The Untold Truth Of Evil Dead

More than 35 years after the release of its low-budget, outrageous, and audacious first installment in 1981, "The Evil Dead" is still alive. With five movies and a TV series under its banner, the "Evil Dead" franchise has rightly earned a reputation as the little horror series that could. From its DIY beginnings at the hands of a few aspiring filmmakers to its serialized tenure on Starz, here's how the crazy, campy, chainsaw-happy "Evil Dead" went from the backwoods of Michigan to the delirious nightmares of horror fans worldwide.

Three schmoes in Michigan

"The Evil Dead" was willed into existence by one essential trio: director Sam Raimi, actor Bruce Campbell, and producer Robert Tapert, though none of the three had those titles when they came together to start their project. They were instead, in the words of Bruce Campbell, "Three schmoes in search of a clue."

Unbeknownst to all of them, they were destined for a long future together, and it all started with a series of low-budget Super 8 films they made together in college with a loose collective of friends making up their cast and crew. 

"I wanted to be a filmmaker," Raimi said, according to Campbell, writing in his memoir, "If Chins Could Kill." "but I thought that it wasn't going to be possible. I just thought I would run from reality as long as possible until they dragged me back to my dad's store."  

After cobbling together a catalog of shorts, the three started thinking about producing a full-fledged feature. Slowly, they turned the crazy idea into a crazy thing they were actually doing, and in 1979, Raimi came up with a story about some kids who accidentally summon evil spirits from a sacred burial ground.

The pitch

To make their horror project, which they wanted to name "The Book of the Dead," the trio first finished a short film as a proof of concept, calling it "Within the Woods." With a budget of $1,600, they brought in a familiar crew of actors from their Super 8 productions, shooting the half-hour movie over the course of a three-day weekend. They stretched every dollar for the production, using duct tape, shoe polish, Halloween costumes, and canned cherry cobbler for blood and gore.

Armed with a completed prototype, the filmmakers set out to find investors, setting their budget at a seemingly out-of-reach $150,000. A friend put them in touch with a film distributor, who provided a letter of intent to distribute their movie—provided they actually finished one. 

For critical bona fides, they convinced a Detroit theater to screen "Within the Woods," attracting a crucial writeup in the Detroit News. "It was the first, best and perhaps most important review we've ever gotten," wrote Campbell. "Nothing felt better than to slap that review on the desk of a potential investor and casually ask, 'Read the paper today?'"

Raising money

Their pitch prepared, the filmmakers started courting investors. Not knowing anything about how to raise money, they decided to try everything, starting with their family, then friends, then local businesspeople, at one point screening "Within the Woods" in the soap aisle of a local supermarket to secure funding from the store's owners. One investor came from a chance meeting Raimi had at a Kmart Photo Processing counter.

 "[One] impediment to raising money was credibility," wrote Campbell. "Three guys with no professional experience, questionable education, and a dream to make a film in Detroit wouldn't exactly make the average investor dive into his pocketbook."

To make up for their lack of credibility, they staged what Campbell estimated were hundreds of screenings of "Within the Woods," picking up a dollar here and there, eventually coming up with $85,000 after months of work — not nearly enough to work on the movie to completion, but enough, they felt, to get started. Throughout the production process, the money ran out, necessitating more begging from investors, then putting up property as collateral — their own, and that of their very trusting family members. "A phrase we began to hear a lot was, 'Guys, no more means no more,'" Campbell later wrote.

Shooting the movie

Knowing money was tight, the trio was merciless when it came to keeping costs contained. Actors made $100 a week, production assistants made $50 a week, and Tapert, Raimi and Campbell set aside $35 a week for themselves as executive producers — money they never collected. "I recall attempting to buy a pack of gum during the shoot," wrote Campbell, "and realizing that I simply had no money to pay for it."

In the absence of money to throw around, the team got clever, using anything and everything available to work movie magic. One night, Raimi woke to the sound of the wind shrieking through his window; he brought the sound man in to record it and used the noise in the movie. To create shots of the camera breaking through windows, the filmmakers just shoved the camera through a real window, affixing a 2x4 and a bar to the camera to break the glass before the lens touched it.

"When all else failed," wrote Campbell, "We just taped the damn camera to Sam's hand. The opening shot of 'Evil Dead' consisted of me pushing Sam in a rubber raft across a swamp while he leaned out, skimming the camera across the water and swooping over decaying branches. Lest you forget, the number one rule of the B [movie] jungle is: 'When in doubt –make it up as you go along.'"

Pain and persistence

"The Evil Dead" wasn't shot with safety first in mind, and the cast and crew went through all manner of painful indignities to bring the film to life. A disclaimer in the actors' contracts, according to Campbell, told the performers that "you will also be the guinea pigs for makeup testing. These heinous products have not been tested on animals, because they will be tested on you..." 

To play the possessed dead, the actors needed to wear large glass contact lenses, uncomfortable blinding contraptions that could only be left in for 15 minutes at a time. One actress lost her eyelashes making a plaster mold of her face; others were mercilessly scratched up by branches in the woods; the Karo corn syrup that the crew used for blood invited mosquitoes; and in the cold December nights of their 12-week shoot, equipment would actually freeze. 

At one point, Campbell's shirt was so soaked in syrup that it basically turned into candy, with the sleeve snapping clean off when he tried to put it on. In another instance, Campbell sprained his ankle while running down a hill after Raimi forced the actor's pain into his performance by hitting his bruise with a stick before takes.

Instead of being scared away by the painful difficulties of production, the crew leaned into the challenge. "I like it when an actor bleeds," Rob Tapert exclaimed at one point. "It makes me feel like I got my money's worth."

Do the Hustle

The filmmakers showed "The Evil Dead" to anyone in the industry they could wrangle. Producer Irvin Shapiro, who would ultimately act as a sales agent for the crew, reacted to the movie with an all-timer of a quote, saying "It ain't 'Gone with the Wind,' but I think we can make some money with it." He also suggested changing the name from "Book of the Dead" to something snappier, and "Evil Dead" was born.

The movie needed a distributor, and finding one ended up being just as much of a DIY project as the film itself. They needed an abundance of marketing materials — domestic and foreign posters for the movie, a trailer, and the technical tools to allow foreign distributors to record dialogue in a different language. 

"Even if your film was marketable, you couldn't close a deal without these items," wrote Campbell. "And if you couldn't close, you couldn't collect money to pay back the investors." 

They started cobbling together their materials, using behind-the-scenes photography to make as many different posters as they could. For promotional swag, they printed their movie title on matchbooks, commissioned custom t-shirts and hats, hand-pressed buttons, and folded hundreds of brochures. 

"This all seemed like a lot of work at the time," admitted Campbell, "but it wasn't until years later that we realized how good we had it." Working this way, they had complete control over their product, and doing all the work meant they'd reap all of the reward — a showbiz rarity.

Wild success

An "overnight success" is rarely as simple as it sounds, with years of work going unappreciated before the floodgates open and all the hard work pays off. 

This was the situation the "Evil Dead" producers found themselves in as the movie rolled out, and reviews started rolling in. The movie became a sensation thanks to some well-timed support from horror author Stephen King, who wrote a review for the movie in Twilight Zone magazine in which he called it "the most ferociously original horror film of the year." The filmmakers eagerly capitalized on this, getting permission to use the quote on every advertisement they could. 

Campbell can't overstate how important this was for their success, calling King's endorsement "a protective force field around our little film" that prompted a wave of other reviews. One of the best notices came from the L.A. Times, which went so far as to call "The Evil Dead" "an instant classic." The movie sold in territory after territory before premiering, and word-of-mouth appeal kept it going as a robust video release after its theatrical run. 

"The Book of the Dead" was finally written, and "Evil Dead" lived. Six years after putting their faith in the Michigan schmoes, the film's investors got their money back.

Dead by dawn

When Raimi's second feature, "Crimewave," failed to make a dent at the box office, the new-to-showbiz "Evil Dead" trio decided to circle the wagons and produce a sequel to their first feature. Not wanting to get run out of Hollywood, the trio trekked back into the woods.

A bigger budget and the backing of a studio didn't alter the filmmakers' DIY ways. Most effects were made cleverly, and there was no shortage of suffering on the set this time around, either, though a lot of the burden fell on one unfortunate performer: the director's brother, Ted Raimi. Outfitted with a foam body suit, Ted took on the role of a villainous, horrific witch, and Raimi was so hot inside the suit that his body produced a constant stream of sweat. "In the finished film, look closely as Ted spots my character and bellows fiercely," wrote Campbell. "You'll see a stream of sweat pouring out a slit in the makeup around his ear."

Army of Darkness

According to Bruce Campbell, the crew originally wanted to do "Army of Darkness" as the second "Evil Dead," but "it seemed too expensive at the time, and so it took a few more years for that to gestate into being possible."

In the five years between the modestly budgeted "Evil Dead II" and "Army of Darkness," Sam Raimi filmed his first major studio movie, "Darkman," which was successful enough to get him funding from Universal to bring the $11 million third installment to life. Irvin Shapiro once again decided on the title of the movie; Sam Raimi and company, meanwhile, wanted to call it "The Medieval Dead."

This was not the only creative difference that would crop up during the movie's long road to a theatrical release. In the midst of an unrelated dispute between Universal and an "Army of Darkness" producer, the film sat on the shelf for a year. Afterward, when the studio started looking through the footage, the decision was made to recut the movie. According to editor Bob Murawski, "They didn't really understand it, they thought it was too long, and didn't respond to a lot of the funnier stuff."

Fifteen minutes were cut for the sake of removing gore and preventing the movie from being such a downer. The differences resulted in an altered opening and ending, with important story scenes cut out entirely.

More pain and many endings

The ending in particular was a point of contention, with the studio wanting something more optimistic. One intended ending was completely nihilistic, with Ash dying in the back seat of his car while on his way back from the past. Another ending, with Bruce accidentally waking up in a post-apocalyptic future, could have been the setup for an inspired sequel, but was axed for being too sad. 

"We thought, 'That's perfect!'" Bruce Campbell said. "Because the lead-in to the next movie is Ash leads a team of robots against the Deadites. He's Omega Man. It would be fantastic. 'Army of Darkness 4' would be great ... We thought that was way better." Test audiences disagreed, which resulted in a new ending sequence in the present-day S-Mart, with Ash the hero surviving his journey home, capping it off by blowing away a Deadite.

Although the budget for "Army of Darkness" was well above what the franchise had seen previously, there was still a lot of suffering on the set — much of it intentional. Sam Raimi again made a hobby out of torturing Campbell during production, making him train for a dance sequence that was never filmed, and for close-up shots of Ash being smacked in the head with a book, Raimi swung the book — and swung hard. 

The Evil Dead remake

Following the release of "Army of Darkness," the "Evil Dead" franchise went dormant. After all the pre-release struggles, reshoots, and edits, the movie ultimately was a financial disappointment, failing to recoup its budget during its theatrical run. 

During the years that followed, several ideas were floated for a potential fourth installment in the series, with one idea being to make the two different endings to "Army of Darkness" canonical, pitting an Ash who made it home against an Ash who continued his adventures in the far-off, apocalyptic future. This idea was scrapped for being too confusing, but avid fans calling for a fourth movie only grew louder.

"I would make a 'Spider-Man' movie and they'd say, 'That's fine, but can you please make 'Evil Dead 4?”" said Raimi. "They didn't care [...] I said to Bruce and Rob, 'Let's remake 'Evil Dead' with Fede Alvarez, my friend. He's super-talented and that will finally give the fans what they want.'"

But fans still gnashed their teeth at the concept of a remake, to the extent that the original trio had to emphasize their involvement. "We're all over this project," Bruce Campbell said, sating fans in the lead-up to the movie's release. "Rob Tapert was there producing every day on set, Sam has been there all along, I was involved in casting very heavily because we want to get good actors who know what they're in for."

Ash vs Evil Dead

Though fans and critics both were mostly pleased with the remake, there was still one thing everyone wanted: more Ash. 

"[Fans] really loved his movie," Raimi said of Alvarez's feature. "And I loved it. But afterwards, I still heard that, 'Now we want your 'Evil Dead' with Bruce in addition to Fede's movie.' So I went, 'Oh my God. There's no quieting them. Why am I running from it anyway?' I mean, maybe it was out of fear a little bit. They seemed to like these movies and I didn't want to make one that they didn't like. I didn't know if I had much to gain, but they were so insistent we finally said, 'All right, let's just do it.'" 

Along with his brother Ivan, Raimi finally began work on another, Ash-centric "Evil Dead," eventually landing on the idea to do a TV show. It was a natural fit, with the "Evil Dead" crew having worked extensively in TV, producing the fantasy show "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys." 

"Rob Tapert's done a lot of TV, produced with Sam a lot of TV, I've done a lot of TV — let's try TV," Bruce Campbell said. "We had three different suitors who were going to do this show as a series. And we picked the one, Starz, that we felt could give us the same creative freedom we had on the first one. So we had a lot of creative freedom, and we have no content restrictions basically whatsoever."

The creepy cabin

We all know that some seriously disturbing stuff went down at the cabin in "The Evil Dead," but some creepy things happened there in real life, too. During an interview in 1982, Raimi told a horror story about how a girl, her mother, and her grandmother used to live in the cabin outside of Morristown, Tennessee. "One night, during a thunderstorm, this little girl woke up and was scared by the lightning happening around the cabin. She ran into her mother's room and pulling back the covers climbing into bed with her, she found that her mother was dead. She was so frightened she ran into her grandmother's room and somehow that same evening, she had died also."

According to Raimi's story, the girl ran through the woods until she reached a farmhouse, where she banged on the doors and screamed for help. The family who lived there ended up raising her and the cabin was abandoned. The girl, who was an old woman by the time "The Evil Dead" was in production, would often roam around the woods during thunderstorms. Once during filming, the man from the farmhouse came by and said he was looking for the woman because there had been a storm the previous night. He thought she might have gone back to the cabin, but as far as Raimi and his team knew, he never found her. Shortly after the movie was released, the cabin burned down, and the exact cause of the fire remains unknown.

Banned in multiple countries

Sometimes countries censor horror films to eliminate intensely violent scenes, but that wasn't always possible with the "Evil Dead" movies since violence is so pervasive throughout the storylines. As a result, "The Evil Dead" and the 2013 reboot were banned in several countries due to the extreme violence, gore, buckets of blood, and the now-infamous tree scene. Some countries that banned the films include Singapore, Ukraine, and Finland.

The British Board of Film Classification banned the 1981 film for many years after its release, and the uncut version wasn't available on home video until 2001. They tweeted about the movie's censorship history in 2021 and Campbell posted a scathing response: "Let's be clear. Your system back then was draconian and myopic. Thankfully, your multi-year 'ban' only stoked interest in the film and made it #1 on video in the UK when it was finally released. Thanks for nothin.'"

Although gore and violence are part of the reason why fans love the franchise, Raimi has said that he regrets including the scene of the woods assaulting Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss) in the first movie. The scene offended many viewers and almost prevented it from being released on home video. He told The Incredibly Strange Film Show, "It was unnecessarily gratuitous and a little too brutal. My goal is not to offend people ... My judgement was a little wrong at that time."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Smoking marijuana

In the original script for "The Evil Dead," the characters were supposed to be smoking marijuana while listening to Professor Knowby's tape. The actors decided to actually smoke weed while filming the scene, and things got so out of hand that they had to reshoot it later on.

"We did, in fact, smoke marijuana because we had heard, in the famous Jack Nicholson movie 'Five Easy Pieces' — no, 'Easy Rider' — that he smoked like 47 joints before he shot that scene," Campbell told Conan O'Brien in 2017. "And I thought, if he can go on to become a very famous, notable actor, we can do the same thing. And I had never smoked before. I was 21, and ... we also found out that the weed in Tennessee was pretty good, apparently. And so we did not really film the scene successfully."

After smoking, Campbell said that Raimi wanted to shoot a scene of Ash having a breakdown. Campbell thought he was doing a great job, but the rest of the crew who hadn't smoked any weed just thought it was hilarious.

Reshooting footage

Raimi wanted to include a quick recap of the first film at the beginning of "Evil Dead II" with a few short clips reminding viewers of what happened leading up to the sequel. However, Raimi and his team didn't own the rights to the footage from the first movie because the distribution rights were so convoluted.

In Bill Warren's novel "The Evil Dead Companion," Raimi explained, "Unfortunately, because the picture was sold by Irvin Shapiro to so many different countries, and different distributors in each country, we would have had to go to each one — there were probably around 50 — and gotten clearances to use it in their territory. It was a very weird situation — some of the distributors had even gone out of business."

Since they weren't able to use the footage, Raimi decided to reshoot it instead. This confused many viewers, who weren't sure whether the film was a remake or a sequel. Although it could definitely be considered a sequel since it follows the events of the first movie, Campbell has dubbed it a "re-quel."

Years later, Raimi ended up reshooting footage from "Evil Dead II" to include in a recap at the beginning of "Army of Darkness," the third installment of the franchise released in 1992. This time around, Raimi wanted to tone down the scene of Ash cutting his possessed hand off with the chainsaw, so he shot the scene in a way that didn't show blood splattering on Ash's face.

Practical effects

One of the hallmarks of the "Evil Dead" franchise is that they primarily use practical effects instead of relying on CGI like many horror movies tend to do. In the original trilogy, this was done because digital effects weren't nearly advanced or affordable enough to portray the Deadites and all the chaos they caused. To create the appearance of bodies melting at the end of the first movie, Raimi and his crew used oatmeal and marshmallows.

Fede Álvarez kept the tradition of practical effects going in the 2013 reboot, only using a bit of CGI to remove wires when needed and keep the cast safe during the fire scene. "I'd say it's 95% practical. We're not doing any CGI. We do in post, but it's not the same," he told Ain't It Cool News. "We will shoot real fire in the same place and put it on afterwards. We won't kill the actors! Everything is an element. We don't do CG blood — everything is real and practical. Sometimes a post effect just means you put two real things together."

Lee Cronin also opted against using CG blood while making the 2023 film "Evil Dead Rise," so the cast got absolutely drenched in fake blood during the elevator scene near the end of the film. Visual effects were used sparingly for instances like creating the Deadites' yellow eyes since it was more comfortable for the actors, making it easier for them to work.

Remake or sequel?

The 2013 "Evil Dead" film is often referred to as a remake of the original film since it has a similar premise, but subtle details reveal it's a stealth sequel set in the same universe. There's an abandoned, rusty 1973 Oldsmobile Delta 88 outside the cabin that looks like it's been sitting there for years. That's the same type of car that Ash owned, so it makes sense that Mia (Jane Levy) and the others would find it there later. There's also audio of Professor Knowby reading the Necronomicon during the end credits, connecting it to the first movie.

In a 2018 tweet, Álvarez confirmed that the 2013 "Evil Dead" is a sequel to the original film. When asked how it's connected to previous ones, Álvarez said, "It continues the first one. The coincidences on events between the first film and mine are not coincidences, but more like dark fate created by the evil book. (Ash car is still there rusting away)."

Deleted scenes and alternate endings

Some footage didn't make it to the final version of the 2013 reboot. Fede Álvarez tweeted that the original version was given an NC-17 rating, and although he was proud of that, he had to cut some scenes to get an R rating so the film could have a wide release in theaters. One of the deleted scenes follows David (Shiloh Fernandez) after he sets off the house fire, revealing that he turned into a Deadite before burning to death. This fixes the plot hole that's present in the theatrical cut; the Taker of Souls needs to possess five hosts before the Abomination (Randal Wilson) can rise up from hell, but in the final cut, it's only shown possessing Mia, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), Olivia (Jessica Lucas), and Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci). Viewers assumed that David perished in the fire as a human, but he was actually the fifth to be possessed, and that's how the Abomination rises.

The film also had two alternate endings. In the original version of the script, Mia got possessed again, rose into the air, and exploded. Álvarez tweeted, "Sam Raimi (wisely) pointed out 'after everything she's been through, she deserves to live' so I rewrote it to the actual ending. ([Levy] let out one of her best screams in the movie on this take)". In the other ending, Mia survives and collapses on a road, where a driver picks her up. On their way to the hospital, Mia suddenly opens her eyes, implying that she has been possessed again.

Campbell's groovy cameo

Campbell made a brief post-credits cameo as Ash in the 2013 reboot, saying "Groovy," then looking over at the audience. Some viewers thought it was Campbell's way of putting his stamp of approval on the film — which might be true to a certain extent — but it was actually supposed to tease plans for a crossover movie featuring Ash and Mia. Raimi expressed interest in the idea at the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con, Álvarez said during a 2020 interview that they had the story planned out, and Campbell tweeted that it was "entirely possible" in 2022. They even considered having Ash and Mia be related, which could have been an interesting dynamic to explore.

However, the crossover film never came to fruition because the series "Ash vs Evil Dead" got picked up in 2015. Raimi explained, "It's very hard to simultaneously write a combo movie that would fit in with where the series is going to end up at that particular point, and it really would have to coalesce with what the writers are doing in the writers' room." So despite Raimi and the others being interested in the project, they weren't able to make it happen at that point in time. It's possible that the crossover movie may still happen since the series was canceled in 2018, but it's looking less and less likely. 

Campbell retires as Ash

After "Ash vs Evil Dead" was canceled in 2018, Campbell devastated fans by announcing that he was retiring from the role of Ash. "Ash Vs Evil Dead has been the ride of a lifetime. Ash Williams was the role of a lifetime," he tweeted. "I will always be grateful to Starz, Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert and our tireless fans for the opportunity to revisit the franchise that launched our careers. Thank you!" There was outcry from fans to try getting the show picked up by Netflix, to no avail.

Since hanging up the boomstick and chainsaw, Campbell has stayed involved in "Evil Dead" projects in other ways. He voiced Ash in the multiplayer horror game "Evil Dead: The Game" in 2022, which follows a group of survivors as they try to find supplies and take down Deadites. He also served as executive producer for the 2023 film "Evil Dead Rise" and even made a sneaky audio cameo. While Danny (Morgan Davies) is listening to a record of a priest reading the Necronomicon, Campbell yells, "Destroy it! It's called the Book of the Dead for a reason!" During a 2023 interview with NME, director Lee Cronin said, "Bruce came over to Ireland when we were working on the sound and I asked him if he would do this teeny, tiny, little cameo for me. And the fun part is, that's not necessarily Bruce Campbell playing someone else — that could very well be Ash Williams."

Evil Dead Rise

We've briefly mentioned "Evil Dead Rise," but let's get into the nitty gritty of the latest installment in the franchise. The 2023 film, originally titled "Evil Dead Now," was written and directed by Lee Cronin and took the carnage out of the woods and into a condemned apartment building. In 2020, Campbell said that Raimi handpicked Cronin for the job, so he definitely saw potential in him. Raimi and Campbell served as executive producers and Rob Tapert served as producer of the film.

Cronin expressed how much he enjoyed working with the trio during a 2023 interview with Bloody Disgusting: "Sam would always have advice. He's a movie making hero of mine. But Sam shows me respect and that I'm equal to him in terms of what I'm trying to do ... So, he's a master filmmaker and a great producer to collaborate with. [Raimi, Campbell, and Tapert] were there when I needed them. But other than that, they said, 'Go do your thing.'"

Another stealth sequel

Like the 2013 "Evil Dead" movie, "Evil Dead Rise" can be enjoyed as a standalone film since it doesn't continue the Ash storyline, but it can also be considered a stealth sequel that takes place in the same universe. There are a few clues that point towards it being a sequel, including the unnamed character voiced by Campbell that could be Ash. The records are very old, so Ash would've had to time travel for this to make sense, but it would hardly be the first time Ash has been displaced in time.

Aside from that, the Book of the Dead firmly ties this movie to previous installments. "There are connections to the past, lines are drawn," Cronin told Empire in 2023. "In one of the early meetings I had with Sam Raimi, I said, 'You know the way in 'Army of Darkness,' there's three [Necronomicons]? You had one, Fede had one, I'm going to take the other one.'" He went on to say that although the Necronomicon in "Evil Dead Rise" is different from the ones in previous films, it's similar and very much related to them. Campbell confirmed that the three Necronomicons connect the various movies in the franchise, which helps explain how all these stories are able to happen in the same universe, just in different places at different points in time.

The cheese grater

One of the most cringe-inducing moments in "Evil Dead Rise" has to be the cheese grater scene. Seeing the possessed teenager Bridget (Gabrielle Echols) take a cheese grater to her aunt Beth's (Lily Sullivan) leg is just brutal. When asked how he came up with the gory idea, Cronin told Variety, "It was necessity. It was the hunt for something different. I wrote this movie right at the beginning of the COVID pandemic, so I was locked in my apartment." He would look at his surroundings for creative inspiration while writing the script, and when he saw the cheese grater in his kitchen, he thought it'd be a great addition to the film.

That's also how he got the idea to use other seemingly innocuous household items as weapons, like the scissors that Beth shoves up the nose of her possessed sister Ellie (Alyssa Sutherland). And don't even get us started on the wine glass that Deadite Bridget decides to snack on...

Cronin's ideas for sequels

Cronin has no shortage of ideas for ways the franchise could continue. Beth and her niece Kassie (Nell Fisher) survive the bloody ordeal against the Deadites, so the next movie could continue their story. This would open up the possibility of them teaming up with Ash and Mia. Or we could follow the story of the unlucky soul who finds the gory aftermath in the apartment building. There are still many Deadites in the building, so even if they quickly kill whoever finds them, they could potentially escape into the city from there.

Alternatively, the next film could follow the evil entity back to the woods since that's where it goes after wreaking havoc on the family in "Evil Dead Rise." The Deadite that rises out of the water in the film's epic title reveal is still out there, so it makes sense that it would continue its killing spree. Or the next movie could explore the past rather than the future, delving into the backstories behind the three Necronomicons. "Evil Dead Rise" and the previous films did touch on their backstories, but much is still unknown about them. No matter what direction the franchise goes in next, Cronin is ready to be a part of it. "I'm excited for the potential of what could be next and really hope that I can be involved in future chapters," he told Variety.

More potential projects

While Lee Cronin may continue making "Evil Dead" movies, there's also the possibility of Raimi, Campbell, Tapert, and Álvarez reuniting to work on future installments. In 2018, Álvarez said they might collaborate on another "Evil Dead" film if they all think there's a story worth telling.

Raimi hasn't ruled out the possibility, either. "I would be thrilled if Bruce Campbell changed his mind about retirement, would come back for the original 'Evil Dead' line," he said during a 2019 interview with Bloody Disgusting. "But if not, I'm very happy to work with, if Fede [Álvarez] would come back and make the sequel."

Álvarez and Raimi are both very in-demand directors though, so making another "Evil Dead" movie may not be in the cards for them. Plus, things are further complicated by Campbell's retirement from the role of Ash. But during an interview with FANGORIA in 2023, he said he would return to the role on one condition: "If Sam says, 'I, Sam Raimi, will direct another Evil Dead movie,' then I, Bruce Campbell, will consider being in it ... I'm just saying, I've called Rob and Sam out, I'm not the coward that they think I am; I just want the right circumstances." Hail to the king, baby.