Starz’s new 10-hour series, Ash vs Evil Dead, reunites the franchise’s original producers, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, and star Bruce Campbell, who once again portrays the aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter, Ash Williams, who is called back into action when a Deadite plague threatens humanity.
In the series, he is potentially facing a new adversary named Ruby, portrayed by Lucy Lawless, who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks.
Bruce Campbell came to the TV Critics tour to talk about the continuation of his popular franchise.
I understand that you’ve said at times, during public appearances, that you thought a fourth Evil Dead would be a bad idea.
I don’t believe I’ve ever been quoted as saying that.
You asked fans how they liked the fourth Indiana Jones?
This is not a fourth movie, this is a TV series. Making a fourth movie would work also, because we still may make more movies. It’s not a dead issue.
I think this series will force us to make more movies. People will go, ‘Oh, that’s only 10 hours of programming. I need 8 more movies.’ (he laughs)
The fans have driven all this. They’ve been relentless for years. The last Evil Dead movie was 24 years ago, 1991. They haven’t shut up since. So no matter what we say to them or what we give them it will never be enough, and we’re very grateful for that.
This has been an evolving thing. At the end of the first Evil Dead, Ash is dead. Figure that one out. Now there’s two other movies and a TV show. When did Ash become alive again? What the hell is going on here?
Was there ever a time when you were tired of playing Ash and wished the industry hadn’t pigeonholed you into that type of role?
I came to a realization, you’re only going to be remembered based on what people watch. If all you watch is horror movies, than I’m Ash. So I’ve actually been more pigeonholed by my own fans than by the film industry itself.
What’s it like shooting the series in New Zealand?
We have crew members that are the perfect crew to do this show, because they are all weaned on Hercules, Xena, Spartacus and Lord of the Rings.
You look at the call sheet of what’s demanded of this crew every day – you’ve got stunts, green screen, special effects, special props. There are people who can do this stuff in their sleep. It’s a great place do to a show.
How gory is this series going to be?
I went blind the other day shooting a scene! Just picture that. Take a shower and open your eyes right into the faucet. That’s how much blood there’s is on the show.
I’ve been gagged once and I went blind. That’s a lot of blood for a show. So anyone who’s looking for it, it’s coming your way.
You’ve still got the matinee idol looks and that big shock of hair.
Smoke and mirrors, my friend.
But you’ve never wanted to be, it seems, a conventional leading man. Is that because the first Evil Dead movie you felt that’s the way people wanted to see you?
I’m attracted to weird material. I’m not attracted to normal, generic stuff. I find it too boring.
I don’t mind being in cheese-ball, exploitation movies. It doesn’t bother me in the least. Because B movies can do things that are way more interesting sometimes than A movies, because you don’t have the restrictions.
You don’t have to please 100 million people. If your movie only costs half a million dollars, you only have to please eight people.