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Like the sadistic demons that infest it, The Evil Dead has proved extremely difficult to kill. It’s been almost 40 years since Sam Raimi scraped together a tiny budget and travelled to a cabin in the woods with a few reels of 16mm film, buckets of fake blood and Bruce Campbell. Over the decades, the series has entered the horror pantheon and spawned two sequels, a remake, video games, comics and an awesome TV show. The story isn’t over yet, either, with the long-awaited fourth movie now in pre-production under the title Evil Dead Rise.
Much of The Evil Dead‘s ongoing success can be put down to its passionate fanbase and DiggerFilms’ new documentary Hail to the Deadites pays tribute to them. The trailer for it up above showcases this community and the various ways they revere and honor the series. We’re going to get interviews with the most diehard fans (one of them does an Evil Dead-themed marriage proposal!) and see how the cast and crew respond to their continued adulation.
Bruce Campbell naturally plays a big part in this. His Ash Williams is the face (or perhaps more specifically, the chin) of the franchise and he’s done a lot to keep the flame burning. He’s always been happy to make convention appearances and engage with fans and has spent much of 2020 on a socially distanced tour of drive-in movie theaters screening The Evil Dead and participating in Q&As.
Watch: New Trailer For Awesome Evil Dead Documentary Hail To The Deadites
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Director Steve Villeneuve hyped up the documentary recently by saying:
“Some people might find it weird to not see any footage of the franchise in the documentary but this is what I’ve been aiming for since day one. I’m really proud to say that everything you will see or hear in this documentary was created by the fans. So, rev your chainsaws and load your boomsticks, it’s time to give the Deadites some sugar, baby!”
With Evil Dead Rise rumored to expand the scope of the Deadite scourge to a skyscraper, the future looks pretty damn rosy. Sadly, Bruce Campbell has officially hung up his chainsaw and shotgun for the last time and won’t be appearing as Ash in the new entry, but he’s still producing it and will no doubt ensure that it contains the scares, gore and sense of rollercoaster fun that defines The Evil Dead.
In the meantime, Hail to the Deadites looks great and I can’t wait to check it out. It’ll be screened at a number of virtual film festivals before being made available digitally, though we don’t have an exact release date yet.