Bruce Campbell Confirms ‘Army of Darkness 2′, ‘Evil Dead’ Fans Rejoice

Posted in Horror, Movies on October 21st, 2013 by Nick

bruce_campbell_evil_dead_2_movie_image_01-600x450Looks like Bruce Campbell is picking up his boomstick once again.

While at the Wizard World Nashville Comic Con, Bruce Campbell finally let the cat out of the bag: his Evil Dead character Ash will see another day. Ash was last seen in 1992′s Army of Darkness and rumors have circulated the web for years about the possibility of another Evil Dead sequel. The rumors eventually trickled their way to the remake, a solid installment in the series’ universe, but clearly no replacement for the man with the killer chin.

The man himself was asked at Wizard World if a sequel to Raimi’s third Evil Dead movie was going ahead. Campbell’s official words:

“The last one was twenty-two years ago. I just haven’t been racing to do it. Sam Raimi is just a little bit busy making the biggest movies in Hollywood. I used to be busy. Now I’m not. That’s why I’m here. Ash would have to stop occasionally from chasing some deadite to catch his breath. Maybe we could do that, I guess. That would be exciting. Fight in a walker. That would be alright. Hit them with my cane. Fake them out, have a fake heart attack, distract a zombie. I like it….Alright sir, the answer is yes.

As a Sam Raimi fan, it’s always great to see him go back to his roots (Drag Me To Hell!), and according to Bloody Disgusting,  Raimi has already started writing Army 2.

Groovy.

Share
Tags: , , , ,

Treading on Sacred Ground: An ‘Evil Dead’ Review

Posted in Horror, Movies on April 18th, 2013 by Nick

evil-dead-remakeEvil Dead unravels like a movie you’ve already seen: Teenagers head to a cabin in the woods. Teenagers do something idiotic. Teenagers die. At face value, this next jaunt into wooded territory doesn’t sound very appealing or fresh. And that’s not even broaching the fact that director Fede Alvarez has entered sacred ground, remaking the Top Dog of Cult Classics, Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead. That alone is enough to make the hungriest of Internet trolls come out of hiding.

Nevertheless, this new gang of victims-to-be heads to their chosen secluded locale in order to help their friend Mia kick a nasty drug habit. Mia’s brother David joins in the efforts to help her get clean…that is, until their friend David reads from the book of the dead and releases an evil that was long dead and buried. Note to those planning on staying in a cabin. In the woods. If you find a creepy book that warns you, in writing, to not read or speak its words aloud, you probably shouldn’t read or speak its words aloud. Please see below:

evil-dead-2013-movie-hd-wallpapers-5

So Mia tries to escape her intervention weekend and crashes her car and is raped by a tree, naturally. I’m really glad that they kept the tree-raping in, and yes, I realize how awkward it is that I actually typed those words out. Mia starts acting cuckoo nutso, and her friends conclude that her body is just trying to kick the junk. I suppose it makes sense that they would default to withdrawal symptoms instead of demonic possession, but if you ever find yourself in a secluded cabin with me and you start acting all bonkers, I’m knocking your ass clean out and chaining you up. Consider yourself warned.

And here is where the zany begins. There will be blood. And lots of it.

It’s commendable that the film’s story brings its characters to its dreary setting without alcohol, sex, or partying in the forefront. Avoiding these tropes was really Step 1 in “How to Be Taken Seriously When Remaking a Cult Classic.” The drug arc was a sensible plot device and helped make an already dark tone even darker…and modernized.

The problem with Evil Dead: its actors. Though lead final girl (or is she!?) Jane Levy was fine enough, none of the other cast members really incite any real feelings or connection with the audience or each other. This lack of chemistry is evident throughout, and it bleeds through to their characters’ relationships. I wish we felt the strong connection they were supposed to have. Speaking of bleeding…

The reason to see this movie is for its deliriously disturbing gore. On this note, Alvarez hits it out of the park. Following in the footsteps of the original production, no CGI was used during filming (only during post) – and lets just say that a lot of fake red stuff was spilled. Given the film’s lack of a standout character and charming leading man (Bruce Campbell…we miss you), this gory circus show delivers on a level that makes us forget about the movie’s aforementioned shortcomings. After all, The Evil Dead‘s 1981 incarnation was really just a silly venture for viewers to have fun with and not take too seriously. So hey, why nitpick the new kid in school?

Early attempts and discussions about remaking the Mac Daddy of cult films brought fan outrage and Internet geeks out in droves. The negative reaction almost prevented the film from even happening, and I get it (I hang my head in shame over that Carrie remake trailer). Raimi’s The Evil Dead is a special, special film, but rest easy: its legacy hasn’t been tarnished here. Though the odds may have been stacked against it, this particular remake is far from sacrilege.

Grade: B

Share
Tags: , , , , ,

Up for Review: Sam Raimi’s ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’

Posted in Movies on March 11th, 2013 by Nick

Oz-the-Great-and-Powerful-Spoilers-Wicked-WitchIn our world of sequels, remakes and reinterpretations, the land of Oz is a risky one to venture back to. The 1939-wonder The Wizard of Oz is hallowed film ground, and in the past, attempts to return to the yellow brick road were received with questionable results (Return to Oz, The Wiz and Tin Man, to name a few). Though it has its polarizing elements, I found myself mostly enjoying Sam Raimi’s risky prequel, Oz the Great and Powerful, but perhaps I wasn’t as whisked away as I should’ve been.

The movie opens in Kansas in 1905 with Oscar Diggs (James Franco), an unlikeable magician/borderline charlatan. He’s a big fish in a small pond – the small pond being the traveling circus he wows night after night. After aggravating the circus strong man, Diggs escapes in a hot air balloon in the most unfortunate of times – tornado season. He swirls and twirls about, crash-landing in the expansive and very visual world of Oz.

Diggs is found by the witch, Theodora (Mila Kunis), and the two gallivant in the Oz-the-Great-and-Powerful-Castwoods together, escaping flying monkeys and other wee dangers in the river. Theodora falls in love with this man who she proclaims is the wizard prophesized to kill the Wicked Witch who killed the king of Oz, her father. She wants to introduce him to the land, and being the pompous small-time magic man that he is, Diggs goes along with it. And so begins our tale.

Being a long-time horror fan, I love director Sam Raimi for his roots-based approach and preference to not over do it on CGI. But this is a 3D journey into the magical land of Oz, so of course that can’t be the case here. Oz the Great and Powerful is more a journey into the magical land of CGI, rather, and although the film strong-arms its viewers with green screen-shot scenes one after the other, it’s par for the course. That said, the 3D aspect was well done and well utilized. Flying monkeys and other mythical creatures buzz about, in addition to witches’ magic spells, wooden planks, and more. They fly around our heads, and help set the tone for what’s to come. The 3D served the story and not the other way around.

oz-the-great-and-powerful-2013-iphone-5-wallpaperThe popping visuals were steady throughout and a major reason why the movie was so effective. Bright yellow and red flowers burst into eyesight, while raging blue waters tossed and turned Diggs’ ballon basket. Even the surrounding greenery was effervescent against that sparkling yellow brick walk that Diggs sets out on.  Part Disney, part Family movie, and part psychedelic romp, the effects will please children and stoners alike. And Raimi fans fear not: the director walks a nice tightrope between pleasing the masses and sprinkling his own stamp and style throughout.

It’s not all a walk through the park though. Certain parts of Oz are more of a walk through a deadly poppy field. James Franco doesn’t slay as the Man Behind the Curtain, often struggling to muster some slight feeling behind his character’s smug exterior (Luckily for Franco, he had a digital monkey-friend, Finley, voiced by Zach Braff, and an adorable little china doll, voiced by Joey King, to help pull on our heartstrings). In some scenes, Franco is fine, and in others, viewers are left wishing the role was cast otherwise. It’s a rather “take it or leave it” performance, when the movie demanded (and deserved) something more extraordinary. (Was it as lazy as the actor’s Oscar-hosting performance? It’s debatable. I’ll let you decide.)

As favorable as most of the graphics were, the Wicked Witch of the West (whose reveal is sort of a spoiler?) looked fairly terrible, neither resembling the actress portraying her nor the ugliness within that we remember from the musical. It’s distracting enough to pull you out of the story, even if for a split second every time her green essence permeates the screen.

The story also had its lackluster moments, faltering about three-quarters of the way through, when Diggs is reluctant to step up to help the people of Oz. It is here where the movie seems to drag, when we all know “the wizard” will end up becoming The Man Behind the Curtain we all know. Just get to it already.

Alas, a suspension of disbelief is necessary for this one. For hardcore fans of the 1939 musical, a disappointment is almost a certainty. The tone is vastly different and the performances are not nearly as strong, and…honestly, why even bother comparing? Though it is a prequel, this series in the making (a sequel has already been commissioned by Disney) is really its own beast. Forget that Dorothy existed, for the time being. Put the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion out of your minds. On its own, Oz the Great and Powerful is a fun ride for adults and children, but if you’re not willing to leave the ruby red slippers behind, maybe its best you stay on your chosen side of the rainbow.

Grade: B

Share
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Weighing In: The ‘Evil Dead’ Remake Trailer

Posted in Horror, Trailer Park on October 24th, 2012 by Nick

The Horror community was filled with shock and terror when rumors about an Evil Dead remake started to float around the Internet a few years back. Should this movie even be touched if not for a proper sequel? Would Bruce Campbell or Sam Raimi be involved? Would it be modernized as torture porn or keep its campy heart? When Campbell and Raimi did announce that they’d be attached to the project as producers, some fears were calmed, but many worries still lingered. Today, we finally got to take a first look at one of Horror’s most anticipated remakes:

Gut reactions: It looks gruesome and bloody (pro!), but I’m not sure if it looks “fun” enough (con). It definitely seems to have an intensity behind it, like when Rob Zombie took over the Halloween remake series, but I’m still a little unsure. Some of the scenes seem a little torture-porn-y, but it does look scary and gory, which are both so necessary for this remake to be successful.

Because I’m a huge 80′s horror/slasher fan, I love my Horror to be campy with a healthy side of cheese, which really just explains my love for the original series (and for movies like Cabin in the Woods!). Understandably, this movie can’t be the same movie, so they needed to alter the tone of this new entry. All I ask and hope for is that there’s a solid story behind the bloodshed, with characters we can really get behind and root for. Diablo Cody has reportedly “polished” the script, adding in some additional character and dialogue, so hopefully her charm and wit can be a great addition to what looks like a hellishly frightening film.

Who’s excited? Who’s still screaming in outrage? Sound off!

Share
Tags: , , , ,

Spiderman 4, no more!

Posted in Movies on January 12th, 2010 by Nick

Wah-wah, Spidey fans! Sony Pictures has announced that they are cutting ties with director Sam Raimi and cast members Tobey MaGuire and Kirsten Dunst! Some high-ups actually did watch Spiderman 3 and notice its mega suck-itude!

The new plan – reboot the franchise, setting Peter Parker back in his high school days. New director, new cast, new look.

The only sad part I see in this is that Raimi is out of a job. He said: “Working on the ‘Spider-Man’ movies was the experience of a lifetime for me. While we were looking forward to doing a fourth one together, the studio and Marvel have a unique opportunity to take the franchise in a new direction, and I know they will do a terrific job.”

Dear Sam Raimi: Drag Me To Hell was fucking brilliant, and you should continue to make way awesomely rad horror movies that finally put the nail in the torture porn coffin. Love, The Littlest Winslow.

Let’s be serious, here. Spiderman 1 was a terrific movie filled with eye-popping special effects, a decent cast, and great action and fun. Spidey 2 was a carbon copy: the same old hijinks with a decent plot. And 3? I could barely get through it. In this new Avatar-centric/3-D world that we live in…would anyone even care about a fourth Spidey film? I know I wouldn’t. Despite whining and moaning from fanboys, this is a solid move, Sony.

Share
Tags: , , , ,

Drag yourself to the movies. Immediately.

Posted in Movies on June 4th, 2009 by Nick

And check out “Drag Me To Hell.” You will not be disappointed.

Sam Raimi (as previously posted) is a badass. Not only is “Drag Me To Hell” his first horror movie in what seems like a bajillion years, but it destroys every horror flick in the past…5 years? A decade? It may even be in my Top 10 Horror movies of all time. It’s that good.

Written and directed by Raimi and his brother, Drag Me To Hell delivers throughout its entire 99 minutes run. Raimi balances horror and comedy nicely. The movie gets slightly over the top (but in a good way! The man made THE EVIL DEAD people!), but before it can fall over the edge, it pulls back relishing on the tension and allowing the audience to feel as uncomfortable as possible before scaring the bejesus out them. And once the scares begin and the story unfolds, it grabs ahold and never lets go.

Drag Me To Hell is Rated PG-13, but don’t let that discourage you. It’ll make you jump, it’s unpredictable, and God, is it unrelenting. It’s also gross as hell, without being overly gorey. Come to think of it, everything about this movie worked, and that’s a rarity for horror. The story is there, the characters are there, and Alison Lohman is fantastic (hard to believe Ellen Page was once attached to this project..). Can’t wait to see Lohman around more. Honestly, it’s incredibly hard for me to find something wrong with the movie. It was single-handedly the most fun I’ve had in the movies in…well, I can’t really remember. But what I do remember was smiling throughout most of the movie. Just me, smiling in my seat. Having so much fun.

Yeah, I might have to go see it again.

So, Mr. Raimi: Please. Enough of the Spidey movies. Horror is your true calling. There aren’t that many really good horror writers and directors around anymore, and this movie was nothing short of brilliant.

And I wanted to clap at the end. And I would’ve – if only I didn’t want to punch people like that in the face.

Share
Tags: , ,

Sam Raimi is a 94% Fresh badass

Posted in Movies on May 28th, 2009 by Nick

drag_me_to_hell_poster

I must admit, when I first saw the trailer for the new horror flick “Drag Me To Hell” I didn’t really care. It kinda looked like a stupid American version of some Japanese bullshit that’s already been forced down our throats a hundred times already.

But then I found out it was directed by horror icon and legend Sam Raimi. Who better to save the genre than Raimi? (Sorry, Zombie fans)

Then I heard that the movie was 94% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. 94 fucking percent!? Niiiice. For a horror movie, that’s like eleventy-million-bajillion percent fresh. That’s like, immeasurably awesome given the genre.

Horror + Raimi + killer reviews = my ass being SOLD.

I sadly can’t even remember the last time a horror movie rocked. Oh wait, yes I can. “The Descent.” But that was 3 years ago. Horror fans everywhere are due and hopefully Raimi will deliver.

Share
Tags: ,