LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Sam Raimi - Hail To The King Part 1
By James W, Sunday 17th May 2009 It’s been years since Evil Dead director Sam Raimi has helmed a real horror movie but on May 27th he returns to the genre with the critically acclaimed shocker, Drag Me To Hell. Here in the first of a two-part feature we take a look at his early career and how he inadvertently influenced a generation of horror moviemakers. Samuel Marshall Raimi is probably one of the most unassuming figures working in the industry today. Born in 1959 he grew up fascinated by cinema and even before he reached his teens was creating his own movies. Sam roped in childhood pal Bruce Campbell for his early pieces that were mainly homage to the classic comedy group The Three Stooges. Together with Robert Tapert they went on to create Within The Woods in 1978. This 32-minute shocker, shot entirely on 8mm film stock was made to show investors so the budding film director could get his picture The Evil Dead made. This short is still unavailable to buy even though fans are screaming for a release. Few know that another picture, It’s Murder was also created to help bring the money in. When The Evil Dead (or to give it one of its many alternate titles The Evil Dead: (The Ultimate Experience in Gruelling Horror) was released it made little noise in the United States, but here in the UK (1982) there was a tidal wave of publicity, a lot of it pretty negative, mainly because of the many violent sequences the movie contained. The plot is straight forward enough; a group of teenagers go to a shack in the woods and listen to a tape that contains forbidden incantations from Necronomicon Ex Mortis also known as the Egyptian Book of the Dead. When the tape is played all hell is unleashed and evil demons possess the innocent party causing much bloodshed and death. Controversial and shocking the movie is in parts brutal, packing a bloody punch that never lets up. It was placed on the “Video Nasty” list in 1984 along with 38 other titles. We had to wait until 1992 for it to get an official release and then nearly another 10 years before we could legally buy an uncut edition of the movie. The appreciation of The Evil Dead grew steadily with horror fans and Raimi’s unusual film style and inventive camera angles caught the eye of movie producers ending with Columbia asking him to produce an original piece. Crimewave released in 1985 was a bizarre and surreal cop comedy/drama but the finished product wasn’t the box-office draw that they had hoped for. So Raimi decided to return to what he knew best and delivered The Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn in 1987. This revisited the original idea of The Evil Dead and turned the effects, laughs and gore up to 11! Crammed with more visual gags and plenty of blood (though not as graphic or controversial as the original) this was an adrenaline action piece that proved Raimi’s unique style seen in his first few movies wasn’t a fluke. It seemed obvious that Raimi would turn his attention to comic book action and although he was unable to secure the rights for the project he wanted to handle (its rumoured that Raimi wanted to make a big screen version of 1930’s radio show The Shadow) he created an original anti-hero in 1990, Darkman. Darkman is a vibrant and as you’d expect over-the-top piece of cinema which stars Liam Neeson as Peyton Westlake a scientist who is burnt and left to die by a mob boss. He is then subjected to radical new surgical procedures that destroy his ability to feel pain. This in turn increases his inability to control violent outbursts. Add to this a new skin that covers his badly burned body that last just under 100 minutes and you have a truly original take on the superhero genre. Though it performed well at the box office and gave Raimi the revenue and clout to make Evil Dead III, (better known as Army of Darkness), Raimi would soon go on to produce even bigger and more original movies. His best work was yet to come. Next time we’ll take a look at his box-office blockbusting Spider-Man series of movies as well as his TV work and eventual return to big screen horror.
MORE FEATURES Horror Channel gets beastly in July with Animal Attack Season
Posted on Tuesday 19th June 2018
Nature gets nasty on Horror Channel in July with Animal Attack Season, a beastly collection of movies which will claw their way into your nightmares each Saturday at 9pm.
The season starts on the 7th with the big screen version of a Stephen king classic, Cujo. When sweet St. Bernard dog Cujo is bitten by a bat, he morphs into a dangerous beast and goes on a rampage in a small town. Stay-at-home mom Donna (Dee Wallace) gets caught in Cujo's crosshairs on a fateful errand with her son, Tad (Danny Pintauro). Stuck in their car, Donna and Tad have a frightening showdown with the crazed animal. Then the following week a movie that has real bite, Burning Bright. Johnny Gavenau's latest get-quick-rich scheme is to tur...SHARE: READ MORE Happy 50th birthday Rosemary's Baby
Posted on Tuesday 12th June 2018
Kids! What are they like? Some can be cute, others can be little devils... literally!
Today is the 50th anniversary of the classic shocker Rosemary's Baby so here we take a look at five of the finest devil child movies. Do you agree with our list and which ones would you refuse to babysit?! Note we have not included the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Junior as that's horrific in other ways (!)
5: Devil's Due (2014) A recently married couple on honeymoon experience a bizarre warning, a long journey, come across some strange symbols, then are drugged, left in a room and a couple of weeks later the wife discovers she's pregnant! Her pregnancy is a time of torture for her and convinced she's being watched. Could...SHARE: READ MORE 13 reasons why John Carpenter is The Horror Master
Posted on Thursday 31st May 2018
On the eve of Horror Channel's John Carpenter Season (stars June 2nd), we present to you 13 reasons why he truly is the Master of Horror. Agree or disagree let us know via out social media channels.
1: Made the slasher movie cool again with Halloween (1978)
2: His use of a Steadicam put us in the heart of the terror on screen.
3: Gave the world the finest horror movie theme, ever (Halloween, 1978)
4: Turned Kurt Russell an action hero.
5: Way ahead of his time with They Live (1988), Carpenter delivered a movie that woke up the world to the evils of subliminal consumerism and stimuli via a cool sci-fi movie.
6: They Live also has a fight scene that lasts over 6 minutes and co...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel to celebrate the films of John Carpenter in June
Posted on Wednesday 23rd May 2018
From horrific hauntings and supernatural sorcery to alien invasions and blood-sucking battles, Saturday nights on Horror Channel at 9pm in June will be devoted to John Carpenter, one of the true Masters of Horror.
The celebratory season is highlighted by the network premieres of Carpenter's classic car-rage chiller Christine, with the superb Harry Dean Stanton, and John Carpenter's Vampires, a horror Western starring James Woods, as a vengeful, stake-wielding bloodsucker hunter. It also includes iconic favourite The Fog, the high-kicking fantasy thriller Big Trouble in Little China and his timely sci-fi political thriller They Live.
The Fog on the 2nd is set in a Northern California fishing town, built 100 years ago over ...SHARE: READ MORE 13 reasons why you need to watch The Evil Dead
Posted on Sunday 20th May 2018
Sam Raimi's horror masterpiece, The Evil Dead is rightly regarded as a true horror classic.
So, it's weird to think then that there are still some viewers have yet to enjoy this ultimate experience in gruelling Horror.
Here's 13 reasons why you need to see The Evil Dead when it's shown on Horror Saturday May 26th.
1: The film spawned a cult hero in star Bruce Campbell and gave the world Ash Williams. 2: The BBFC deemed it to be placed on the Video Nasties list in 1983 even in cut form and not released uncut until 2001. 3: Stephen King liked it saying in 1972 that it was "The most ferociously original horror film". 4: The cover art for the VHS was the first...SHARE: READ MORE Exclusive: Director Johannes Roberts talks 'The Strangers: Prey at Night'
Posted on Tuesday 1st May 2018
This weekend sees the release of a long-awaited sequel to one of 2008's most beloved slasher films. Yes, nine whole years after The Strangers premiered, UK cinema-goers will be met once again by Dollface, the Man in Mask and Pin-Up Girl in The Strangers: Prey at Night.
Starring Mad Men's Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Martin Henderson, and Lewis Pullman, son of the late Bill, the film sees a family of four being stalked and tormented shortly after arriving on what was supposed to be a quiet family trip to a remote mobile home. The family must decide whether to take on the dreaded strangers hell-bent on wreaking havoc, or to run for their lives.
We had a chat with the film's direct...SHARE: READ MORE Acclaimed sci-fi thriller Radius amongst four UK TV premieres on Horror Channel in May
Posted on Tuesday 17th April 2018
The gates of Hell are well and truly opened on Horror Channel in May, as the UK's most popular TV destination for genre fans plays host to chilling Chinese legends, sinister sorcery, deadly zombies and a rampaging Arnold Schwarzenegger.
There are four prime-time UK TV premieres this month, headed by Caroline Labreche and Steeve Leonard's unusual and compelling sci-fi thriller Radius on the 25th.
Premiered at FrightFest in 2017, it weaves an ingenious plot from the moment Liam (Diego Klattenhoff) wakes from a car crash with no memory of who he is. As he makes his way into town to look for help, he finds only dead bodies, all with strange pale eyes. Liam's first assessment is that a virus is present in...SHARE: READ MORE Cinematic Psycho Sequels
Posted on Saturday 7th April 2018
Everyone who has seen Alfred Hitchcock's monochrome masterpiece Psycho will know that how it created one of the most enduring horror icons of the 20th century, Norman Bates. Played to chilling perfection by Anthony Perkins and based on the novel of the same name by Robert Bloch which was first published in 1959 the movie was a benchmark in the horror/thriller genre and Hitchcock sent the rest of his career trying to match it.
Bates was a reflection, an amalgam of several real-life killers, most notably Ed Gein, whose ability to be in plain sight of his hometown whilst committing hideous crimes is almost as hideous as the crimes he committed. Much has been written about the movie Psycho, but what about the c...SHARE: READ MORE John Krasinski talks directing and starring in 'A Quiet Place'
Posted on Friday 6th April 2018
In case you hadn't heard, A Quiet Place has opened in cinemas nationwide.
The film, starring real-life couple, John Krasinski (US adaptation of The Office and 13 Hours) and Emily Blunt (Sicario, Wind Chill and The Devil Wears Prada) takes place in a post-apocalyptic(-ish) environment, in which strange wild creatures that hunt by sound have destroyed a significant amount of the population.
Krasinski and Blunt's characters, husband and wife Lee and Evelyn try to lead a life with their family as quietly (and by that we mean literally) as possible, in able to ensure their survival.
We sat down with the director and one half of Krasinski-Blunt to talk about the film, what scares him the most, and which...SHARE: READ MORE The 10 best lines from the Evil Dead movies
Posted on Thursday 5th April 2018
Horror Channel is sponsoring a "groovy" night of gore on April 7th at the Stockport Plaza Cinema in conjunction with those fine folks of Grimmfest.
The Evil Dead Marathon will start at 1.30pm (doors at 1pm) and is made up of The Evil Dead (1981), Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987), Army Of Darkness (1992), and finally Evil Dead (2013). There's also prizes up for grabs and merch stall. More info on the event here.
But what is your favourite line from this amazing series of movies? Here's our Top 10!
10: Alright you primitive screwheads, listen up! You see this? This... is my Boomstick! (Army of Darkness, 1992)
9: What kind of a virus makes someone cut their face off with a ...SHARE: READ MORE Norman Bates stalks Horror this April
Posted on Wednesday 28th March 2018
Fans of Anthony Perkins and the Psycho franchise are in for a treat as Sunday nights in April are devoted to the network premieres of Psycho II, Psycho III, and Psycho IV: The Beginning. Each movie starts at 9pm.
Set twenty-two years after the famous murder of Marion Crane, Psycho II (showing April 1st) sees Norman Bates (Perkins) declared sane and allowed to return to his now dilapidated motel. But, when the murders start up again, Norman realises an old friend is awaiting his return - Mother! Co-starring Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, and Dennis Franz, this sequel to the Hitchcock masterpiece is now viewed as an unmissable classic thanks to the way it carefully continues the legend without shying away from expa...SHARE: READ MORE Top 5 worst horror movie remakes!
Posted on Wednesday 21st March 2018
Remakes, love them or hate them if there's money to be made they'll always be with us. Hollywood loves to look back at past glories and try and wring some more blood out of a well rung stone. Here's my list of frightful fright-flicks that failed to restart an already dead franchise.
5: Poltergeist (2015) "They're here". The original Poltergeist movie from 1982 was a tour-de-farce of effects and atmosphere. Directed by Tobe Hooper with Steven Spielberg as writer and producer, it took the paranormal into new territory. Forward to 2015 and Gil Kenan is given the task of resurrecting the story. Poor guy, the film is a mish-mash of re-visited scenes and not so special effects. The scary clown has been given an update, but the movie lacks...SHARE: READ MORE Features Archive: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
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