Here’s the thing – Sam Raimi was not a horror guy. At least not at first. Looking at the director’s ovurure, it might be easy to assume that Raimi, the creator of the EVIL DEAD trilogy, grew up mainlining goopy, gory horror films. In fact, Raimi didn’t like horror because it scared him too much. When he set down to break into the filmmaking business on a professional level, though, Raimi and his partners (including childhood friend Bruce Campbell and college chum Rob Tapert) saw that more often than not it was the horror film that were was getting a mainstream theatrical release and raking in massive amounts of cash despite its low-budget origins. So, despite Raimi’s aversion to horror films and egged on by the support of childhood friend and lifelong horror fan Scott Spiegel (who would later co-write EVIL DEAD 2 with Raimi), THE EVIL DEAD was born.
THE EVIL DEAD is not a true representation of who Raimi is as a filmmaker, though. It’s a powerful, unrelenting horror film but it is also a carefully constructed project born from hours of research into what makes horror movies work. Raimi and his partners carefully studied films like TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – paying attention to what audiences liked and what they didn’t – and sculpted EVIL DEAD to be the ultimate horror film. The movie has many clues as to what type of filmmaker Sam Raimi would become – its hyper-realistic, kinetic camera movements are the most obvious – but THE EVIL DEAD, despite its undeniable influence on the world of film and horror specifically – is a far cry from the impish cinematic prankster that was lurking inside of Sam Raimi. It isn’t until audiences saw EVIL DEAD 2 and later ARMY OF DARKNESS that they finally started to see the true influences of Sam Raimi at play – the homages to The Three Stooges, the blissful blend of comedy and horror and the stylized dance between gore and physical humor that be a touchstone for many of Raimi’s future films to come.
This month, the Alamo Drafthouse – Vintage Park invites you to take a trip through the evolution of Sam Raimi, filmmaker, with three weeks dedicated to the EVIL DEAD trilogy. Watch as Raimi develops his unique and unmistakable visual style that wiggles its way into any movie he touches – all the way up to the recent OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL. As Bruce Campbell’s Ash is transformed via trauma from a nervous, unsure wimp into an egotistical buffoon, you’ll have a chance to see Sam Raimi’s own personal transformation on the big screen.
THE EVIL DEAD and ARMY OF DARKNESS are both digital screenings but we have a special 35mm screening of EVIL DEAD 2 planned. As an extra bonus, those who attend all three screenings will receive a free ticket to attend the remake of EVIL DEAD when it is released in theaters on April 5.
Buy your tickets today! And join the Graveyard Shift Facebook page to chat with fellow horror fans and get the scoop about all the latest horror screenings in Houston - including a screening of EVIL DEAD 2 this April at Mason Park!