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Exclusive! Bruce Campbell Talks 'Evil Dead' at NYCC: 'There’s a New Ash in Jane Levy'

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Bruce Campbell, dressed to impress in a swanky red blazer (“Well you know, it’s the New York City Comic-Con"), was on hand to debut a first look at the Evil Dead remake this afternoon. Campbell is producing the film along with director Sam Raimi. Newcomer Fede Alvarez is directing.

He told FEARnet that the remake has very little to do with Raimi's original, he won’t be making a cameo in the movie, and everyone’s favorite demon, Henrietta, won’t be showing her ugly face either. (Although the first image shown here looks quite a bit like Henrietta.) He also showed off the 97 pictures of Evil Dead tattoos he’s collected on his iphone. They are seriously amazing.

Here’s the scoop we got from Mr. Campbell about Evil Dead and what fans can expect:

This has been in the works for a while, but originally most people were thinking it was going to be a sequel.

This is a little more out of left field. It’s Fede Alvarez’s version of the story, it’s very faithful to certain elements of it. It’s faithful in tone, that it’s not a comedy. It’s not splatstick like Evil Dead 2 or Army of Darkness. They get a little lighter. Army of Darkness is just like an adventure movie with some chaos. This is a return to serious horror and not torture porn. Because I’m sick of that. It’s lazy filmmaking.

Fede really made this his own. Sam Raimi picked him essentially, so, he has the blessing of Sam Raimi. So, that’s what we hope fans get behind. We’re all behind it, we’re all involved, very involved through casting, the editing the whole spiel. We’re very concerned for the child.

What do you like about Fede as a director?

He’s stubborn. Yeah, good directors are usually stubborn. He’s like I want what I want. Fortunately what he wants is quality, he wants things to make sense. The movie is outrageous and yet subtle at the same time. It’s kind of hard to say. He hits you in the face in a completely different way. I don’t even know how to describe it. I just want people to see it because it’s absolutely going to freak their shit. He’s not just a guys throwing blood in your face, he’s making you feel when it’s happening.

Do you think fans are clamoring for a “serious” horror movie?

I think so, but the pendulum swings. They’ll get sick of this too. “Ugh. Horror movies are so serious.” The something goofy will start a new trend. It’s like politics.

So, one of the changes to this “remake” is a female lead what are some other updates we can look forward to?

The beauty of it is, we’re not comparing any characters. There’s no Shelly, Ash, there’s none of those people. There’s just five new characters you can get to know and you know, it’s sort of a co-lead with Shiloh Fernandez and Jane Levy. They play brother and sister and they have a very dynamic relationship throughout the movie.  Fede came up with a very different reason why they’re at the cabin in the first place. She’s trying to clean up, so, it’s like an intervention with carnage and mayhem. She’ll be back at the family cabin and this will be good, with friends. One of the characters is a nurse. She’ll take care of her. This should work out fine. What could possibly go wrong?

Was there anything from the original you felt absolutely have to be included in the film?

We didn’t want to tie Fede’s hands. There were elements we had suggested, some which he accepted and some which he rejected.

Can you give an example?

I shouldn’t, because it’s filmmaker talk. It’s like CIA stuff.

Looking back on the work you did with The Evil Dead and Army of Darkness, is there anything you would change in the roles you played?

Oh well, you know, the first Evil Dead everyone was just sort of learning how to act. You got it chronologically so you can see how we all sort of got our shit together as the movie went on. It’s stuff like that, but why take it back? I wouldn’t go back like certain filmmakers and fix their movies and fix their bad special effects. That’s part of the historical marker. It’s ok that in Evil Dead you can see the green garden hose that spews the blood. We did they best we could at the time with what we had ... which was jack shit.

This movie will take those same aspects, but you’re not going to see the garden hose. You’re going to see really decent mostly make-up effects. It’s not digital explosion. Digitally we are doing stuff to just be tricky.

Some of the fans of the original were a little unsure about this.

Oh at first they were violent, they were angry. I think they’ve actually mellowed, they’ve turned the corner, I get a sense. I appreciate their zeal. Right we shouldn’t screw it up. There’s a new Ash in Jane Levy. She carried that mantle strong and proud. She kicked some severe ass.

What about Henrietta?

There’s no Henrietta.  

R.I.P Henrietta. We can’t wait to see who, or what, will take your place. Evil Dead is out April 2013.

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