As a huge fan of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series, I was so excited to see we had Evil Dead 2 in October’s CURSED theme! This got me thinking I needed to dive deep and get into some awesome trivia for folks in two parts so we can revisit one of the best silly horror series of all time! Let’s jump in!
1. At the onset of production for Evil Dead, Sam Raimi wanted to name the series Book of the Dead but it was thought by Irvin Shapiro, the producer of the first film, that it would turn away kids who would think it was too closely tied to school. So, he decided to change the title to Evil Dead.
2. Despite how a lot of simple sets are built on a soundstage, Evil Dead was actually filmed in a real abandoned cabin in the middle of the woods. Not a bad idea for getting that ambiance just right, you know?
3. If you were wondering Bruce Campbell’s dedication to getting Evil Dead out before the world, he put up a family home as collateral to secure a loan too help not just get the film released but to boost it up to a 35mm film which you need to have in order to get seen in mass market theaters. Raimi was so touched by this that he made Campbell a Co-Producer as a thank you for the clutch help! Add that with the cold calls made to get support locally, every single person taking part in that film made sure it got out into theaters!
4. Back on that bit about them using a real cabin rather than a soundstage, it was considered a very harsh environment to film in because doors couldn’t be kept shut except for during filming which meant it was bitter cold and lead to a lot of chilly actors. Add Sam Raimi’s long filming hours into that and it could be said making Evil Dead was quite the endurance trial!
5. It took six weeks to film Evil Dead but a year and a half to complete editing and to secure the funding needed to finish it up. Sam Raimi and his crew are nothing if not perfectionists.
6. After the film was released in theaters it made a massive splash in video rentals, and was actually the highest rated home video rental of 1982.
7. In order to be sure that censors wouldn’t be displeased with the level of possible gore, Sam Raimi used a mixture of 2 percent milk and corn starch to make the white and not quite ‘blood-like’ texture effect whenever a creature would be maimed. This showed they were not of human origin and kept the ratings down despite it being unrated when it originally hit theaters.
8. The sound foley work to replicate the sounds of stabbing and mutilation was done with grocery store bought chickens meant for roasting. This produced a rather gruesome sound of bones cracking and flesh being mauled all in one easy to purchase bundle of chicken!
9. The premiere screenings of Evil Dead in some markets had blood donor trucks and stations where you could donate blood for a free movie ticket and a special button. The button said “I bled for the Evil Dead” in black and red. Not a bad way to help people and go see a cool new movie at the same time, right?
10. The shotgun used as Ash’s ‘boomstick’ was actually a real working gun and not a prop stunt weapon. So, when you hear shots in the film, that is actually from that weapon and not added in post-production.