This auspicious feature debut from fresh out of film school filmmaker Sam Raimi – shot on 16mm in the woods of Tennessee for around $350,000 – remains a benchmark of modern horror. While many will argue the sequel is far more entertaining, The Evil Dead works far better as a straight up horror film. It actually received a X rating, was banned in many countries, and was later cited as a video nasty. It’s been almost 30 years since The Evil Dead debuted in 1981- and since than, it has spawned two sequels, a reboot, and launched the career-defining role for Bruce Campbell. Despite a Fede Alvarez-directed reboot coming along in April, Sam Raimi has recently announced that he and one of his brothers are finally working on Evil Dead 4.
The quote came from a London press conference where Raimi was promoting Oz The Great and Powerful.
“I would love to make Evil Dead 4. My brother and I plan to work on the script this summer”.
We are not yet sure which brother his referring to, but we assume it is Ivan, who collaborated with Sam on the screenplays for Drag Me to Hell, Army of Darkness and Darkman. Since 2004, there has been scattered reports, broken promises, false rumours and other mentions of a return of The Evil Dead franchise with Sam Raimi still involved – and now it seems to be finally happening. There are many, many questions left to answer: Will Bruce Campbell star in the fourth instalment or will he pass the torch on to somebody new? Even more importantly, will Sam Raimi direct? We hope many questions will be answered as Raimi will begin doing press for the Fede Alvarez-directed remake out on April 5. In the meantime, here are four things we would hope to see in Evil Dead 4 (assuming Bruce Campbell will star and Sam Raimi will direct).
4: Alison Lohman and Lorna Raver
Many horror pioneers who’ve attempted to return to the cinematic styles that jump-started their careers have usually walked away with mediocre results and sometimes utterly embarrassing by-products. Sam Raimi on the other hand, effortlessly slipped back into his Evil Dead roots in 2009 with the outrageously fun Drag Me to Hell, complete with all his trademark flourishes. One of the reasons Drag Me To Hell was such a delightfully campy thrill ride, was due to the performances from its stars, Alison Lohman and Lorna Raver. Lohman playing the female equivalent of Ash (and spouting dialogue similar to Bruce Campbell s iconic one-liners), and Raver as the Gypsy (who could have easily been a long lost relative to the witch in the cellar) – were absolutely riveting in their roles. Their parking lot brawl, packed with slapstick comedy reminiscent of the Three Stooges, and old school special effects was just one of the many highlights of the film. If Evil Dead 4 has room for a few ladies, we’d love to see either one of these actresses return to work with Sam Raimi.
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3: No CGI please
Considering what Sam Raimi and his special effects team did with such a small budget back in 1981, we hope that Raimi and Co. will avoid CGI completely and stick with old school prosthetics and make-up effects, along with the occasional stop motion animation. With his old effects team, which includes Greg Nicotero of The Walking Dead fame, and a bigger budget, there is no doubt they can pull off just about anything without relying on digital magic.
When it comes to reboots or remakes, I personally prefer a filmmaker who injects his own edge and personality into the film, and creates something new from something old. Remakes like John Carpenter’s The Thing or David Cronenberg’s The Fly are so vastly different from their predecessors that apart form their titles, they share very little in common with the original films. However, since Evil Dead 4 is not a reboot, but instead a fourth installment in the series, we can only hope to see the appearance of some of the trademarks from the first three films: These include plunging crosses into the ground, blood dripping down the lens, dutch angles, frenetic camera movements, quick edits, the famous Boomstick, smoke and mirrors, the retail chain store, and the iconic one liners delivered by our hero Ash.
1: One ending to the end them all
Every Evil Dead film ends with a possibility for a sequel. Army of Darkness actually had two endings, with one sending Ash to an apocalyptic wasteland. In that original ending, Ash is sealed into a cavern with a magic potion that will allow him to sleep for a century for every drop he drinks. He is instructed to drink only five drops but is distracted and takes a little too much – thus waking up in a post apocalyptic future. According to Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi’s idea for a sequel would have involved a future race of evil robots who have taken over Earth. In that story, Ash leads a rebellion and the humans overtake the killer machines. It would be interesting to see if Raimi sets out to make this film, or brainstorms an entirely different story. Whatever the case, we just hope Evil Dead 4 will be the last in the franchise and will culminate with an ending that would bring everything full circle. There is no doubt we are all curious and excited for another Evil Dead movie, but the last thing we need, is another trilogy.
Are you excited for Evil Dead 4 and if so, what would you want to see?
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