Sam Raimi On ‘Evil Dead’: Title Was “So Stupid”

by Thomas Tuna

What’s in a name?

Sam Raimi–the driving force behind the Evil Dead franchise–wrote and directed the original movie (1981’s The Evil Dead), but he had a completely different title in mind for that first film.

Just one problem: Seems it was too long.

Raimi–in a recent interview with Empire–said he originally wanted to call his film The Book of the Dead. Not bad, right? Makes sense? Not to the sales department.

“Film sales agent Irvin Shapiro sat Rob (Tapert), Bruce (Campbell) and me down,” Raimi explained, “and said, ‘We’re changing the title, boys. Advertising space in the newspaper is paid for by the inch. We’re not going to have a five-word title’.”

Shapiro said Dead could stay, “but you can only have one other word. You can call is 101% Dead or Evil Dead.” Raimi’s reaction? “I thought they were the two worst titles I’ve ever heard in my life,” he said. “Evil Dead sucks. How can something be evil and dead? I thought it was so stupid.”

As for 101% Dead, Raimi said, “I’ll die first. So I chose the lesser of the two horrible titles. But now, I’ve started to like it. It’s pretty good.”

And so, a classic horror franchise was born. And it continues on the big screen April 21 with Evil Dead Rise from writer/director Lee Cronin.

Keep reading Horror News Network for the latest on the Evil Dead film franchise.


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