Bruce Campbell Dealt With A Heckler At The Evil Dead Rise Premiere, And Of Course There Was An F-Bomb Involved


Of all the big horror movie releases in 2023, only one of them involves a cursed book of the dead that haunted Bruce Campbell’s Ash Williams and myriad other doomed souls over the past 40 years. I’m of course speaking of Lee Cronin’s Evil Dead Rise, which is pulling the fan-favorite franchise into a more domestic setting and away from the cabins and woods. And while Campbell’s horror icon Ash isn’t in the film, you can bet that the character’s spirit is still inside the actor and producer, as evidenced by his reaction to a loud-mouthed heckler at the new movie’s premiere during this year’s SXSW.

The 97-minute Evil Dead Rise earned widespread praise from critics on hand for its highly anticipated festival premiere, but apparently didn’t win everyone over. One spectator reportedly fell asleep at some point either during the screening or the Q&A that took place right after, and staff members went up to him about having his legs propped up during his impromptu zonk-out. At which point, he reportedly tossed an empty popcorn bucket upwards and hollered that the movie “fucking sucks,” prompting a wave of boos, according to Variety. The nap-happy complainer was attempting to exit the theater as those on stage were talking about him, prompting the heckler to flip them off and start hollering again. Which is when Bruce Campbell egged the guy on in an A+ fashion, saying:

What are you doing here? Get the fuck out of here!

To be expected, there was much cheer and rejoicing, and no one ever heckled anyone else ever again. Which would be how things would have ended if this were a fairy tale (with F-bombs and gory horror screenings), and not a world where asshats are an incorrigible scourge. But one heckler getting told to GTFO by Bruce Campbell is probably equal to like a dozen hecklers who don’t get reprimanded.

Rob Tapert chimed in afterward to question the timing of the guy’s specific criticism, saying:

I don’t get it. He waited all the way through the credits!

Amidst the laughter, the Q&A's moderator Peter Hall (who serves as the SXSW Film and TV programmer) called the dude out himself before questioning such a harsh opinion on the new horror. 

That asshole aside, I think we can all agree that this movie actually really fucking rules.

Again with the rejoicing and the whooping and wahooing and so on. For everyone in the venue during and after the screening, celebratory outbursts were frequent and constant, both during the movie and throughout the panel. To the point where Peter Hall exclaimed that he'd never seen an audience get "that insane" during all his years of screening and watching films there. And while he said it before Sleepy McHeckleface shared his anti-enthusiasm, I doubt that one slice of negativity would have changed his tune.

Such excitement is to be expected, since it's been a full ten years since any Evil Dead-ness has taken over theaters. Even though we obviously had the TV show, and even though Bruce Campbell even reprised the role for the lovingly brutal video game that released in 2022, there's something about seeing Necronomicon-inspired chaos that just needs to happen on the big screen every once in a while. For those looking for some small-screen Deadite-destroying fun:

  • 1983’s The Evil Dead is available to stream with an AMC+ subscription.
  • 1987’s Evil Dead II is available to stream with an IndieFlix subscription.
  • 1992’s Army of Darkness and 2013’s Evil Dead are currently only available to rent or purchase from all the usual places.
  • All three seasons of the TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead are available to stream with a Netflix subscription or through a Starz subscription.

With a ton of awesome movies on the way in 2023, Evil Dead Rise is set to crawl across theater ceilings when it releases on Friday, April 21. 

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.