LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Sam Raimi - Hail To The King Part 1
By James Whittington, 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 Tom Paton, director of G-LOC chats about his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman
Posted on Tuesday 14th September 2021
Ahead of the Horror Channel premiere of his sci-fi action thriller G-LOC, director Tom Paton reflects on why making movies is like solving a puzzle, his passion for survival stories and being compared to Roger Corman.
Horror Channel will be broadcasting the UK TV premiere of your Sci-fi adventure G-LOC. Excited or what?
It's honesty so strange to me every time Horror Channel debuts one of my movies. The channel has been such a big part of my life growing up and informing my taste in films, that it's always a "pinch myself moment" when I see something that I've made appear on their TV listing. G-LOC is much more of a SCI-FI adventure than any ...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel reveals slate of TV premieres for September
Posted on Tuesday 17th August 2021
Tom Paton's sci-fi action thriller G-LOC is amongst three films receiving their UK TV premieres on Horror Channel this September. G-LOC, which deals with the increasingly topical issue of space migration, stars Stephen Moyer, Casper Van Dien, Tala Gouveia and John Rhys-Davies.
Another UK-produced movie receiving it's UK TV premieres is disturbing haunted house thriller, The Haunted, starring Sophie Stevens (The Black Prince), Kirstie Steele (Waterloo Road, Glasgow Girls) and Nick Bayly (Goodnight Sweetheart, Emmerdale). The third is The Last House. which stars I Spit On Your Grave's Camille Keaton, who is back and out for revenge again - this time against a trio of home invaders.... SHARE: READ MORE Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces second wave of films for August Cineworld event
Posted on Thursday 22nd July 2021
It's full scream ahead as Arrow Video FrightFest 2021 announces its second wave of hugely anticipated Discovery Screen and First Blood titles - a summer collection of provocative, edgy and transgressive entertainment to die for. There are fourteen World and ten European/International premieres amongst the thirty-four films on offer.
Eleven countries are represented, with titles ranging from Canadian entries Bloodthirsty, Amelia Moses' simmering LGBQT+ werewolf movie and sinister isolation thriller Motherly to Francesco Erba's As In Heaven, So On Earth, a stunning Italian blend of live action and Gothic puppet animation. Then there's Peter Bergendy's sumptuous Post Mortem, an epic Hu...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel raises hell in August!
Posted on Tuesday 20th July 2021
August is a wicked month on Horror Channel, as the UK's number 1 destination for genre films revives some horror, sci-fi and fantasy classics - including Clive Barker's Hellraiser trilogy, which has one of the most stylish and ferociously original horror fantasy franchises ever and Night Of The Living Dead (1990), Tom Savini's colour remake of George Romero's original Night Of The Living Dead, which transcended the world of horror movies to become a film classic .
Other highlights include Re-Animator, the late Stuart Gordon's darkly comic classic, that has been acknowledged as one of the most celebrated, outrageous and original horror films of all ti...SHARE: READ MORE Original Vs Remake: Which one do you prefer?
Posted on Thursday 15th July 2021
Horror Channel has always celebrated the classics as well as the more recent chillers around. Inevitably we come across some remakes which have either caused celebration or contention among viewers.
But are all remakes bad? Here's five of the finest which are showing at the moment on Horror.
Night of the Living Dead (1990) SFX maestro Tom Savini was given the job of bringing George A Romero's all-time classic back to the big screen, and in doing so gave the classic a colourful retelling. Set during an unexplained event, namely the dead rising from their graves, strangers stranded in a house battle the undead as well as themselves. Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, and Tom Towles ta...SHARE: READ MORE Carpenter, Cronenberg and Eli Roth lead a summer charge of seasonal shockers on Horror Channel this July
Posted on Thursday 17th June 2021
Carpenter, Cronenberg and Eil Roth lead a summer charge of seasonal shockers on Horror Channel this July.
Considered one of David Cronenberg's early genre classics, Scanners was based on Cronenberg's scripts The Sensitives and Telepathy 2000, which he planned to pitch to Roger Corman. Starring Michael Ironside and Patrick McGoohan, the film went on to became one of the first produced in Canada to successfully compete with American films at the international box office. Also airing is David Cronenberg's other cult classic body horror The Brood, which stars Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar. To many this remains one of the director's most frightening and resonan...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel adds First Wave to its weekday evening Sci-Fi Zone
Posted on Thursday 10th June 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with suspenseful, action-driven drama First Wave, which stars Sebastian Spence as Cade Foster, a former security specialist, accused of murdering his wife and now on the run, determined to expose a vast alien infiltration on Earth.
Helping him in his quest is "Crazy" Eddie, a computer hacker who works on a web tabloid, Paranoid Times. Out to stop them is Joshua (Roger R Cross), an alien hit-man, whose mission is to eliminate them before they can expose 'The Gua' (who live among humans in the form of hybridised genetic clones), a...SHARE: READ MORE They killed his wife. Framed him for murder. Now he hunts them! First Wave coming to Horror
Posted on Monday 7th June 2021
If its action packed, sci-fi infused drama you are after then First Wave is the series for you. With Hollywood legend Francis Ford Coppola on board as one of the Executive Producers the series ran for 66 action-packed episodes which managed to combine high-quality drama with a cool conspiracy theory strand.
The series concentrates on former thief now Security Specialist Cade Foster (Sebastian Spence), as he struggles to uncover an alien conspiracy by deciphering prophecies from Nostradamus as well as being on the run for a murder he did not commit. Along the way he meets The Gua, an alien race of hybridised genetic clones who are focused on enslaving the human race.
Now, the problem with informi...SHARE: READ MORE The Soska Sisters and Alexis Kendra bring female fear factor to Horror Channel in June.
Posted on Tuesday 25th May 2021
This month, Horror Channel highlights the work of female genre talent with the Channel premieres of Rabid, the Soska Sisters visceral remake of David Cronenberg's body horror classic and The Cleaning Lady, written by and starring Alexis Kendra (Goddess of Love), who also produced the much-acclaimed twisted psychological chiller.
Rabid (on the 12th) is the hugely welcomed remake of David Cronenberg's body horror classic from directors, The Soska Sisters. It received its World Premiere at FrightFest 2019 before being released worldwide. They are the first filmmakers to re-imagine one of Cronenberg's films and the fellow Canadian was very impressed with the ...SHARE: READ MORE Supernatural Week - A brief history of things that can't be explained!
Posted on Monday 10th May 2021
Think of the word, Supernatural and probably the first thing that comes to mind is the classic, bedsheet ghost that you'd see in Scooby Doo!
Well, from May 15th Horror will expanding your mind with a weeklong celebration of the genre with a selection of chillers that will have you checking under the bed before you turn out the light.
The genre really gripped the cinema-going public from the early days of the silver screen where directors were only too pleased to bring long used theatre effects to the new art form and mix them with the new medium's ability to dazzle an audience. The Haunted Curiosity Shop (1901) is a shorter than short, running just under two minut...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel goes back to the future with Channel premiere of sci-fi thriller series Extant from May 11
Posted on Tuesday 4th May 2021
Horror Channel will be continuing its commitment to bringing cult and classic sci-fi to its audience with Seasons 1 and 2 of the CBS Studios/Amblin Television production of Extant, starring Halle Berry as astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home to her family, inexplicably pregnant after 13 months in outer space on a solo mission.
First aired in 2014 and Executively Produced by Steven Spielberg, the futuristic sci-fi thriller was written by rookie Mickey Fisher, whose initial script of Extant won a screenwriting contest. before coming to the attention of Amblin and Spielberg.
Astronaut Molly Woods (Berry) returns hom...SHARE: READ MORE Paranormal forces take over Horror Channel in May
Posted on Thursday 15th April 2021
Otherworldly forces take over Horror Channel with Supernatural Week, eight nights of ghostly scares highlighted by the Channel premieres of Paranormal Activity, and creepy body horror, It Follows.
The special event, running from Saturday 15 May - Saturday 22 May, also sees the return of genre favourites such as demon chiller Firstborn, John Carpenter's classic car-rage chiller Christine, the twisted supernatural gasper Sinister, the star-studded supernatural cult classic Flatliners, the paranormal chiller The Quiet Ones, and Sean Byrne's devastating ride into psychological trauma, The Devil's Candy.
The week gets underway on Saturday 15th with a movie directed, photographed, produced, wri...SHARE: READ MORE Features Archive: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 PICK OF THE WEEK
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