Sam Raimi was forced to shorten the title of his camp horror classic to save money on newspaper advertising, but he’s starting to return to “Evil Dead” after 40 years.

"diabolical death"

©New Line Cinema/courtesy Everett Collection

Few horror franchises have the cultural staying power that the “evil Deadseries has enjoyed, let alone are able to keep their original creators in the fold for that long. While Sam Raimi entrusted with management functions over the next “Evil Dead Rise” While Lee Cronin and Bruce Campbell don’t star as Ash, the pair continue to oversee the franchise as executive producers.

The franchise was able to survive four decades while spawning five feature films and three seasons of a television show, thanks in large part to the single blend horror and comedy Raimi and Campbell introduced in 1981 in “The Evil Dead”. The campiness extends to the film’s absurdly reductive title, which you’d be forgiven for thinking was a stroke of marketing genius on their part. But it turns out that Raimi and Campbell originally had a different title in mind – and were adamantly opposed to the name they ultimately chose.

In a new interview with Empire, Raimi explained that the film’s iconic title was a complete accident that he did his best to avoid. He had planned a longer title for the film, but was forced to shorten it in an attempt to save money on newspaper advertising.

“The original title of [original] the movie was ‘The Book of the Dead’,” Raimi said. “But film sales agent Irvin Shapiro sat Rob, Bruce and me down and said, ‘We’re changing the title, guys. Advertising space in the newspaper is paid for by the centimeter, kid. We’re not going to have a five-word title. “Death” can remain. You can have another word. You can call it ‘101% Dead’ or ‘Evil Dead’.’ »

Raimi went on to say that he hated both options, but ultimately made up his mind through the process of elimination.

“I thought, ‘But those are the two worst songs I’ve ever heard in my life! ‘Evil Dead’ sucks! How can something be bad and dead? was so stupid,” he said. “‘101% Dead’? I thought, ‘I’m going to die first.’ So I chose the lesser of the two awful titles. But now I’ve started to like it. It’s pretty good.”

“Evil Dead Rise” opens in theaters Friday, April 23.

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