Sam Raimi Originally Hated the 'Stupid' Title of His Most Iconic Movie
Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell's debut film, The Evil Dead, not only introduced them to the horror scene but also started a legendary horror franchise that continues to thrive to this day.
However, Raimi initially had a very different vision for the series title, which he recently revealed during an interview.
Talking with Empire, Rami confessed he wanted the film's original title (and subsequent movies) to instead be 'The Book of the Dead'. However, film sales agent, Irvin Shapiro, convinced him it had to be changed to something much shorter and catchier.
According to Raimi, Shapiro sat down with him, Campbell, and producer Rob Tapert 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'".
Clearly, this is no longer an issue for film marketing today. Or we wouldn't have such popular movie names as Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Raimi declared he wasn't a fan of either of those possible titles at the time. Calling them "the worst two titles I've ever heard in my life".
He even went on to say that he thought "Evil Dead" sucked and found it stupid. However, he eventually chose the lesser hated of the two and named the film The Evil Dead, resulting in the infamous horror title we know today. However, Raimi admitted that he now likes the title and finds it pretty good.
Fortunately for Raimi, the success of The Evil Dead led to two sequels, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness. In addition, the Ash vs Evil Dead TV series aired for three seasons, and the newest addition to the franchise, Evil Dead Rise, is set to hit theatres next month.
Directed by Lee Cronin, Evil Dead Rise follows two sisters who reunite after some time apart. However, their reunion is cut short when they discover a mysterious book in one of their apartments, which unleashes flesh-possessing demons. The sisters are thrust into a primal battle to survive. The film promises to offer a terrifying take on motherhood and survival.
While Raimi's original vision for the franchise's title may have been a bit different, it's hard to imagine the series without the iconic title of The Evil Dead. The franchise's enduring popularity and success prove that it continues to captivate and terrify audiences.