Today at WonderCon, Sony Pictures’ panel featured a presentation from Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake. After repeated announcements intended to clear the room of any minors or people who became squeamish at the sight of blood, a brand new trailer cut just for WonderCon was screened for the enthusiastic audience. The cast and director then took the stage for a Q&A along with producer and fan-favorite actor, Bruce Campbell.
Evil Dead, opening April 5th, stars Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci and Elizabeth Blackmore. Hit the jump for our panel recap.
First up was the new trailer, which featured all the blood (and explains why the Red Cross still calls me for donations twice a day). We zoomed in on the cabin in the woods and didn’t even bother showing the vacationers in their prime as one of them was already in pretty rough shape. What followed was a barrage of bloody and barbaric scenes complete with projectile blood vomit, self-mutilation via a shard of glass to the face, asphyxiation by a plastic bag followed by being buried alive and a little bit of tongue slicing to finish strong. Evil Dead certainly doesn’t pull any punches and the audience was more than happy to see it.
A clip sequence from the film was also screened. The bulk of it centered on Jessica Lucas and Lou Taylor Pucci’s characters, Olivia and Eric respectively. Olivia, who was previously vomited on by Mia (Levy), is busy washing the bloody vomit off her face in the mirror, which promptly reflects her disfigured face before shattering. As the camera pans to the Book of the Dead flipping to a page with the image of a disfigured character, Olivia becomes possessed by the demonic spirit, which takes control of her body (and loses control of her bladder). Eric, alerted by a slamming door, comes to check on Olivia and finds her shredding her own face with a shard of glass, just before she attacks him with it. Olivia stabs him repeatedly with the glass before switching over to a syringe which she jabs into his face. Eric, still alive, manages to dispatch Olivia with a a chunk of porcelain and a few well-placed shots to the head.
- Bruce Campbell talked about the process of bringing Evil Dead to the screen, starting with the discussion between an outright remake versus a sequel and moving to Alvarez’s involvement after a feature treatment of his short Panic Attack! landed in development hell.
- Campbell wants a total of seven Evil Dead movies: four from the original franchise (including the new one headed up by Sam Raimi) and a new trilogy that starts with this year’s installment.
- Alvarez said that the MPAA was very helpful and precise with giving an R rating to Evil Dead while not having to get rid of any scenes, though this is the hardest possible R a film could be. (Comparatively, the bloodless and implicit horror movie The Conjuring also earned an R rating for being “too scary.”)
- Levy’s worst day on set was being buried alive with a plastic bag over her head, though she did cheat by having an oxygen tube hidden behind her ear.
- Alvarez commented that he wanted real fear from his actors so that the audience could feel their emotions.
- As a fan of the original film, Alvarez would ideally love to make a sequel to his version of Evil Dead and then connect that to Raimi’s new sequel, ultimately combining the two worlds for a massive finale.
- Alvarez spoke to the challenge of making an Evil Dead film for both fans of the original and new audiences who have no knowledge of the franchise. He did admit to adding a lot of nods and throwbacks to the original in his version, but stresses that, as a fan, he knows what other fans want to see in this film.
- Levy commented more on the practical effects, such as the bloody vomit, which was pumped into her mouth through a hose that re-directed off of an inverted umbrella-shaped device at the back of her mouth. She also said that she wanted to try a role that was different from her previous comedic efforts and that Evil Dead was the perfect opportunity.