SXSW 2013: EVIL DEAD interview with producers Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert

SXSW 2013: EVIL DEAD interview with producers Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert

At this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, I had a chance to sit down with some of the actors and the creative team behind the new EVIL DEAD movie.  In the next few days we’ll be posting snippets from those interview sessions, but we kick it off with producers (and two of the men behind the original movies) Rob Tapert and Bruce Campbell.  As many know, Campbell was the start of the first three films in the original “trilogy”, EVIL DEAD, EVIL DEAD 2 and ARMY OF DARKNESS.  Oddly enough, about a week before I chatted with them, original trilogy direct Sam Raimi had made a statement (during his promotional tour for OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL) that he was going to be writing EVIL DEAD 4, not a sequel to the new remake, but an actual fourth film in the original franchise.  Needless to say I had to bring this up in the interview.  It should also be noted that the remake of EVIL DEAD, which premiered at SXSW, went over very well with the audience… which put a lot of the naysayers into quiet mode.  Here’s my questions and Rob and Bruce’s answers to them.  Please note, this was part of a roundtable interview with other journalists, but what presented here is solely my questions to them and their answers to me.


Mark: Well, I remember Bruce, when you were in Dallas last October and showed the trailer… since then, people have been talking about it online, and it seems like there’s been a fair amount of people that were against the idea of what this was. Seeing the reaction the movie had last night, I think it’s safe to say it not only worked but it worked very well, and I would assume for both of you guys that’s got to be an extremely gratifying thing to see people shut the hell up and enjoy it.

Bruce Campbell: Well yeah, the blogosphere calms down a little bit. And the nice thing about EVIL DEAD fans is once they’re in, they’re in. We just had to get them to tip. We needed that tipping point, I think we were getting there. Because the reviews are gonna come out, the bloggers are gonna come out “I was there, I WAS THERE!” and they can tell the real story. So it’s good.

Rob Tapert: And for the fans the fans of the original movie, when they see this they’re going to start to see little things that they had never picked up on before, that are homages to the first one and nobody would ever notice. Fede Mentioned one today, and I remember at the time it just made me laugh, which was in the first EVIL DEAD she calls out a bunch of cards, and in this one those cards that the woman called out are laid directly on the table.

Bruce: There’s a lot of cool stuff that I think Rob and I would be surprised at the crap Fede was doing.

Rob: So it all worked out.

Mark: Well, like we were saying a second ago, the tone of the movie was very straightforward for a horror film, but at the same time it’s the kind of horror film that you can enjoy and have a very good time.

Bruce: Well it’s over the top horror.

Mark: Right, and it’s nice to see it’s kind of getting back to the roots of what horror films, the good old days of what horror films started out to be instead of the same old torture porn.

Bruce: This is monster movie, at the end of the day.

Mark: Yeah. Sort of a throwback to the 1950s Sci-Fi.

Bruce: Yeah!

Mark: Was there ever a moment on this particular remake that you guys thought maybe we should go broad with this, maybe we should…

Bruce: No, I don’t think it ever got there. Fede is not that kind of guy. He’s not full of old Three Stooges jokes… we are.

Mark: Well I remember you said Fede is the one that came to you with the take on it, and that was what made you say “Yeah, this could work.”

Bruce: And part of it was the fact that it was straight. We thought that was kind of cool.

Rob: Just from a sales point of view, as much as I love EVIL DEAD 2 and ARMY OF DARKNESS…

Bruce: Harder to sell.

Rob: It’s harder to sell.

Bruce: What is it, a horror comedy? Where is that category in the video aisle? Where does that go?

Mark: So I have to ask you this. Sam, a week ago, made this statement in an interview, that he was going to write a script for an EVIL DEAD 4. You guys want to comment on that? I know this question is so beat into the ground…

Bruce: It is. I’m trying to think of new answers to the old question.

Rob: I wouldn’t want to call Sam a liar…

Bruce: Show us a script.

Mark: Ha, as soon as you see it you’ll believe it.

Bruce: When I see a script I’ll believe it. Yeah.

Mark: So it’s in his court.

Bruce: Absolutely.

Rob: You know, I believe the following. He’s going back to… he needs a break. OZ was a beast of a project. Big, big project. He needs a break. He’s going back to Michigan for the summer – his brother lives there, and I think they really enjoy working on things together.

Bruce: With no studio involvement.

Rob: Yeah.

Bruce: What I mean to say it the EVIL DEAD movies to Sam represent a fairly limited involvement. The first EVIL DEAD, no studio involvement. The second one very limited, it was Dino de Laurentis. The third one we actually did have quite a lot of studio interference and re-editing. So I think if Sam does another one he’s going to want to get back to not… to being left alone.

Rob: That’s why he wanted to do DRAG ME TO HELL. He had total control.

Mark: (to Bruce) So if he drops that script in front of you, are you ready to go?

Bruce: No… (we all laugh) but let’s see it. Let’s see what happens, you know. I’ll find a good stunt man.

Mark: Guys, congratulations, this was really good.

Bruce: Thank you!

EVIL DEAD is now playing everywhere

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About the Author

Born and raised in Dallas, Mark has been a movie critic since 1994, with reviews featured in print, radio and National TV. In 2001 he started the Entertainment section of the Herorealm website, where he contributed film reviews and celebrity interviews until 2004. After three years of service there, he started, which has become one of the Dallas film community's leading information websites. Bigfanboy hosts several movie screenings in the Texas area, and works closely with film and TV studios and promotional partners to host exciting events and contests. The site also features a variety of rare celebrity and filmmaker interviews, and regularly covers the film festival circuit as well. In addition to Hollywood reporting, Mark has worked for many years as an advertising and sci-fi/comic book artist. Clients have included Lucasfilm Ltd., Topps Trading Cards, The Dallas Mavericks and The Dallas Stars. From 2002 until 2015 he managed the Dallas Comic Con, Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days events in the DFW area. He currently catalogs rare comic books and movie memorabilia for Heritage Auctions, and runs the Dallas Comic Show conventions, but remains an avid moviegoer and cinema buff.