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If you’ve been paying attention to the movie world in the last month, chances are you’ve heard the buzz about director Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead. The remake of the Sam Raimi horror classic opened SXSW a few weeks ago and earned an incredible amount of buzz, shocking audiences with a non-stop flow of scares, blood, blood, and more blood. And now Sony Pictures is getting set to bring that same experience to WonderCon.
The arena of the Anaheim Convention Center is packed to the gills as the presentation for the brand new horror film is set to begin, featuring not only stars and filmmakers behind the new film, but the legendary Bruce Campbell as well. Follow our minute-by-minute live-blog below!
3:15: At least 10 warnings about adult content leading into the panel. Expect some gore!
3:15: The red band trailer on screen!
3:17: Bruce Campbell! Fede Alvarez! Jane Levy! Shiloh Fernandez! Jessica Lucas! All on stage!
3:19: Bruce Campbell says that the project developed over a lumpy period of time and they were originally thinking of a sequel instead of a remake, but then Fede Alvarez came around. Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell were both busy with other projects, but then they saw Alvarez’s short film Panic Attack. They could tell he was a real Evil Dead fan because “he wouldn’t shut the fuck up about it.” They were going to do a feature version of Panic Attack that fell into development hell. But then Evil Dead got the go.
3:23: Fede Alvarez says that it’s the hardest R-rating out there. Bruce Campbell says that torture porn makes you want to go home and kill yourself and that the MPAA was impressed by the exuberance of Evil Dead. Fede says that they wanted characters, not victims
3:24: Jane Levy says she’s still waiting for an apology from Fede for all the hell that she went through. The hardest thing she had to do was get buried alive with a bag on her head and needed an oxygen tube so that she could breathe. Bruce says Sam Raimi would be proud
3:25: Fede says real always trumps fake when it comes to being scared.
3:25: Jessica Lucas says that even though she’s done other horror films, this was the most grueling. She notes that they had a movement coach come in to teach them how to move.
3:26: Lou Taylor Pucci says he was unprepared for the level of carnage, but was proud to do it. His favorite was originally Evil Dead II, but really fell in love with the original while watching it over and over not to fuck up the remake. After saying that the original is one of the best trilogies ever, Bruce stands up, walks over, and gives him a handful of cash.
3:27: Shiloh Fernandez says that he nearly passed out after seeing it because he’s so exhausted.
3:28: Fede Alvarez wants to make a sequel, have Sam Raimi make Army of Darkness 2, and then have the worlds collide in a film that would bring it together.
3:29: Fede made a movie for two audience: the fans and the newcomers. It was important to make it for both of them, and took elements from the original for the former. But they wanted to create a new experience to make newcomers feel like they weren’t being left out.
3:30: Talking about the old school nature of the practical effects, Jane Levy says that it was sometimes fun to projectile vomit on everybody. A thick tube had to be jammed in her mouth, and then copious amounts of fluid that shot into her mouth before shooting back out as vomit
3:31: Time for more footage! The audience braces for a grueling experience introduced by Sam Raimi!
3:32: Raimi calls this the film that he originally wanted to make the first time out and enthusiastically sets up the scene.
3:37: Jessica Lucas is in a bathroom washing her face, grabs a needle and medicine out of the cabinet. Mirror closes, her face is scarred and cut. Turns around, sees the book start to flip and a page with a person cutting their own face off. She then stops dead in the middle of the room and drops everything she’s holding. Her face starts to twitch and she begins to pee herself. Lou Taylor Pucci, in the next room, hears the door slam and calls out. He goes to see what’s going on with her and hears crashing in the bathroom. He passes her puddle of urine and goes to the door. He opens the door and it’s totally dark, with just dripping sounds and liquid pouring down off the light. The light flickers and he sees her huddled in the shower. He reaches for the curtain and reveals her cutting her face off with a piece of the broken mirror. “Why the fuck would you do that?!” Lou exclaims. She then pushes him back and he slams against the toilet. While he is writhing around on the ground in pain, she stabs him in the shoulder with the piece of mirror, raises a needle and jams it into his face repeatedly. He pushes her off and, realizing that something is stuck in his face, pulls a needle out of his eye. Recovering, Jessica begins to crawl toward him. He raises a piece of broken toilet and smashes her skull in. It’s a horrible, horrible death. Shiloh Fernandez comes into the room totally horrified. “She tried to kill me!” Pucci exclaims.
3:38: Audience Q&A time! Is there a chance to seeing Ash back in a future Evil Dead? “Yes. Yes, there’s a chance.”
3:39: What was Bruce’s favorite part of working on the original films? “You say that like there was a favorite part!” A movie that’s hard to make is the best one to watch. “The actors work a little harder, the director works a little harder, and you folks seem to appreciate that.”
3:40: “What was it like to see other actors go through the carnage? I loved it,” Bruce says.
3:41: What was the heart and soul of Evil Dead movies? It had to be completely over the top and unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. When you think a scene is over, it’s really just beginning.
3:42: What was the hardest thing about making this kind of movie? Fede says that the decision to do everything practical was definitely the hardest. After you cut off an arm it’s hard to glue it back and do another shot
3:44: What drove Jane to do this role given how different everything else she’s done has been? She was attracted to it because it was so different from Suburgatory. She wanted to be a part of a horror film even though she’s very squeamish.
3:46: How intimidating was it to do the remake? Lou says that there was no pressure because of how good the script was – there was no way to do it wrong. Shiloh says that he didn’t let himself think about the pressure, and just trusted in Fede and Bruce. Jessica wasn’t familiar with the films going in, so that helped alleviate the pressure, but she felt comfortable with Bruce, Sam and Rob Tappert on hand. Jane trusted that there must have been a good reason for actually making the film. Fede was actually initially angry about the idea of an Evil Dead remake and with his friends was upset that they were doing it. But when he had the chance to do it, that changed his mind.
3:49: Bruce tells a story of Ash vs. Freddy vs. Jason. He wanted Ash to kill both of “those losers” but when New Line wouldn’t let them they hung up the phone.
3:51: Bruce Campbell likes that they never had to pause production, that they had real practical effects, had actors with experience, and that they won’t have to wait for the movie to actually be seen.
3:53: And that’s a wrap on Evil Dead!
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