Latest Entertainment News Headlines

The Good, The Bad & The Badass: Sam Raimi

10.25.2015
Last time on The Good, The Bad & The Badass, we took a look at the career of Guillermo del Toro, a director whose work is heavily influenced by this week's subject...
Sam Raimi
 sam raimi bruce campbell

Without a doubt, Sam Raimi's EVIL DEAD series is a touchstone piece of cult cinema history for all us fanboys and girls. Small movies in their time, all three have gone on to achieve a kind of rabid cult status that's reserved only for the very good, or the very unusual. In this case, both of those adjectives apply. If Raimi had never directed anything outside of those three films, he'd still be an important genre icon. But, those movies were truly only the beginning of what's been an often dazzling career.

sam raimi bruce campbell

Arguably, Raimi's best known for the SPIDER-MAN series, with the gargantuan success of those films paving the way (for better or worse) for the superhero proliferation of genre cinema we see today. Like Richard Donner did with SUPERMAN-THE MOVIE, Raimi took the genre seriously, staying away from the overt stylization of the Tim Burton BATMAN's, or the camp approach taken by Joel Schumacher. While Bryan Singer arguably made the first truly modern superhero movie with X-MEN, it was Raimi's approach that set the mold.

sam raimi

Besides the EVIL DEAD and SPIDER-MAN franchises, Raimi made lots of other innovative flicks, including the dark A SIMPLE PLAN and THE GIFT, the surprisingly good revisionist western THE QUICK & THE DEAD (which gave co-star Russell Crowe one of his first big roles), the classic DARKMAN, and even a surprisingly straightforward Kevin Costner Baseball-flick, FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME. He's an interesting guy, and while his output has slowed a bit over recent years, Raimi's recent job on the Ash Vs Evil Dead pilot shows he hasn't lost a beat.

His Best Work
bruce campbell army of darkness

Of the three EVIL DEAD movies, I have a hard time deciding which one is the best. While the first is certainly the most innovative, and the second is probably the scariest, I can't help but give the edge to ARMY OF DARKNESS. While the first two were relatively legit horror films (with some big laughs), ARMY OF DARKNESS is pretty much a straight-up comedy/fantasy mash-up, with Bruce Campbell's iconic Ash turned into a kind of wise-cracking send-up of the type of alpha-male action heroes that were all the rage at the time this was made. Certainly, ARMY OF DARKNESS has all the best lines, including the iconic “this, is my BOOM-stick!”. And of course, “yo, she-bitch. Let's go.”

His Most Overrated Film
tobey maguire

While I'm sure this will be a controversial choice given that I praised Raimi's direction in my opening paragraphs, I always felt the SPIDER-MAN movies were somewhat overrated. Yes, Raimi took the movies seriously, and yes, Tobey Maguire was an excellent choice to play Peter Parker. However, the first movie (if you watch it again) is pretty uneven, while the much-maligned third is an absolute mess (although – oddly – the one that feels the most like a Sam Raimi movie). The only one that really works (for me anyways) is SPIDER-MAN 2.

His Most Underrated Film
billy bob thornton, bill paxton, a simple plan

Raimi's done a few movies I'd call underrated, including his recent DRAG ME TO HELL (where has Alison Lohman gone?). However, the one that really gets the short-end-of-the-stick is A SIMPLE PLAN. While critically acclaimed, it's become one of Raimi's most obscure films, but it contains some of his best work. Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton and Bridget Fonda are great in this pitch-black morality tale, where Paxton and Thornton discover millions in stolen drug money, and must resist the temptation to betray each other and spend the money without alerting the authorities or the men the money belongs to. The score by long-time Raimi collaborator Danny Elfman is one of his best.

His Best Scene

It's hard to just pick one scene out of ARMY OF DARKNESS to call “the best” but for me one of Raimi's most manic and brilliantly directed sequences is the bit where Ash fights a bunch of tiny Ash's and then one big, “bad Ash”. Bruce Campbell's one-man Three Stooges shtick is classic. It's crazy this guy never became a megastar. 

 

His Five Best Films

5. DRAG ME TO HELL
4. A SIMPLE PLAN
3. DARKMAN
2. EVIL DEAD 2/THE EVIL DEAD
1. ARMY OF DARKNESS

Up Next

While Raimi doesn't have his next movie officially lined-up yet, he did find the time to help put together Ash Vs. Evil Dead (read my review!), with him being an EP, writer and the director of the first episode. The show premieres on Starz on Halloween, so don't miss it!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIE NEWS

MORE FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB

Strikeback
Not registered? Sign-up!
Or

+1
10:29PM on 10/26/2015

Spider-man 1

It's funny you wrote "if you watch it again is pretty uneven", because my thoughts are the exact opposite: it's dramatically so balanced, it still has better pacing than 95% of other superhero flicks. The amount of exposition, character development, the lenght and the timing of action scenes is really well-balanced.
It's funny you wrote "if you watch it again is pretty uneven", because my thoughts are the exact opposite: it's dramatically so balanced, it still has better pacing than 95% of other superhero flicks. The amount of exposition, character development, the lenght and the timing of action scenes is really well-balanced.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:46PM on 10/26/2015

Nice MILLER'S CROSSING reference!

Raimi and The Coen Brothers all came up together as best friends, hence that little shot of him in that awesome movie.
Raimi and The Coen Brothers all came up together as best friends, hence that little shot of him in that awesome movie.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
2:38PM on 10/26/2015

The Gift

This movie is definitely his most underrated film, because any movie that can make Keanu Reeves evil & creepy is a win in my book, plus that score is amazing.

While the first 2 Spider-Man films were very good, I've never really blamed Raimi for the reason why 3 is considered bad. He was really doing his best to do what the studio wanted, but some parts of it are still good.
This movie is definitely his most underrated film, because any movie that can make Keanu Reeves evil & creepy is a win in my book, plus that score is amazing.

While the first 2 Spider-Man films were very good, I've never really blamed Raimi for the reason why 3 is considered bad. He was really doing his best to do what the studio wanted, but some parts of it are still good.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:20AM on 10/26/2015

My favourite director!

Love the man's work. Too bad he doesn't make more movies.
Love the man's work. Too bad he doesn't make more movies.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
10:05AM on 10/26/2015
I'm sorry but besides Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness (which is mostly the brilliance of Campbell) Raimi's films are pretty bad. Back when Spiderman & Xmen were all we had for Superhero films they were passable, but I'm in the camp that hated Tobey's portrayal of Both Spidey and Parker. Drag Me to Hell was one of the worst films I've ever seen, and Oz was not much better.
I'm sorry but besides Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness (which is mostly the brilliance of Campbell) Raimi's films are pretty bad. Back when Spiderman & Xmen were all we had for Superhero films they were passable, but I'm in the camp that hated Tobey's portrayal of Both Spidey and Parker. Drag Me to Hell was one of the worst films I've ever seen, and Oz was not much better.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:46AM on 10/26/2015
Though I disagree on Drag Me to Hell (not a horror fan but it's a pretty fun little flick), the rest is very true.
Though I disagree on Drag Me to Hell (not a horror fan but it's a pretty fun little flick), the rest is very true.
9:20AM on 10/26/2015
Badass indeed. I think his best work is Evil Dead 2 and The Gift is very underrated.
Badass indeed. I think his best work is Evil Dead 2 and The Gift is very underrated.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
7:46AM on 10/26/2015
I'm really behind on my Evil Dead (only seen the first one), but A Simple Plan is a great piece of noir I watch at least once a year, so really appreciate that getting the Underrated spot.
I'm really behind on my Evil Dead (only seen the first one), but A Simple Plan is a great piece of noir I watch at least once a year, so really appreciate that getting the Underrated spot.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
3:31AM on 10/26/2015
Raimi is one of my favorite director's of all time, I genuinely love his gonzo camera-work and simply fun approach to film-making. I genuinely wish he'd make more of his own original content though, after Spider-Man 'Drag Me To Hell' felt like a gift-wrapped present to all of his patient fans. Of course Oz the Great and Powerful wasn't great (still had that Raimi style tough). Obviously I am completely friggin' stoked about the return of Ash and The Evil Dead and wait with baited breath for its
Raimi is one of my favorite director's of all time, I genuinely love his gonzo camera-work and simply fun approach to film-making. I genuinely wish he'd make more of his own original content though, after Spider-Man 'Drag Me To Hell' felt like a gift-wrapped present to all of his patient fans. Of course Oz the Great and Powerful wasn't great (still had that Raimi style tough). Obviously I am completely friggin' stoked about the return of Ash and The Evil Dead and wait with baited breath for its Halloween debut. However if Raimi's not directing the whole show I hope he doesn't follow up with that awful sounding "World of Warcraft" movie he's been threatening and instead makes something unique and original.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
+0
1:34AM on 10/26/2015
No arguments here. Army of Darkness is one of the best films ever made. I also think I'm one of the few people that love Spider-Man more than Spider-Man 2 (Doc Ock just spontaneously snaps out of being evil? Oookay...)
No arguments here. Army of Darkness is one of the best films ever made. I also think I'm one of the few people that love Spider-Man more than Spider-Man 2 (Doc Ock just spontaneously snaps out of being evil? Oookay...)
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
1:08AM on 10/26/2015
Love his Spider-Man trilogy; some of my favorite comic book films ever and a hell of a lot better than the garbage reboot films. In many ways too, I still consider Spider-Man 2 to be the best comic book film of all time (in my opinion of course), even though it has been awhile since the film has come out and the genre has a lot of great entries.
Love his Spider-Man trilogy; some of my favorite comic book films ever and a hell of a lot better than the garbage reboot films. In many ways too, I still consider Spider-Man 2 to be the best comic book film of all time (in my opinion of course), even though it has been awhile since the film has come out and the genre has a lot of great entries.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:18PM on 10/25/2015
Raimi is one of the best directors around. I totally disagree about the spider-man films. The first and second are still in my top 5 favorite comic book movies of all time. I'd actually say Spider-man 3 is one of his more underrated films. Sure, it wasn't as good as the first 2 and venom was wasted, but compared to a lot of the disappointing and/or mediocre comic book movies that have come after it (Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Age of Ultron, Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-man 2, the first Wolverine
Raimi is one of the best directors around. I totally disagree about the spider-man films. The first and second are still in my top 5 favorite comic book movies of all time. I'd actually say Spider-man 3 is one of his more underrated films. Sure, it wasn't as good as the first 2 and venom was wasted, but compared to a lot of the disappointing and/or mediocre comic book movies that have come after it (Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Age of Ultron, Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-man 2, the first Wolverine film), it's actually not that bad. I'd say his Oz movie is the most overrated, which was ok but not one of his better films.
Your Reply:



Please email me when someone replies to my comment
11:21PM on 10/25/2015
I like his Oz movie because it plays like a family friendly remake of Army of Darkness.
I like his Oz movie because it plays like a family friendly remake of Army of Darkness.
View All Comments

Latest Entertainment News Headlines


Top
Loading...

Featured Youtube Videos

Views and Counting