A recent interview revealed that iconic director Sam Raimi actually hated the title Evil Dead for his popular film. What was supposedly the title for the franchise that can be considered a genre in itself was The Book Of The Dead. Read on below as to how the title became what the world finally knows it to be.
Prior to directing the Tobey McGuire Spider-Man movies, Raimi already made a name for himself through The Evil Dead way back in 1981. The movie, which was Raimi’s directorial debut, started out from scratch quite literally. Initially gaining its popularity in Europe, it got shown at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival, where author Stephen King gave it a rave review, further stating that it has become his fifth favourite movie in the genre.
By 1983, Evil Dead got its commercial release in US theatres and other countries. The low-budget horror flick brought in 78.4 times its budget at the worldwide box office. From $375K that Raimi got to scrape up from family, friends and many other investors in two years, the movie got $29.4M. Raimi said that the investors were able to get five times the amount they invested into the film after its run.
Several sequels followed with their own phenomenal performances at the box office, and now a new movie in the franchise approaches its release date. This time under the direction of Lee Cronin, titled Evil Dead Rise.
Sam Raimi Initially Hated The Title Evil Dead
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In a joint interview with Lee Cronin in Empire Magazine, Sam Raimi grew nostalgic and shared the beginnings of Evil Dead. Originally the movie was supposed to have a different name. He shared:
The original title of the [original] movie was ‘The Book Of The Dead’. But film-sales agent Irvin Shapiro sat Rob, Bruce and I down and said, ‘We’re changing the title, boys. Advertising space in the newspaper is paid for by the inch, kid. We’re not going to have a five-word title.
Little did they know that the quick meeting got them to choose between only two titles that Shapiro offered. He recalled Shapiro saying:
‘Dead’ can stay. You can have one other word. You can call it ‘101% Dead’, or ‘Evil Dead’.
The two options were utterly unthinkable for Raimi, but they had to decide. Raimi exclaimed:
I thought, ‘But those are the worst two titles I’ve ever heard in my life! ‘Evil Dead’ sucks! How can something be evil and dead?’ I just thought it was so stupid. ‘101% Dead’? I thought, ‘I’ll die first’,”!
After some thought, he resolved:
So I chose the lesser of the two horrible titles. But now I’ve started to like it. It’s pretty good.
And the world knew what happened next.
Sam Raimi Grew To Love The Title Evil Dead
IMDb posts Evil Dead Rise with the description:
A twisted tale of two estranged sisters whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.
Written and directed by Lee Cronin, starring Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan, Morgan Davies, Nell Fisher, Gabrielle Echols and many more. Still connected to the franchise as producers are the trio Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and Rob Tapert with Romel Adam, Richard Brener, Moira Grant, Macdara Kelleher, John Keville, Dave Neustadter and Victoria Palmeri.
The last movie from the franchise was the 2013 remake from director Fede Álvarez, simply called Evil Dead. It had a $17M budget that generated $99M at the worldwide box office. Reflecting a 63% rating on the Tomatometer with 205 Reviews and a 64% audience score with 50K+ ratings, the film was rated R under the Horror-Mystery & Thriller genre running for 1 hour and 31 minutes.
The upcoming movie maintains the R rating with a run time of 1 hour and 37 minutes. Currently reflecting an impressive 100% from critics at the Tomatometer, the movie rises in theatres this 21st of April. The movie was already shown last March 15th at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
What do you think about Sam Raimi actually hating the title Evil Dead when the movie was initially released? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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