The one film that single-handedly defined the term “Cult Classic” for mine and all the other generations that followed was THE EVIL DEAD. Director Sam Raimi created this underground cult following of a film about evil spirits, an impressive chin, and balls-to-the-wall cinematography. I remember being a kid and being absolutely terrified of the VHS cover sitting in the horror section, of a woman being dragged down to the depths of hell. Great imagery, great movie. So popular on home video the film spawned a sequel / remake with THE EVIL DEAD 2: DEAD BY DAWN, a film that was able to capture the freakiness of the first but somehow managed to be its own monster and even added its own flare of humor and originality, escalating the series to a whole new level. This is the one I watched countless times through high school and into the dorm days of college. Then there’s ARMY OF DARKNESS, taking the story one step further into absurdity and ultimately going in a direction no one saw coming. Entertaining? Yes—but there’s a reason the series ended there and it wasn’t because of the clean up on aisle four.
Least to say, I love me some EVIL DEAD. And I’m guessing that the majority of horror fans out there love them some EVIL DEAD as well. As time has passed, ARMY OF DARKNESS has even found a fond place in my heart and I appreciate it for what it was—or at least what it was trying to accomplish. Raimi and star Bruce Campell have themselves a solid trilogy of awesomeness that should be left the way it is. But within the last week the shit has hit the fan and word has spread that THE EVIL DEAD will be remade—an EVIL DEAD remake. Just saying that makes me want to throw up all over myself. But after years and years of speculation, after the launch of the widely successful EVIL DEAD musical, after Raimi taking his EVIL DEAD roots and going mainstream, it looks like it’s actually going to happen. Well F*CK THAT!
Before Ghost House Pictures came right out and released a press release stating that newbie director Fede Alvarez would be taking the remake on or that Diablo Cody had been brought in to revise the script, the rumor was that this was going to be an EVIL DEAD 4 – a straight-up sequel that would supposedly star Campbell in a whole new evil adventure. My exact thoughts on the prospects of an EVIL DEAD 4? F*CK THAT! Why on Earth would they need to continue the story, why continue the series, why make another one when the trilogy stands (more or less) solid the way it is? All the main collaborators could be involved and my thoughts would be exactly the same: F*CK THAT. Because at this point, almost 20 years after ARMY OF DARKNESS, there would be only one reason to make another EVIL DEAD movie and one reason only: money. And despite it being show business, that’s a really f*cking stupid reason to make a sequel. For a series that owes its entire existence to underground fans (and NOT the mainstream), I can’t think of any more of a slap to the face of fans than doing a sequel. Oh wait—yes I can: by doing a f*cking remake!
I’m an angry bastard right now, my head’s not in a good place, and this whole bullshit of news that unraveled last week is the cause (get up to speed by heading over HERE, HERE, and HERE). And the thing is, it doesn’t feel like I’m alone. I think hardcore fans of EVIL DEAD like that it’s an underground success, that’s it’s not mainstream, and that in some odd way, it still feels (even after 45 different DVD and Blu-ray re-releases) like a gem that no one else knows about, that it’s something awesome that you discovered on your own and that only you and your friends like to watch and appreciate it. Doesn’t matter if that’s not the truth, it’s still an awesome feeling to have and once they f*cking remake that shit, that feeling will never be the same.
The only plus side to remaking or sequeling THE EVIL DEAD is that it’s a good way to turn audiences that normally wouldn’t have seen the original EVIL DEAD onto EVIL DEAD. Once the remake is in theaters, teens will be more likely to seek out the original film, if not to see what the hype around THE EVIL DEAD is all about. And while it may not turn every dope who sees the remake into fans of the original, it’ll likely spawn a number of new fans, and I guess that’s a good thing. But not a good enough thing to go through with taking on THE EVIL DEAD all over again—and the bigger question, who will they cast to take the part of Ash? Taylor Laughtner? Michael Cera? Ashton Kutcher? Anyway you slice it, no one (and I mean no one) will be able to live up to Bruce Campbell in the role. Whoever lands the gig will fail miserably, no matter how good their performance might be, there’s only one Ash and his name is Bruce “the Chin” Campbell. Nuff said.
Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but F*CK this EVIL DEAD remake, reboot, sequel or what have you bullshit right in its evil cornhole! Any avenue of continuing the series at this point is f*cking stupid—it’s a solid trilogy of films, so leave well enough alone for f*ck’s sake! Ghost House Pictures should throw a bunch of money at this Fede Alvarez character to make something original, to make something for today’s audience to grab ahold of and fall in love with, not just another remake. And shame on Raimi for being on board this project, steering in this direction when he’s said for years that there wouldn’t be another EVIL DEAD movie, proving that no one is above becoming a money-grubbing douche, whoring themselves (and their life’s work) for a wheelbarrow of cash. I will never see the EVIL DEAD remake, but you know? After all this drinking and ranting, I’m ready to sit down with the original again and watch Ash kick all kinds of ass—no matter what mood I’m in, seeing that always puts in the right place.