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Fans and film writers alike love to say that they would only
appreciate a filmmaker continuing a beloved series if it didn’t feel forced.
Most directors don’t often cite that factor in building anticipation, yet here’s
a blunt case of Sam Raimi basically admitting that’s what a fourth EVIL DEAD
film would be. It's time to give it up.
In FANGORIA’s 300th issue, in which a host of the magazine’s
editors, contributors and filmmaking friends chose our 300 favorite horror
films, I was lucky enough to write an entry on the severely undervalued DRAG ME
TO HELL. My sentiment was something to the effect that by the time the
decomposing corpse of Mrs. Ganush spews embalming fluid in and on Christine
Brown’s face and later when Christine herself stares directly at the audience
and offers, “I’m gonna get some,” we knew EVIL DEAD 4 was unnecessary. DRAG ME
TO HELL was essentially the film Raimi fans were clamoring for (and didn’t show
up to), just served with no narrative connection (the spiritual seems more
significant). However, it was organic, original, frightening, intensely vibrant
and it was all of those things because the director was engaged.
Earlier this weekend, as the veteran filmmaker continued a
press tour for OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, he told press he was planning to
write a fourth EVIL DEAD this summer with his brother, Ivan. Bleeding Cool
spoke to Raimi and he elaborated and backpedaled on the plans, explaining “Those
guys made me say that. I am thinking about it but a crowd goes ‘Come on Sam, do
it!’ so I said ‘Okay, I guess I was talking to my brother about it.’ But I feel
like I was pushed into saying that, a little bit. In the hallway today I joked
with Ivan [his brother] ‘Get working on that script!’ but I really don’t know.
“I’m afraid that every time I talk about it people get
really mad at me when I don’t follow through with it. I would like to work on
the script over the summer, that much is true. But the reason to come back and
do it again is only that they’re making me, those fans,” he said.
“I was saying to Ivan ‘Why do they stay on this thing? Why
do they keep at it?’ and he said ‘They want to make a movie. You’re a filmmaker
and your fans are asking you to make the movie. What are you, an idiot? Make
the movie!’ I guess there’s something I don’t see. It makes sense when Ivan
says it… but I didn’t have a tremendous amount of passion until right now to
bring to it. I love working with Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert, I have so much
fun making those movies, so… but the fans are really forcing me into it.”
Raimi clearly still has the spook-a-blast bug in him, but
whatever’s there has little to do with Ash or the Necronomicon. Again, DRAG ME
TO HELL is splendid and only gets more so on replay. It's proved the time has passed.
A new vision for the title is fast approaching and even if it turns out
lackluster, the time has still passed. And that’s really okay.
Finally, Raimi is also a consistently good-humored chop
buster in the press, thus his comments are probably not mean spirited. There's always the chance a spark is reignited, but the
attitude remains.Is an unenthused EVIL
DEAD 4 worth it, just to have EVIL DEAD 4? Absolutely not.
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