Sam Raimi reveals that he initially hated the title of The Evil Dead, saying it was one of the worst titles he had ever heard in his life.
Not only did The Evil Dead bring Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell into our lives, but it started an iconic horror franchise that’s still going strong. However, if Sam Raimi had his way, we wouldn’t have the Evil Dead franchise… we’d have The Book of the Dead franchise.
Sam Raimi recently spoke with Empire and revealed that he had a different title in mind for The Evil Dead. “The original title of the [original] movie was ‘The Book Of The Dead’,” Raimi recalled. “But film-sales agent Irvin Shapiro sat Rob, Bruce and I down and said, ‘We’re changing the title, boys. Advertising space in the newspaper is paid for by the inch, kid. We’re not going to have a five-word title. ‘Dead’ can stay. You can have one other word. You can call it ‘101% Dead’, or ‘Evil Dead’.” Raimi wasn’t a fan of either of those possible titles, saying that he initially thought that they were “the worst two titles I’ve ever heard in my life! Evil Dead sucks! How can something be evil and dead? I just thought it was so stupid.“
Raimi continued: “‘101% Dead’? I thought, ‘I’ll die first’. So I chose the lesser of the two horrible titles. But now I’ve started to like it. It’s pretty good.” The success of The Evil Dead spawned two sequels, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness, as well as a reimagining directed by Fede Álvarez and the Ash vs Evil Dead TV series. We’ve also Evil Dead Rise set to hit theaters next month.
Speaking of Evil Dead Rise, the film recently premiered at SXSW to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Written and directed by Lee Cronin, Evil Dead Rise follows road-weary Beth as she pays an overdue visit to her older sister Ellie, who is raising three kids on her own in a cramped Los Angeles apartment. “The sisters’ reunion is cut short by the discovery of a mysterious book deep in the bowels of Ellie’s building,” reads the official synopsis, “giving rise to flesh-possessing demons, and thrusting Beth into a primal battle for survival as she is faced with the most nightmarish version of motherhood imaginable.” Evil Dead Rise will hit theaters on April 21st.