
Now, producer Sam Raimi (Oz: The Great and Powerful) is talking about the film. Specifically, he discussed how grisly the remake is, the rating we can expect, and whether or not it stacks up to the original.
On the topic of whether or not the film will be rated R - courtesy of Collider - Raimi said:
"Definitely R. Maybe worse. […] It’s really bloody. It’s so bloody, it will make your head spin. I’ve seen almost all the dailies and they’re really going for it. It’s gonna be grisly and intense and non-stop."
Of course, the MPAA isn’t known these days for handing out NC-17 ratings to horror films on the basis of being violent, so maybe Raimi’s being a tad hyperbolic here.
On whether or not the remake will be as good as the original:
"Well, I always thought that 'Evil Dead' was a little campfire story that you tell at a camp to kids to scare them at night. But, I don’t think anybody thought it was a beautifully produced, theatrical experience. It was shot in 16mm, all the effects were done for a quarter, and I always thought it could be done in a big screen movie type way that was really high quality with photographic effects. It could still be just as gritty, but it could be done in stereo and not just mono, and it could be done in 35mm versus 16mm. There were a lot of ways to improve it. There could be much better writing than I was capable of, at the time, as an 18-year-old kid writing that screenplay. And honestly, the directing could be a lot better, and the characterizations could be better. I was very happy with it, but it was something that was crudely done and I thought deserved re-exploration. I thought it would be fun and, in fact, it has turned out to be a tremendous amount of fun because it’s like an old melody that you write and you’ve brought in this really great, cool, young, hip jazz musician, and he’s riffing on it and showing you places it could go that you never dreamed. It’s very exciting for me."
Raimi's comments on the remake reflect those expressed by Bruce Campbell the other day (give or take a hundred and seventy-one words). Campbell said:
"The nice thing is the [remake] looks beautiful. The effects are ten times better than we ever had access to and the actors are all better than we were in 1979. Though granted Sam Raimi is a mad genius, so we got a crazy result like 'Evil Dead' out of this amateur enthusiasm sort of thing.”
Never mind the fact that part of The Evil Dead’s appeal - and its sequel, Evil Dead II - was its unrefined nature, its crudeness, its over-the-top performances, and perhaps most of all, it’s ridiculous, cheap-as-dirt special effects. Would the Evil Dead series have been as weirdly excellent with high production values and classically-trained performances? Obviously, it’s impossible to say at this point, but...it’s doubtful.
[caption id="attachment_200460" align="aligncenter" width="570" caption="From the set of 'The Evil Dead' remake"][/caption]
Then again, maybe going in a completely different direction with The Evil Dead remake is the only viable option. Indeed, trying to recapture the magic of the original (stylistically and otherwise) would almost definitely be doomed to failure, like so many horror remakes before it.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens if The Evil Dead remake is a financial failure. The last two remakes of '80s horror movies - The Thing and Fright Night (the former being sort of a prequel/remake hybrid) - both bombed pretty terribly at the box office. If Evil Dead follows suit, will studios be more hesitant to green-light horror remakes currently in development, like Suspiria? Or perhaps even Raimi's next remake, Poltergeist?
The Evil Dead remake - directed by Fede Alvarez and starring Jane Levy (Suburgatory) - hits theaters April 12th, 2013. Because who doesn't want to see a horror movie in the middle of April?
Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.