Sam Raimi: The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Okay  so, maybe my title is a little much, but Sam Raimi is pretty awesome.  For a guy who created a cult classic trilogy, established cheesy catchphrases quoted by the masses, and inspired countless youth to imagine if they too could have a chainsaw for a hand – Sam Raimi was just getting started.  A tribute post, this is a look at the man and his accomplishments, past, present, and future.

Beginning his career with a short film starring childhood friend Bruce Campbell (yes, THE Bruce Campbell), Within the Woods made him $375,000 towards starting the immortal Evil Dead trilogy.

 

Most likely contemplating the most expert way for one to cut off one's hand.

Although there were three films made, Evil Dead II is realistically just a remake of the original film, Evil Dead, with less elements of gore and horror and more elements of comedy embedded within.  The first film famously puts a number of unsuspecting vacationers at the mercy of an evil book named “The Necronomicon”.  Ash (Bruce Campbell) is pitted against “The Necronomicon” again and again as he works to repel it’s evil, all the while making sure to get the girl, of course.  In a continued effort to be himself, Raimi created Army of Darkness.  Army of Darkness is a ridiculous look at (a now boomstick and chainsaw wielding) Ash sent through time to a place where castles, knights in armor, and sword fights exist to battle it out yet again with “The Necronomicon”.  The Evil Dead trilogy has long been passed from geek to nerd as a cult classic in horror and comedic genius.  Sam Raimi moved in and out of the trilogy to produce different pieces of work in collaboration with the Coen brothers to help improve his films.  Raimi went as far as to create his own superhero.  One not adapted from any known comic book, but one purely original in creation called Darkman.  During a time in American pop culture when superhero movies aren’t what they are today, Raimi was able to make his own superhero into a movie.

Liam Neeson? Is that you?

A very ambitious move, Darkman may have been just ten years too early (cue Spiderman!).  Although not a commercial hit like the barely just mentioned future of Raimi, Darkman is not a bad flick.  Remaining a successful director (but more a cult sensation), Raimi eventually explodes with his directing of the Spiderman trilogy.  What sets Raimi apart from the not so known horror/comedy director-made-superstar is the production of one film since his popularization.

That one film is called Drag Me to Hell.  Unlike Raimi’s peers (*COUGH* you know who you are *COUGH*) , after receiving international praise for his abilities to direct a blockbuster instead of directing another blockbuster, Raimi chose to go back to his glorious roots: slapstick comedy/horror!  Seriously, Drag Me to Hell was awesome.  I remember going to see it in the theater and not being upset that it didn’t scare me in the traditional sense.  I enjoyed the fact that this film could put together some ridiculous comedy interactions between the characters all the while clinging to the general convention of horror.  I left the theater that night totally scared at pivotal moments and laughing my ass off at others.  I turned to my friend and said, “That is the best horror film this year.”

And to this day I will back up my belief in that film, Sam Raimi, and his absolutely unique and amazing directing style that will hopefully continue to surface for a great many more years.

As always please comment, link, and read!

Your Humble Servant,

Tucker Paul Stempler

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