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January 04, 2013

‘Evil Dead': Sam Raimi says remake director right for the job

Posted in: Movies

The crowds at New York Comic-Con went wild in October when Bruce Campbell — in a splashy, vibrant suit — debuted footage from the “Evil Dead” remake due out in April. Now an extreme red-band trailer for the new incarnation of Sam Raimi’s landmark horror film is making the rounds online to much fanfare (and some consternation).

Raimi, who like Campbell and fellow “Evil Dead” producer Robert G. Tapert has a producer credit on the new movie, says he can’t wait for genre fans to have the chance to see first-time feature director Fede Alvarez’s update of the revered 1981 cult horror film that launched his career.

“I instantly sensed that he was a great storyteller, really sharp, funny, sincere, wanted to really entertain the audience in a new way,” Raimi said of Alvarez, who previously made the lauded 2009 short “Panic Attack!” “I never saw so clearly in my life the right guy for the job when I met him.”

Bruce Campbell at New York Comic Con on Oct. 13, 2012. (Michael Stewart / WireImage)

Bruce Campbell at New York Comic Con on Oct. 13, 2012. (Michael Stewart / WireImage)

“Evil Dead” stars Jane Levy (TV’s “Suburgatory”) as a young woman who becomes stranded in a remote cabin with four others — a group that’s terrorized by an ancient demonic force. Campbell, of course, starred in the original film and its two follow-ups — “Evil Dead II” and “Army of Darkness” — as the beleaguered hero Ash, the central character whose getaway with some pals turns deadly.

On the occasion of a Blu-ray release of “Evil Dead” in 2010, Campbell told The Times of the movies’ enduring popularity: “They’re slightly weirder stories with an off-kilter lead character. It doesn’t make for mainstream success, but I think it makes for long-term success.”

The trailer has just enough references to Raimi’s work to encourage stalwarts, but it also appears to have a unique visual energy all its own.

“I’m excited for the horror crowds who are going to get a chance to see it,” Raimi said. “[Alvarez] did such a great job with it. I was really impressed.”

– Gina McIntyre

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